Assembly overrides veto on consultant bill

CARSON CITY — Just five days after Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly resigned a temporary state consulting job, the Assembly on a 41-0 vote today overrode a veto by Gov. Jim Gibbons of a bill to give the Legislature control over hiring of temporary and other executive branch employees.

In overriding Gibbons’ veto of Assembly Bill 463, Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said it is incidents like the Weekly hiring that prompted the need for the bill.

“We just saw what happened,” she said. “Do we just tell our constituents we were just kidding about hiring these kind of consultants?”

Under the bill, the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee would have to approve consultants hired through temporary employment agencies. The committee must be given a name of qualified employees chosen through a bidding process.

During a Wednesday hearing, Larry Mosley, the director of the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, announced that Weekly had resigned a day earlier from part-time job as an outreach coordinator for a green initiative work program his agency was developing. Estimates are he would have been paid $48 to $55 an hour for the work.

In vetoing the bill, Gibbons said giving the Interim Finance Committee “the right to oversee, approve or reject employment in the executive branch of government is an unwarranted encroachment on the autonomy of the executive branch and flies in the separation of powers doctrine in the Nevada Constitution.”

The Senate still must override the veto for the bill to become law.