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NV Leg raises concerns with recent unusual, brutal hours

Video Credit: KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas
Published on August 21, 2020 - Duration: 05:18s

NV Leg raises concerns with recent unusual, brutal hours

The Nevada Legislature wrapped up a second and controversial special session in August and conducted some of the most sensitive and pressing business well after business hours.

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NV Leg raises concerns with recent unusual, brutal hours

SESSION EARLIER THIS MONTH...SOME OF THE MOST SENSITIVEDECISIONS AFFECTING YOU ..HAPPENED IN THE WEE HOURS OFTHE MORNING.GOOD EVENING...I'M TODD QUINONES.AND I'M TRICIA KEAN!

WHY ISSO MUCH HAPPENING....WHEN NOBODY'S AROUND....TO WATCH?

13 INVESTIGATESREPORTER...JOE BARTELS DIGS DEEPER....INTO WHAT HAPPENS....IN THE NEVADA LEGISLATURE....AFTER DARK.THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HASCHANGED HOW WE DO EVERYTHING...THAT HOLDS TRUE FOR OURLEGISLATURE..NO IN PERSON TESTIMONY WASALLOWED IN THE MOST RECENTSPECIAL SESSION AND ALL OFIT...CONDUCTED REMOTELY..FOR THE PUBLIC TO WATCH FROMAFAR BUT SOME OF THE WORKHAPPENED..WHILE MOST OF US WERE..ASLEEP...LATE NIGHTS AT THELEGISLATURE...63 LAWMAKERS...CALLED TO THE NEVADACAPITOL..FOR BACK TO BACKSPECIAL SESSIONS...JUST DAYS APART TO TACKLE..A FLURRY OF EMERGECYISSUES...FROM A BILLION DOLLAR BUDGETHOLE...CAUSED BY THECORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWNSTO QUELLING CIVIL UNREST OVERRACIAL INEQUALITY...THAT LEAD TO PROTESTS ANDRIOTS...OVER POLICE REFORMS..AND GRAPPLING WITH THE COVID-19PANDEMIC..PUTTNG WORKERS AT RISK..JUST TO NAME A FEW.."MY MAJOR CONCERN IS THAT PARTOF DEMOCRACY IS HAVING OPENDISCUSSION AND SOMETIMESCONFLICTING CONVERSATION ANDTHAT'S A CRITICAL PART ISGETTING OTHER PEOPLES INPUT." TOM BURNS..IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD..FOR THE LAS VEGAS CHAMBER OFCOMMERCE..HE QUESTIONS..WHY LEGISLATORS..BURNED THE MIDNIGHT OIL...IN MARATHON SESSIONS..SOMETIMESLASTING UNTIL NEARLY 3 AM...THAT WERE NOT OPEN TO THEPUBLIC TO ATTEND IN PERSON.."WE HAVE TO BE TRANSPARENT ANDWE HAVE TO GIVE THE REST OF THECITIZENS A CHANCE TO HAVEAM FOR A NEARLY 13 AND HALFHOUR DAY..DAY TWO..TOTALED ALMOST 9 HOURS..DAY 3...A LITTLE MORE THAN 13 HOURS...GAVEL TO GAVEL..ON DAY 4..WHEN THE BILL THAT WOULDPROTECT HOSPITALITILY WORKERS..WITH SPECIFIC STATE LAWCLEANING REGIMENS.AND PROTECT MANY NEVADABUSINESSES..WITH LIABILITY PROTECTIONS..FROM COVID-19..WHILE EXCLUDING..HOSPITALS..PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND NON-PROFITS..."LETS TAKE PUBLIC COMMENT"PUBLIC COMMENT..WASN'T TAKEN UNTIL..SIMPLY AREN'T AWAKE..

