IT’S OVER: 2009 Legislature closes with rough landing |

IT’S OVER: 2009 Legislature closes with rough landing

Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, applauds during a ceremony to celebrate the legislative staff in the Senate Chambers on Monday.

The 2009 session of the Nevada Legislature is history.

But it died an ugly death in a disjointed, disorganized process that ignored the traditional formalities of adjournment.

The Assembly adjourned the 120 day session at 11:56 p.m. without formally notifying the Senate after the committee sent to do so was not allowed into the Senate Chambers to make the announcement.

Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, adjourned and her members left the building.

Her committee headed by Assemblyman Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks, was finally brought to the Senate floor 15 minutes later. At that point, Anderson announced that the Assembly had “already sine die’d.”

Obviously annoyed, he told the Senate they appeared “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 they still had unfinished business and argued 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, meeting assembly members leaving the chamber as they arrived to give notice.

“We notified an adjourned Assembly that we were ready to sine die,” she said.

Sen. Allison Copening, D-Las Vegas, reported a more normal result in advising the governor’s office, which was staffed and ready to receive that announcement.

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.