Nevada lawmakers considering new computers |

Nevada lawmakers considering new computers

The Nevada Legislature will buy new IBM laptop computers if leadership approves the $150,000 total purchase price.

The new machines are $200 apiece more than the first choice of the information technology subcommittee.

But Gateway, manufacturer of those machines, couldn’t guarantee they would be compatible with a new wireless system in the Legislature and wanted a guarantee lawmakers would buy 100 of the machines.

Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said that left the IBM machines which, although $1,500 apiece, meet all technical requirements and can be delivered on time in any quantity lawmakers choose.

According to Malkiewich, they also have the advantage of being the same brand with similar layout and operation as the existing laptops – as well as being rated as very durable.

They would replace machines which are now four years old. Some are breaking down, and more repair problems are expected. And they need to be upgraded to handle new software designed to provide lawmakers with their budgets, legislation and other materials, as well as upgraded to use the new, more secure wireless system in the Legislature.

Malkiewich said whether the new machines are ordered depends on legislative leaders. Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, has raised questions about the necessity of new machines, saying too many lawmakers spend too much time during committee meetings and on the floor playing games, e-mailing each other and lobbyists instead of working.

It will be up to Raggio, Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, and other members of leadership whether to order the machines. Many – especially younger and more computer literate members of the Legislature – rely heavily on the machines.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.