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Nevada Senate OKs plan to change Board of Regents

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate approved a proposal Thursday to take the Board of Regents out of the state constitution and put the board’s legal authority in state law and under the direction of the Legislature.

Assembly Joint Resolution 5 was approved on an 18-2 vote, with Republican Sens. Heidi Gansert of Reno and Don Gustavson of Sparks opposed. Gansert, who works as an executive assistant to the president of UNR, disclosed her employment before voting and said LCB legal counsel advised that her job did not present a conflict.

It now goes back to the Assembly to consider an amendment added by the upper chamber. The Assembly passed it earlier on a vote of 38-4.

The measure would have to pass the Legislature this year and again in 2019 before going to voters in 2020 for ratification.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Elliot Anderson, D-Las Vegas, and Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, AJR5 would remove references to the Board of Regents from the Constitution.

Anderson said the change would bring higher education governance into the modern and make the board more accountable to the Legislature. The proposal follows reports that higher education officials stymied efforts by an interim legislative committee in 2012 to redo the higher education funding formula.

The Board of Regents would still exist and continue to be elected.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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