What was the 2022 Nevada legislative session?
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Well, that was weird.
Nevada’s 2021 legislative session ended on Remembrance Day and, true to pandemic form, it was the strangest session we have ever seen.
When opening day arrived in February and the Senate and Assembly gave in to begin their 120-day journey, we weren’t there to see it. We watched from our laptops at home. Only lawmakers, staff and a few members of the media were allowed in, were allowed to personally interact with each other. Lobbyists were not allowed to be in the lobby. Or the hallways. Or lawmakers’ offices or committee rooms where bills are publicly discussed and debated.
Previously, most of the business of the Legislative Assembly was not done behind closed doors in committee rooms or on the floors of the Assembly or Senate, it was done through personal conversations with lawmakers, voters. , interest groups and… lobbyists. And if it was difficult to schedule a meeting with a legislator, we could wait for them outside their office, or outside a committee room, or wait for a brisk wing-style walk. west as they rush from their upstairs office. session.
This year? We could certainly always text or call the lawmakers we have a good relationship with (which is an integral part of our job). Otherwise, we ended up with scheduling a Zoom meeting through their attaché. And if they can’t find a place for you on their calendar, you’re out of luck. You wouldn’t be able to find them anyway.
What about those hearings where the formal work is done and where we are supposed to record the thoughts and concerns of our clients? We were given two minutes of verbal testimony over the phone.
That being said, there are certainly some positives that came out of this session. Nevadans statewide (or anywhere in the world) will be able to compose or zoom in to testify in legislative hearings. The hybrid approach is here to stay and can certainly save time, money, and miles for those (most of the state) who aren’t near Carson City. It definitely opens up our seat of government to normal people, not just those who are paid to be there.
Major political issues were introduced, debated and adopted a few days before the end of the session. Although we were told it would be a session focused specifically on money matters, they didn’t skip a beat!
Lawmakers have addressed landlord-tenant issues, affordable housing (and how to finance it), ‘ghost guns’, employer sick leave requirements and more:
► An agreement to increase the mining tax was unveiled and adopted.
► A “public option” health insurance plan has been set up, heard and voted on.
► A bill that requires our resort industry to rehire laid-off workers in a specified way (coming dangerously close to creating a right to work in a certain location) has been passed.
► Nevada’s per-student funding has been improved with a new funding formula.
► Our employers have been spared an unemployment tax increase thanks to the use of federal stimulus dollars.
If you attend the NCET Biz Bite event on July 28, you will be able to learn all about these issues and more from me and my good friend and fellow lobbyist Lindsay Knox with McDonald Carano.
Find out what happened in the Nevada Legislature this year during NCET’s Virtual Biz Bite on July 28. NCET is a member-backed, non-profit organization that hosts educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. More information on www.NCETbite.org.
Tray Abney is a partner of the Abney Tauchen Group (www.abneytauchen.com), which offers a wide range of services to help navigate Nevada’s complex political landscape.