CARSON CITY -- Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, might have said it best.
She told her colleagues that someday they could tell their grandchildren that they were part of the Legislature in 2009 when history was made.
The Legislature won't be remembered only as the session in which legislators raised taxes by $1 billion and overrode a record number of vetoes by Gov. Jim Gibbons. This was also the historical session in which lawmakers passed bills supporting rights for gays and lesbians.
Not only did legislators override Gibbons' veto of the bill establishing same- and opposite-sex domestic partnership, they overwhelmingly passed a law prohibiting discrimination against gays and others in places of public accommodations, such as hotels, bars and restaurants.
Gibbons did not hesitate to back the anti-discrimination bill. "It is a basic Nevada freedom for all people to be free for any reason, including their sexual orientation," he said.
The domestic partnership law, which goes into effect Oct. 1, might be the single piece of legislation for which the 2009 session will be most remembered.
Within minutes of the override vote Sunday, gay community leaders were predicting that thousands of same-sex couples would sign a registry with the secretary of state's office that gives them many of the same rights and responsibilities as married couples.
Harrah's Entertainment had lobbied legislators to override the veto, contending Las Vegas might lose the business of gays and lesbians if they did not.
Leslie said Monday she received 600 e-mails from gay people thanking her for voting for the override. "Many of them were quite concrete on how it would help them get their kids on insurance and not having to worry about hospital visitation," she added. "They feel respected and valued for the first time. It changes things forever."
The session had other milestones. Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said he will remember the session as the one during which Nevada positioned itself as the nation's leader in renewable energy. He noted that legislators passed bills, including one from Gibbons, to spur development of solar, geothermal and wind facilities in Nevada.
One will create a state energy czar to go out and recruit renewable energy companies. Another will provide some tax incentives for companies that build in Nevada. Still another will require utilities to purchase more power from renewable sources.
"Everyone is coming to look at Nevada," Schneider said. "We truly will lead the nation."
Southern Nevada's hepatitis outbreak was not forgotten at the session. Endoscopy centers and some doctors' offices will be required to submit to annual state inspections. Changes will be made to the Board of Medical Examiners to ensure that members do not have conflicts of interests with doctors undergoing investigations.
"Hopefully, we will help restore confidence in our health care system," Leslie said.
Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas, will remember the session as the last one before legislators would be ousted by term limits.
Seventeen legislators, including Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, finished their last regular session Monday in Carson City. Under a constitutional amendment, they cannot serve more than 12 years in either the Senate or Assembly.
Hardy added he will remember 2009 as a bipartisan session, probably because there was not a lot of money to spend.
"Except for a couple of blowups in the end, it was the most bipartisan session I can remember," he said.