Nevada bill draft would abolish term limits
July 3, 2014
A Las Vegas Democrat says he will press the 2015 Nevada Legislature to abolish term limits for state and local candidates like the ones that kept some of the likely front-runners out of this year's race for Reno mayor.
State Sen. Tick Segerblom says term limits are a failed experiment that hinders lawmakers from making progress on tough policy issues. He's also proposing a repeal of the requirement of a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes in the Legislature.
Segerblom proposed the amendments to the state constitution in a pair of formal requests for the drafting of legislation prior to next year's session. Each would have to pass both the 2015 and 2017 Legislatures before going to a vote of the people in Nov., 2018.
"We need a government that functions," he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week. "With our hands tied behind our backs, we can't do anything."
State legislators and local politicians currently can serve for only 12 years.
The restriction was in the spotlight in Reno this spring when a judge ruled it applied to city council members who wanted to run for mayor — a decision that ended the mayoral campaigns of Councilman Dwight Dortch and former Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza.
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City councilwoman Hillary Schieve and Reno city planner Ray Pezonella ended up the top two finishers in a crowded primary field of 18 candidates in June. They advance to the general election in November to replace popular outgoing Mayor Bob Cashell, who also was denied a shot at a fourth term because of term limits.
Segerblom said he's not sure the repeal will be a priority this year but told the Reno Gazette-Journal: "It's definitely something I want to do before I leave the Legislature."
His requests were among 138 on a list released this week. So far, the topics range from taxes to pets and Picon Punch. Long popular among Nevada's Basque population, Picon Punch would be declared Nevada's official state drink under the bill request submitted by Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Reno.
Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, said his request for a measure to enact the "Nevada commerce tax" is intended only to serve as a vehicle for a tax discussion next session.
Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, has asked for a bill to create a registry of people convicted of intentional animal cruelty to ban them from owning pets. And Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, is seeking legislation to require training for law enforcement officers regarding canine behavior.
"In many instances, a dog is being territorial, not vicious," he told the Review-Journal late last year.