End of Legislature lands with a thud
The 2009 session of the Nevada Legislature ended in a disjointed, disorganized process that ignored the traditional formalities of adjournment.
The Assembly adjourned the 120 day session at 11:56 p.m. Monday without formally notifying the Senate. That happened after the committee sent to do so was not allowed into the Senate Chambers to make the announcement.
When told, Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, adjourned sine die ” Latin for indefinitely ” and Assembly members left the building.
Her committee, headed by Assemblyman Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks, was finally brought to the Senate floor 15 minutes later. Obviously annoyed, he told the Senate they came to the floor “to show you the respect of reappearing here for the third time.”
Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, moved to follow suit but Senate Secretary Claire Clift said the committees sent to notify the governor and Assembly had to return before he could do so.
He continued with unfinished business, processing several more conference committee reports before the floor session again stalled as the clock moved past 12:15 a.m.
Sen. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, told the body the committee had a strange experience: “We notified an adjourned Assembly that we were ready to sine die.”
The Senate finally adjourned at 12:25 a.m.
“This wasn’t exactly a soft landing, was it,” said Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas.
The 30 minute difference between when the two houses adjourned raised questions whether any of the actions Horsford took after the Assembly had called it quits were valid. Legislative Counsel bureau Director Lorne Malkiewich said that wouldn’t be a problem legally.