The first major deadline of Nevada's 2005 legislative session will have to be pushed back because of the logjam in the legal division.
Today is the deadline listed in the legislative schedule for introduction of legislative proposals by individual lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, said the two houses will have to move that deadline until all members have their legislative proposals in hand.
"The bill drafters have been unable to deliver to us today all the bill drafts that have been requested by individual senators," he said. "As a result, we will be adopting later today a resolution extending the time for introduction of bills by individual senators until Friday."
Nearly all members of both the Senate and Assembly asked say they are still awaiting their legislative proposals. Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, said she hasn't received any of her bills in the past week. Assemblyman Bob McCleary, D-Las Vegas, said he too was awaiting bills, as did Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas. But the problem wasn't a partisan one. Republican Senators Maurice Washington and Warren Hardy both said they are waiting for drafts.
Both Senate and Assembly deadlines will be moved back five days. Raggio didn't say whether this would force them to also move next Monday's deadline -- the last day to introduce committee bills. Many of those proposals remain to be drafted as well because staff has been focusing first on requests from individual lawmakers.
Leadership says a combination of problems caused the backlog in legal -- not the least of which was a month spent on the legal issues surrounding the impeachment of Controller Kathy Augustine. Lawmakers took most of the last two Fridays off to let legal staff catch up but, according to Raggio, it wasn't enough time.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.