Posts Tagged ‘Lorne Malkiewich’

Richard Combs Named New Director Of Legislative Counsel Bureau

By Sean Whaley | 11:18 am May 30th, 2012

CARSON CITYRichard Combs, most recently an Assembly fiscal analyst and member of the Legislative Counsel Bureau staff since 1994, was unanimously supported today by the Legislative Commission as the new director of the agency.

Combs was also the unanimous choice of the Committee to Consult with the Director, which earlier this month interviewed five finalists for the position.

“It was kind of difficult when you get down to the end because any one of them could have done a great job,” said Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the committee that conducted the interviews. “But I appreciate the committee coming together. It was a unanimous vote.”

New LCB Director Richard Combs.

Denis said Combs has been great to work with on the fiscal side of the agency, and should do equally well as the new director.

Thirty-eight people applied for the job and five, including four employees within the Legislative Counsel Bureau, were interviewed.

Combs succeeds Lorne Malkiewich, who retired as director of the LCB in early April after serving in the position for more than 18 years. The position pays $138,000 a year.

Combs expressed his appreciation to lawmakers for the way they handled the selection process, which was conducted in public.

“Our first order of business is just going to be making sure that the level of service that you have become accustomed to continues for the 2013 session,” he said. “Notwithstanding the retirement of Mr. Malkiewich and my appointment, we’re going to work to make sure that that continues. We do have a few challenges that we’re facing with turnover as has been mentioned. But as Mr. (Assemblyman Marcus) Conklin said I’m very confident that we have talented and dedicated people in the bureau who are willing to step up and fill those roles.”


Audio clips:

Sen. Mo Denis says any of the five finalists could have done a great job as director of the LCB:

053012Denis :22 other side, so.”

New Director Richard Combs says his first order of business is to ensure the high level of service by LCB staff continues in the 2013 session:

053012Combs :28 fill those roles.”


Finalists Named For Legislative Counsel Bureau Director

By Sean Whaley | 11:45 am May 14th, 2012

CARSON CITYFive finalists, including four current staff with the Nevada Legislature’s Legislative Counsel Bureau, are seeking the position of director of the agency.

Paul Townsend, currently the legislative auditor and a member of the LCB staff since 1987; Kevin Powers, chief litigation counsel and a member of the LCB staff since 1996; Richard Combs, currently an Assembly fiscal analyst and member of the LCB staff since 1994; and Nicolas Anthony, currently senior principal deputy legislative counsel and a member of the LCB staff since 2008; are all finalists.

The fifth candidate is Bryant Howe, currently the assistant director of the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel for the state of Utah.

The candidates are seeking to replace Lorne Malkiewich, who retired as director of the LCB in early April after serving in the position for more than 18 years.

The position pays $138,000 a year.

A brochure announcing a search for a new director describes the ideal candidate as, “a leader who is decisive, credible, trustworthy, and result-oriented. The ideal candidate must have exceptional analytical skills and strong political acumen.”

A reception for the five finalists is set for 7 p.m. today at the Legislative Building here in the capital.

A panel of lawmakers charged with selecting finalists for the position, the Committee to Consult with the Director, will interview the candidates Tuesday. The panel is also scheduled to discuss its recommendations for the new director for forwarding to the Legislative Commission for the final selection.

The Legislative Commission is scheduled to meet May 30.

Malkiewich, who had more than 30 years with the Legislative Counsel Bureau, is now the chief operating officer for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Reno.

Nevada Legislature Posts Recruitment Brochure For New Director

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:06 am March 23rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Do you have what it takes to become the next director of the Nevada’s Legislative Counsel Bureau?

The state Legislature’s website has a recruitment brochure posted for the $138,000-a-year job as lawmakers seek a replacement for Lorne Malkiewich, who is retiring from the Legislative Counsel Bureau after more than 30 years.

Malkiewich, who has served as the director of the LCB for more than 18 years, will leave for a new job following his last day April 2.

The brochure describes the ideal candidate as, “a leader who is decisive, credible, trustworthy, and result-oriented. The ideal candidate must have exceptional analytical skills and strong political acumen.

