Nevada Legislature: Democrats have 11-10 margin in Senate | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Legislature: Democrats have 11-10 margin in Senate

SANDRA CHEREB
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Democrats retained control of both chambers of the Nevada Legislature on Tuesday but lost ground to Republicans in the Senate and surrendered their supermajority in the Assembly.

Democratic Sen. Joyce Woodhouse of Las Vegas was defeated by Republican Michael Roberson, giving Democrats a narrow 11-10 margin in the state Senate.

In the Assembly, Republicans picked up two seats.

Mark Sherwood of Las Vegas defeated incumbent Democratic Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, and Pete Livermore, a Carson City supervisor, won a seat previously held by Democrat Bonnie Parnell, who did not seek re-election.

Assembly Democrats will now have a 26-16 majority when the 2011 Legislature convenes in February.

That’s two shy of the two-thirds margin needed to pass any tax increases and override a veto from the governor that they enjoyed last year.

Term limits ensure that next year’s Legislature will include a large class of rookies, adding to the challenges faced by lawmakers who will tackle a budget shortfall projected by some at $3 billion – about half the state’s general fund budget.

Lawmakers also must deal with the political hot potato of reapportionment – the redrawing of legislative districts required every 10 years based on U.S. Census data.