Hickey: Clarify open-meeting law | NevadaAppeal.com

Hickey: Clarify open-meeting law

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey has requested legislation to clarify that all legislative interim committees must follow the Nevada open-meeting law.

“The Legislature is exempt when we’re in session, but during the interim, we are technically not in session,” said Hickey, R-Reno.

He said outgoing Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Lorne Malkiewich made it the policy to follow the open-meeting law during the interim.

“But with his departure, now seems like a good time to put it into law,” Hickey said. Malkiewich is leaving state government to work for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Reno.

For most of each session, lawmakers have made it their policy to follow the law.

Hickey said open government should always be the Legislature’s goal.

Barry Smith of the Nevada Press Association said he supports Hickey’s plan.

“I think it’s a needed clarification,” he said.

Smith said there’s an opportunity to adopt some clarifications to ensure more openness during the regular legislative sessions as well.

He said one step would be to have both houses formally adopt open-meeting regulations before each session, which would give the public a chance to know the rules and comment on them. He said that at the end of session, three days’ notice for committee and other meetings is impossible – but maybe the end of session could function giving 12 hours’ notice.

He said some of those issues are being looked at by the attorney general’s open-meeting task force.