“The director must be able to inspire loyalty from within the LCB, to be trusted by the legislators, and to represent the LCB and the Nevada Legislature to the media and the general public. The director must be customer-service oriented and be able to anticipate the needs of both the Legislature and the LCB.”

An advanced degree is required for the job.

The deadline to apply is April 16.

Legislative Panel Agrees To Review New Public Records Policy

By Sean Whaley | 4:43 pm October 26th, 2011

CARSON CITY – A panel of lawmakers agreed today to review its new policy on responding to public records requests after concerns were raised by the ACLU of Nevada.

Rebecca Gasca, legislative and policy director for the organization, told the Legislative Commission today that the new policy says that those seeking public records from the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) need to explain why they want the information when making requests.

The policy, adopted in August, improperly shifts the burden to the person requesting the public records to show that the need for the information is stronger than any public policy interest in keeping the information confidential, she said.

Gasca had already sent a letter to the commission from ACLU General Counsel Allen Lichtenstein explaining the concerns with the new policy in detail.

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, a member of the commission, asked that the new policy be reviewed at its next meeting.

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, called today for a review of the new public records policy. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

“We did kind of, as I recall, went through it kind of quickly,” he said. “And there is some verbiage in it that I think we probably ought to review to see if it is a little too vague and a little too open ended.”

Gasca said the new policy would incorrectly apply a Nevada Supreme Court ruling in Donrey of Nevada v. Bradshaw and impose a “balancing test” to determine if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest served by not releasing the information.

The balancing test referenced in the court case applied to requests for criminal information, not general public records requests, she said.

“The policy of LCB that you passed at the last commission meeting actually broadly expands upon that and specifically states that requestors need to put in why they are requesting something so the LCB can balance those interests,” Gasca said.

While there was a comment from LCB Director Lorne Malkiewich that the new requirement will not be used as a basis for denying requests, this statement of intent was not included in the new policy, she said.

Concerns about the new policy have also previously been expressed by Barry Smith, executive director of the Nevada Press Association.

In response to the ACLU letter, Malkiewich said the new policy, “was not proposed in an effort to restrict public access, but rather to reflect the state of the law and allow us to continue our practice of prompt, complete response to requests for public records.”

“In summary, the policy that I proposed and the Legislative Commission adopted does not conflict with state law; it reflects what the Nevada Supreme Court has recognized to be the state of the law,” he said. “We will not reject a request for failure to include such a statement, but a clear explanation of a particular public interest may tip the balance in favor of disclosure of a document that might not otherwise be disclosed.”


Audio clips:

ACLU representative Rebecca Gasca said the new legislative public records policy needs to be revisited:

102611Gasca :23 Nevada Supreme Court.”

Assemblyman Ira Hansen called for a review of the new policy:

102611Hansen :10 too open ended.”

LCB’s Malkiewich Prepares to Say Good-Bye, Start Anew

By Anne Knowles | 4:34 pm August 25th, 2011

Lorne Malkiewich, who celebrates 30 years with the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) next week, has announced he is leaving before the 2013 legislative session.

LCB Director Lorne Malkiewich / Nevada News Bureau file photo

Malkiewich, the LCB director for the last 18 years, says he wanted to give legislators plenty of notice.

“I didn’t think it was fair to say to them that I will be leaving but I’m not sure when, so I told them I will be leaving before the next session and you’re going to need to appoint a new director,” said Malkiewich.

He said he has applied for a few jobs already.

“I have loved working with the fantastic people here and after 18 years it’s time for a change,” he said. “I’d like to find a new challenge, something that can perhaps make use of some of my knowledge and skills and yet can be a new challenge for me.”

And the time is good for a move, if that’s where a new job takes him, he said.

His wife recently retired as a teacher from the Carson City school district, and both their children are grown. Their daughter recently graduated from New York University and is spending the next year in Spain while their son has a year left studying at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Malkiewich started with the LCB when he was 24 years old, fresh out of law school University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

He said it is interesting how working at the legislature has at times dove-tailed with details of his personal life.

