Nevada Legislature: Initiative petition sent to Assembly floor without recommendation

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday voted to move ballot questions that would mandate background checks for gun buyers and legalize marijuana to the floor for a vote.

The decision came after Chairman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, said it was his intention to send the questions to the floor without recommendation and allow leadership to decide what to do with them.

The committee did so without comment by any of the members.

The Assembly is expected to vote on the measures Tuesday.

“The clock’s ticking,” Assembly Speaker John Hambrick said.

Both ballot questions were sent to the Legislature after supporters raised enough signatures asking lawmakers to approve the proposed statutory changes.

Nevada’s Initiative Petition law states that, if lawmakers refuse to act, the measures go to a vote of the people at the next general election.

Lawmakers also have the option of proposing an alternative to the proposed statute in which case both measures go to a public vote with the one receiving the most votes becoming law.

Initiative Petition 1 would legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, and Initiative Petition 2 would require background checks on certain firearm purchases. Both measures met the required petition signing numbers in December.

The Legislature has 40 days from the start of the 120-day session to pass the initiatives. If they don’t, the initiatives are automatically placed on the 2016 ballot.


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