Legislature enters final day
The 2009 Legislature enters its final day today with nearly all the heavy lifting completed.
In most sessions, the final day is spent trying to complete the budget package. This year, however, with Gov. Jim Gibbons promising to veto not only any tax and revenue increases but the budget built on those increases, they finished a week early so that the Legislature would still be legally in session five days later to override those vetoes.
Gibbons went well beyond vetoing just the budget, nixing some 40 pieces of legislation. Lawmakers spent most of Sunday overriding those vetoes ” 22 of them in all.
Most of today will be spent attempting to wrap up conference committee meetings on a variety of bills in which the Senate and Assembly have approved different versions.
There are about 20 of those conference committees.
Under the constitution, they must adjourn by the end of today ” the 120th day.
The Assembly starts today with a floor session at 9 a.m. Senators will gather in the Senate Finance Committee to review changes to the legislation implementing the Real ID Act.
In addition, legislation implementing changes to Nevada’s initiative petition process must be handled by the Assembly. The existing process, which requires collecting a certain number of signatures in all 17 counties, has been thrown out by the courts.
The new bill does, essentially, what a federal judge had recommended several years ago: Requiring a certain number of signatures be collected in each of the state’s congressional districts in order to qualify a question for the ballot.
Beyond that, the Senate hasn’t yet acted on Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley’s bill creating a Rainy Day Fund for K-2 education and the Assembly hasn’t acted on legislation allowing the Washoe County Commission to raise fuel taxes to provide money for road and street projects.