“Your life kind of becomes based on a two year cycle. The ’85 session, that’s when I got married, and children were born during this one, and this is the session we had a 21-21 tie,” said Malkiewich. “They’re all different, they all have their challenges, and certainly we’ve had some incredibly challenging ones in 2009 and 2011. I think the legislature and the staff have done incredible jobs to get done on time in 120 days in both of those sessions.”

Despite the long hours and strain, Malkiewich said it isn’t easy to say goodbye.

“The people here are not only wonderful to work with, they are among the most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with in my life. That’s one of the things that makes it tough to leave,” he said.

Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, chair of the the Legislative Commission, yesterday paid tribute to Malkiewich during the group’s monthly meeting.

“I’d like to thank him on behalf of the entire legislature for his phenomenal work,” said Horsford.

The Commission to Consult with the Director, a statutory commission of the legislature filled with members of the leadership of both parties and both houses, is in charge of finding Malkiewich’s replacement.


Audio clip

Malkiewich says hard work brings the LCB staff together like a family:

082411Malkiewich1 :27 deal of work.”

Legislative Commission Approves New Reporting and Public Records Policies

By Anne Knowles | 1:56 pm August 24th, 2011

The Legislative Commission today approved new fees for public record requests and a new expense report form for elections as well as appointed members to two dozen committees that meet during the interim.

Sen. Steven Horsford/Photo: Cathleen Allison/

The commission approved a new policy allowing the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) to charge a fee for providing public records.

“In the past, the LCB has not charged for public records request, but we’ve gotten some very large document requests,” said Brenda Erdoes, legislative counsel.

The LCB will now charge either the actual cost or, lacking that information, five cents a page after the first five pages and 10 cents a page for color paper.

The policy also allows LCB to charge a “reasonable fee for the extraordinary use of personnel,” in response, Erdoes said, to instances like the one in which the LCB was asked to scan into electronic form four filing cabinets of paper documents.

The policy says the “rate shall be at gross hourly wage or a portion thereof of the lowest compensated individual reasonably available and qualified to respond to the request.”

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, asked for clarification of other language in the new policy, which reads LCB “shall deny any for information if, on balance, the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

Erdoes cited a case in which a rejected job applicant requested personnel information on the new hire and said that while not all such requests involved personnel issues, the deciding consideration is “public interest as a group versus private interest.”

The commission also approved a new contribution and expense report form presented by Scott Gilles, Deputy Secretary of Elections. The new report, to be used starting in 2012, comes in two forms: one for political action committees (PACs) that advocate passage or defeat of a ballot question, which must report expenses after $1,000, and everyone else, including candidates, who must report expenses above $100.

The new forms are required by Assembly Bill 452, one of several campaign finance reform bills passed by the Nevada Legislature this past session.  The bills came on the heels of the controversy surrounding Rory Reid’s campaign for governor, in which the campaign formed 90 shell PACs to get around campaign contribution limits.

Reform was also prompted by a failing grade for Nevada from Campaign Disclosure Project for the state’s campaign disclosure laws.

The bill made two primary changes to the expense reporting procedure, said Gilles after his testimony before the committee. It added additional deadlines for filing reporting and mandated that all filing be done online. Both changes provide greater transparency, Gilles said, because reports will be filed more often and can be searched online.

The 12-member commission, meeting in both Las Vegas and Carson City via videoconference, also appointed members to both statutory and interim committees as well as several interim studies.

Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill passed this session to fill interim committees with members of existing legislative committees that already oversee the issues pertaining to each committee, requiring the commission to fill the vacated spots.

The commission also approved the budgets for the committees and studies and gave LCB Director Lorne Malkiewich the flexibility to change the budgets going forward.

“All the money has not been allocated,” said Malkiewich, “and I would request that unless something jumps off the page, if one committee needs a lot more or another needs a lot less, that otherwise we adjust budgets at future meetings.”

Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, chair of the committee, paid tribute to Malkiewich, who has said he plans to leave the LCB before the 2013 session and who is about to celebrate 30 years there.

