Lawmakers provide late night relief

During every session of the Nevada Legislature, our state’s lawmakers appear to spend more time trying to propose and debate frivolous bills rather than center their energy on important legislation that is good for the entire state.

From legislation trying to levy additional taxes on “fat food” to penalizing pedestrians who use a cellphone in the crosswalk baffles our mind.

Then, an Assembly debate stamps out any debate on whether or not college students can carry a concealed weapon on campus.

Who needs to watch the late-night comedians when some members of the Legislature do a good job of lampooning themselves and the institution they represent.

The latest salvo fired from the Legislature’s Carson City fortress centers on annual legislative sessions. By an 11-10 vote in the Nevada state Senate, lawmakers approved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for annual sessions and increase pay by 50 percent.

If the Assembly approves the same measure, which we hope they don’t, then the Legislature must vote on the proposal again in 2015 and then it goes to the voters in 2016. Furthermore, the proposal calls for odd-year sessions to be held in Carson City for 90 days. Combined with a 30-day even-year session, lawmakers are still meeting for 120 days, something they do now. The measure would also pay the lawmakers for each day they work.

In calling for annual sessions, however, a group of lawmakers would like to see the even-year session held in Las Vegas rather than Carson City. Said Sen. Tick Segerbloom, a Democrat from Las Vegas, the intent is to have the southern Nevada residents see the Legislature in action for a week or two.

We beg to differ. This seems like a ruse to wrangle the Legislature from Carson City to Las Vegas in the even years. Countered another Las Vegas politician, Republican Sen. Barbara Cegavaske, “This is the capital, and this is where we should be voting.”

We couldn’t agree more with Cegavaske and the nine other senators who voted against the proposal. Northern Nevada and especially the rural counties have lost their voice to the whims of Las Vegas politicians who feel emboldened to rule the Silver State.

If lawmakers feel annual sessions must be held, then fine. Work out the details, but the annual sessions must stay in Carson City. We need to remind Mr. Segerbloom and his fellow lawmakers who voted with him that the constitution designated Carson City as the state’s capital almost 150 years ago. We hope the Assembly turns back the proposal.

Editorials written by the LVN Editorial Board appear on Wednesdays.


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