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Frierson named to lead Nevada Legislative Commission

CARSON CITY — Members of the Legislative Commission voted Friday to make Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, the chairman of the panel for the coming two years.

The panel, made up of 12 lawmakers, picked Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno, as vice chairwoman.

Democratic lawmakers have set a precedent this session with the appointment of Sen. Patricia Farley of Las Vegas, an independent, to a seat on the commission.

Traditionally the bicameral commission is comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats. Farley is a former Republican who has caucused with Democrats this session. The appointment tips the balance of power on a panel that is typically evenly divided between the two major parties.

Senate Republicans cried foul Tuesday when the Democratic majority picked Farley, ousting Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson.

In addition to Farley, the Senate members include Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas; Assistant Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas; President Pro Tempore Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas; Assistant Minority Leader Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno; and Co-Minority Whip Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas.

“I think this is a sad day for this body and this institution,” Kieckhefer said on the Senate floor when the appointments were announced.

The Assembly members also include Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, Jim Wheeler, R-Gardnerville, Minority Leader Paul Anderson, R-Las Vegas, and Keith Pickard, R-Henderson.

The commission conducts legislative business in between sessions, including reviewing and approving regulations adopted by state agencies and making appointments to various interim committees and panels.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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