CARSON CITY — As the Legislature’s Sunset Subcommittee questioned state officials on Monday, Assemblyman Richard Daly asked why eight legislatively approved committees seldom, if ever, meet.
“Somebody once thought it was important,” said Daly, D-Sparks, about a committee that has not met since 2001. “I don’t see how it just gets stopped being appointed?”
The answer he and other members of the Legislature’s Sunset Subcommittee received: there isn’t enough money to support some advisory committees, said Christine Mackie, chief of the Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness.
“As our funding source was cut, we began to cut back on our activities as well,” she said.
She made those comments in response to questions on the inactive Advisory Committee for Arthritis Prevention and Control Program. But her answer could have applied to several of the entities discussed by the Sunset Committee.
“There are things we need to do if we had the money,” said Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas. “But we don’t have the money to support them.”
Mackie said the the arthritis board could be abolished and its functions rolled over to another committee.
The Sunset Subcommittee was established by the Legislature in 2011 to review state boards and committees and whether they should be abolished or relaunched. Action on the committees’s recommendations is expected during the 2015 Legislature.
Information that came as a surprise to committee members Monday was that the governor or Legislature usually was directed to appoint members of these inactive boards, but just stopped making them. There is so little oversight of these committees that until legislative staff did its research, nothing was known about their current activities.
Officials acknowledged Monday that the Advisory Board of Water Resources Planning and Development has not met since 2001. This committee, established in 1989, was directed to develop a state water plan. That requirement, however, was eliminated in 2005.
Another board, the Nevada Academy of Health, hasn’t met since 2009.
The Rural Advisory Board to Expedite Proceedings for the Placement of Children, created by Assembly Speaker Joe Dini, D-Yerington, has not met since at least 2001, if ever. Legislative staff recommended its abolition.
And the Advisory Committee for Prevention and Treatment of Stroke and Heart Disease, created by Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, also has no record of holding meetings. Its abolition also was recommended by legislative staff.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901. Follow him on Twitter at @edisonvogel.