TO WATCH.OR GIVE INPUT."WHETHER IT'S INTENT OR NOT,THE APPEARANCE IS THEY ARETRYING TO KEEP DISSENTINGTESTIFY..BUT ENDED UP..SUBMITTING WRITTEN COMMENTSINSTEAD..THE BILL WAS EVENTUALLYPASSED..DAY 4 OF THE SESSION WRAPPED UPAT 2:50 IN THE MORNING....THE WORK..EVEN EARNING THE HASHTAG..NV-LEG-AFTER DARK ON TWITTER..BY JOURNALISTS AND OTHERSFOLLOWING ALONG WITH THEUNUSUAL AND BRUTAL HOURSLAWMAKERS SAY..THE LONG LEGISLATIVE NIGHTS..COME WITH THE TERRITORY"IT'S NOT LIKE WE STARTED THESESSION AT ONE IN THE MORNINGJUSTO TAKEPUBLIC COMMENT BY THE TIME WEGOT TO PUBLIC COMMENT WE HAVEBEEN IN SESSIONFOR MANY MANY HOURS AND RATHERTHAN STOP AND TRY AND START UPAGAIN THE NEXT DAY WE CONTINUEDON SO THAT THE PEOPLE THAT HAVEBEEN LISTENING IN TO THE WHOLEPROCESS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TODELIVER COMMENT ON THATPROCESS." NEVADA SENATEPRESIDENT PRO TEM..

MO DENIS..CRISIS."WHEN YOU DO SPECIAL SESSIONSGET THAT DONE AS QUICKLY ASPOSSIBLE THE LONGER HOURSFACILITATES US TO GET THAT DONEQUICKLY." NEVADA IS ANOUTLIER..WHEN IT COMES TO HOW THELEGISLATURE IS STRUCTURED..ONLY MEETING EVERY OTHER ODDNUMBERED YEAR..LESS THAN A HANDFUL OF STATESDO BUSINESS THIS WAY...AND IT DATES BACK..TO THE 1860S"IT'S PROBABLY A RELIC OF USBEING A VERY SMALL STATE ANDTHERE WAS A LITTLE TRENDINESSAT THE TIME OUR CONSTITUTIONWAS DRAWN UP THAT WE WANTED TOMAKE SURE THAT LEGISLATURE WERESTAFFED BY "THE PEOPLE."REBECCA GILL..IS AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ATU-N-L-V..SHE SAYS NEVADA'S CONSTITUTIONSPELLS OUT..HOW THE LEGISLATURE MEETS..SHE BELIEVES THE SYSTEM ISANTIQUE AT BEST."I THINK THIS IS A TERRIBLE WAYTO DO IT.AND THIS IS NOT JUST A PROBLEMWITH A SPECIAL SESSION YOU HAVESO MUCH THAT HAVE TO GET DONEDURING A LEGISLATIVE SESSIONTHAT THESE FOLKS ARE DOING ALOT OF THE WORK WELL BEFORE THESESSION STARTS." LAWMAKERS HAVE CONSIDEREDMEETING MORE OFTEN..BUT THE MEASURE HAS COME UP ANDFOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER..BUT FAILED TO GO ANYWHERE.."AS THE STATE GETS BIGGER ANDTHE STATE HAS BIGGER NEEDS THEISSUE OF WHETHER WE SHOULD MEETANNUALLY ALWAYS COMES UP." ACHANGE WOULD REQUIRE..MULTIPLE VOTES..OVER MULTIPLE YEARS..TO CHANGE THE NEVADACONSTIUTION..PLUS COME UP WITH THE CASH TOFUND THE OPERATION..SOMETHING THE STATE..RIGHT NOW..SIMPLY..

DOESN'T HAVE THE CASHTO DO.UNTIL THEN..WE'LL HAVE TO WATCH WHATHAPPENS IN THE NEVADALEGISLATURE AFTER DARK.THE NUMBER OF SPECIALSESSIONS..HAS JUMPED SINCE THE 1990'S..THAT'S THE SAME TIME..NEVADA'S POPULATION BEGAN TOEXPLODE..JOE BARTELS 13 INVESTIGATES."SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT."THAT'S ON

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