Nevada needs 5 new lawmakers with special session possible

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LAS VEGAS — Nevada could have five new lawmakers this week as county-level leaders fill vacancies in preparation for a possible special legislative session.

The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee recommended last week that lawmakers raise the hotel tax in the Las Vegas area to help fund an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center and an NFL stadium that could someday be home to the Raiders.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has said he is reviewing the recommendations, and he could call lawmakers into a special session in coming weeks. He requested last week that the handful of empty spots in the 63-seat Legislature be formally declared vacant. The terms of the new lawmakers will last only until the November election.

“There is no indication as to if or when the Governor might call a special legislative session, but we will do our part to fulfill our legal obligation to fill these seats as requested by Governor Sandoval,” Washoe County Commission Chair Kitty Jung said Monday.

The Clark County Commission is meeting Wednesday morning to appoint replacements for Democratic former Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who left the Legislature for a seat on the commission, and Republican former Assemblyman Erv Nelson. Nelson left his seat during an unsuccessful bid for state Senate in a nearby district.

The Washoe County Commission is meeting Thursday afternoon to appoint replacements for Republican former Sen. Greg Brower, who resigned to take a job in Washington D.C., and Democratic former state Sen. Debbie Smith. Smith died in February after a battle with cancer.

Washoe County commissioners will also name a replacement for Republican former Assemblyman Pat Hickey, who left his post for a seat on the Nevada State Board of Education.

The new lawmakers must belong to the same party as their predecessors.


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