CARSON CITY — A bill aimed at reducing the need for judges to raise campaign funds passed the Senate on Tuesday and goes to the governor.
Assembly Bill 505, which would change the time line for judicial candidates to file for office, passed the Senate on a unanimous vote. The bill, sought by the Supreme Court, won unanimous support from the Assembly earlier this year.
Under the bill, candidates for Supreme Court, District Court and lower court judicial positions except for municipal court judges would have to file for office during the first two weeks in January. They now file during two weeks in May with the candidates for other elective offices.
In March, Justice Mark Gibbons testified that if the filing deadline were moved to January, the court would modify the canons of judicial ethics to prevent candidates who did not draw any opponents from soliciting contributions.
In last year’s election, 60 percent of judicial candidates ran unopposed, he said.
Because the filing period has been in May, just three months before the primary , Gibbons said judges typically begin asking for contributions early in the year on the assumption they will draw opponents.
“Judges have been interested in reform for years,” Gibbons said. “This is a huge first step.”2007 Nevada Legislature