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Longtime assemblyman Arberry resigns

CARSON CITY — Assemblyman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, has resigned from the Legislature and may become a legislative lobbyist for the district and justice court system in Clark County.

Arberry, 57, submitted his resignation Tuesday to Gov. Jim Gibbons, effective immediately. He expressed his gratitude for being able to represent the people of Assembly District 7 for 25 years.

Arberry was prohibited by the term-limits constitutional amendment from seeking another term, and under state law whoever wins the Nov. 2 race for his seat immediately becomes his replacement. A replacement, however, would not be necessary unless the Legislature meets in a special session before the next regular session convenes in February.

Arberry could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Lorne Malkiewich, the administrator of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said there is no law that prevents former legislators from serving immediately as legislative lobbyists.

The court system in Clark County will ask the County Commission next week to approve a contract with Titan Partners for up to $10,000 per month from September 2010 through June 2011 for lobbying and consulting services. Titan would be paid up to $2,000 a month from July 2011 through June 2012 and an additional $400 per day for any special session during that time.

Arberry incorporated Titan Partners on June 21 and is listed in the secretary of state’s records as manager and sole owner of the company.

More than a dozen former legislators work as legislative lobbyists.

Since 1997, Arberry has been known as the even-tempered chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, which reviews and approves state agency spending. He also repeatedly has chaired the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee, the group of 21 legislators that makes decisions on state spending between the regular legislative sessions. He also has been a member of the Assembly Taxation Committee.

Democrat Dina Neal and Republican Geraldine Lewis are running for Arberry’s seat. Neal is the daughter of retired state Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas.

 

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