“I’d like to thank him on behalf of the entire legislature for his phenomenal work,” said Horsford.

Legislators Working At “Breakneck” Speed

By Andrew Doughman | 5:31 pm February 11th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Legislators have done this week what the cynical among us would never have expected: they got right to work.

The chatter in the hallways at 401 S Carson Street has revolved around the fast pace legislators seem to be setting during their first week in session. Legislators are already listening to testimony about bills. Legislative leaders are already rolling out big jobs bills.

“They’re moving at breakneck speed,” said Chris Ferrari, a lobbyist with Ferrari Public Affairs.

The quick pace could help later because legislators have plenty to attend to this session. Chief among their tasks is balancing the state’s budget, a challenge made more difficult because of the recession and the past two years of budget reductions.

Legislators also need to redraw the state’s electoral districts based on data from the 2010 U.S. Census. Nevada’s population grew enough between 2000 and 2010 to win it a fourth Congressional district. Penciling in the lines on the map will require legislators to balance politics and fairness.

Putting themselves through the paces early frees up time for the big fights later.

For the taxpayer, making sure the legislative session finishes on-time also saves money. Legislators have already appropriated $15 million for the cost of this year’s session. Depending on the duration and scope of work required for a special session, each extra day could cost between $50,000 and $100,000.

George Flint, a lobbyist for Reno area wedding chapels and some of Nevada’s legal brothels, said he appreciates the hustle.

“They are jumping into some of these important bills early,” Flint said. “I think there is a mentality I like and appreciate, let’s get this show on the road because we have some really huge fights and really huge issues to address and if we wait too long we’re going to be really on a short time frame as the 120 days creeps up.”

Longtime lobbyist Scott Craigie, who also served as chief of staff to former Gov. Bob Miller, said lawmakers are moving quickly in the first week of the session, particularly in the Senate. Craigie is representing the Nevada State Medical Society, among other clients.

“I think the Legislature is really moving forward, as much as they can,” he said. “It is interesting because the Assembly side has a lot of new people in it, so those folks are trying to find their way and get their bearings, whereas the Senate is really moving very aggressively.”

Craigie said Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, who announced on the first day of the session on Monday he wants job creation legislation passed within 30 days, has been aggressive in pursuing his agenda, even before the session began.

“And a lot of the people on the Senate side have kind of gone along with that and in fact have added to it,” he said.

Horsford and his counterparts in the Assembly on Thursday announced two major jobs initiatives they will pursue over the next few weeks. It is not clear yet if Gov. Brian Sandoval will support the measures. Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, said he too has observed that the session is moving quickly. Senate committees including Judiciary, Transportation and Revenue have all had lengthy hearings this first week, he said.

“You’ve got to hit the ground running and get into third gear pretty quick,” he said.

Recent changes encourage faster legislative process

Workers at the legislative building attribute some of the fast start to structural changes made within the past dozen years.

The first change came in 1999, when the Legislature first convened for a 120-day legislative session. Prior to that, the 1997 session had last from late January into early July.

The state never had had limits on its sessions, perhaps because legislators of yesteryear never would have dreamed of still being in Carson City in July.

“In the old days people would come in when it was too cold to plant crops, stay here for a few months and go home,” said Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.

But since the imposition of session deadlines, the Legislature hasn’t kept to its deadlines very well. Sessions ran over the allotted 120-days in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007.

That changed, though, in 2007. Legislators passed a law that required the pre-filing of bills, meaning that staff drafted more bills before the session ever started. With the language of the bills in front of them, legislators have an easier time getting to work.

“In the past, there have been been times when the first week has been almost completely lost,” Malkiewich said.

But he isn’t ready to call off a special session.

As legislators are so fond of saying, everything is on the table.

Capital Bureau Chief Sean Whaley contributed to this report.

Longtime lobbyist Scott Craigie says the Nevada’s Senate is moving quickly during the first week of session:

021111 Craigie: Senate moving very agressively”

Longtime lobbyist Scott Craigie says the Nevada Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, has been aggressive in pursuing his agenda:

021111 Craigie: have added to it.”