Assembly votes to allow lawmakers to convene special sessions

The Assembly Tuesday voted for a resolution that would allow lawmakers to convene a special session of the Legislature.

Under the existing constitution, only the governor can call a special session. He also has the power to restrict the topics lawmakers can deal with in special session.

AJR5 would allow lawmakers to call themselves into special session using a petition signed by at least two-thirds of each house and to set their own agenda for that special session.

Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, said the recent case of Illinois Gov. Rod  Blagojevich is a good reason for making the change.

"If we had a governor who tried to sell a Senate seat as happened in Illinois, we could not impeach that governor. He would not call a special session to impeach himself," he said.

Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, led the Republican opposition to the proposed amendment, saying he would support a change if it was limited to just cases addressing impeachment but that allowing lawmakers to call a session any time is too broad.

AJR5 passed the Assembly 28-13. If it passes the Senate, it must again go through the legislative process in 2011 before being submitted to the voters for their approval.

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