Nevada Assembly GOP wants governor’s emergency powers reduced
Assembly Republicans say they will push several bills to dramatically reduce the governor’s power to impose emergency directives closing down businesses and restricting people from various activities.
“After eight months of contradicting directives, massive budget cuts, thousands of Nevada business closures and even more of our hard-working citizens on unemployment, far too many Nevadans head into the holiday season with a sense of hopelessness,” they said in a statement.
They charged that the power wielded by Sisolak exceeds his responsibility to keep citizens healthy and safe. They argued that Sisolak’s actions have spilled over into legislative branch territory, infringing on the separation of powers. In a statement issued by the Assembly Republican Caucus, they said they will make it a priority to restore checks and balances to Nevada’s government.
Minority Leader Robin Titus, R-Wellington, said the governor’s emergency powers must be reined in. She said his ability to micro-manage the state is too restrictive and inconsistent even bumping up against the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search and seizure by limiting parties in private homes.
Assemblyman Andy Matthews of Las Vegas said his new directives are arbitrary, mutually contradictory and unenforceable and will do nothing to slow the spread of the virus.
GOP members have so far submitted three bill draft requests that would limit the duration of any declaration of disaster by the governor, require a two-thirds vote by both legislative houses to extend any declaration of emergency beyond 30 days and prohibit agencies and boards from adopting restrictions that exceed those imposed by the governor.
The chances of getting those measures through the Legislature are severely limited by the fact that members of the governor’s party, Democrats, control both the Assembly and Senate. The Republicans would need a significant number of Democrats to join them just to pass the bills. Even then, it’s highly unlikely the GOP could muster the two-thirds majorities needed to overturn a governor’s veto of those bills.