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Bill calling for annual Nevada legislative session clears key Senate panel

CARSON CITY — A resolution that would ask voters in 2016 to amend the state constitution to allow annual sessions of the Legislature won a critical vote in a Senate committee Thursday.

Senate Joint Resolution 8, approved by lawmakers in the 2013 session, needs to pass the 2015 session as well before voters could weigh in on the issue.

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, who has argued that Nevada is a big state with complex problems that no longer can afford a Legislature that meets only every other year.

The constitution now requires the Legislature to meet every other year for no more than 120 days.

The resolution proposes to change the state constitution to allow limited annual sessions of 90 legislative days in odd-numbered years and 30 legislative days in even-numbered years.

The resolution won approval with the support of Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Chairwoman Sen. Patricia Farley, R-Las Vegas.

Farley said she supported the measure to continue the discussion on whether annual sessions would be a good idea, but she reserved her right to change her vote on the Senate floor. Farley said she is doing more research on the issue, but noted that other branches of government function full time.

The measure would also have to win approval from the Assembly.

Ultimately voters would decide whether to make the change, she said.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Find him on Twitter: @seaw801.

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