Posts Tagged ‘resolution’

Interim Lawmaker Panel OKs Drafting Resolution To Provide For Study Of Legislature, Including Pay, Annual Sessions

By Sean Whaley | 4:18 pm August 20th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A legislative panel today voted to seek a resolution in the 2013 session to authorize the creation of a public commission to study the operation of the Legislature and make recommendations on issues ranging from lawmaker pay to moving to annual sessions.

The Legislative Commission’s Committee To Study the Structure and Operations of the Nevada Legislature voted to pursue such a review, which has not occurred in Nevada since 1988. The study would be performed by a public commission which could make recommendations for consideration by the 2015 Legislature.

Details of who would serve on the public commission, along with other aspects of such a review, will be worked out in committee hearings in the 2013 session that will start next February.

Currently the Nevada constitution requires the Legislature meet every other year for 120 days. The constitution also limits legislative pay to the first 60 days of a session and imposes term limits for state lawmakers. Voters would have to approve any changes to these requirements before they could take effect.

While the legislative panel approved the drafting of a resolution providing for a public commission to review these and potentially other legislative rules and mandates, one lawmaker said he will reserve judgment until he sees the final working of the proposal.

“I’m all for studying virtually anything and this is certainly a topic worthy of study,” said Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, a member of the panel. “But I don’t want to mislead the chair of the committee. I’m not convinced that creating a commission is necessary, especially in light of the fact that this committee has been meeting throughout the interim to do largely what the commission would do.

“But I will keep an open mind on that, and I will look at the resolution once it is created as a result of this committee’s work, and I will study it carefully during the next session,” he said.

Before the discussion on the resolution, the committee heard from former state Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, who now serves as a member of the Nevada Gaming Commission. Townsend was termed out of office in 2010. He had served in the Senate since 1983.

Former state Sen. Randolph Townsend. / Photo courtesy of Project Vote Smart.

Townsend suggested a number of ideas for the Legislature to consider, including changing the length of terms for state Senators from four years to six, and for Assembly members from two years to four, to reduce the frequency of campaigns that he said interfere in the legislative process.

“Whether you change term limits or not, I think you take a lot of the money and vitriol out of these things,” he said. “Because it’s gotten to the point where campaigns overcome policy making, and that is not fair to any of you no matter what party you are in or what section of the state you live in.”

Townsend also suggested that legislative sessions be changed to even-numbered years if there is no move to have annual sessions. Those elected to the Legislature in each general election every November in even numbered years would then have more than a full year to learn the legislative process before a session would begin. Now lawmakers are elected in November and must start a session early the following year, he said.

“Move it off a year,” Townsend said. “Leadership can appoint those folks to their interim committees, and they can start learning the process, and the issues, and their colleagues and the people that they affect. That one single change will make every legislator better, whether you’ve been there a long time or whether you are new.”

The change would also mean a shorter campaign season for lawmakers if sessions continued to end in early June in even-numbered years, Townsend said.

Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the interim study committee, questioned how lawmakers would raise campaign funds in such a scenario but said such issues can be discussed at a later date.


Audio clips:

Sen. Greg Brower says he is not convinced such a study is needed but will consider the issue in the 2013 session:

082012Brower :32 the next session.”

Former state Sen. Randolph Townsend says Assembly terns should be four years and Senate terms six years:

082012Townsend1 :11 you live in.”

Townsend says legislative sessions should be moved to even-numbered years:

082012Townsend2 :24 you are new.”

Nevada Pronunciation Debate Continues, Governer Chimes In

By Sean Whaley | 12:26 pm August 11th, 2010

CARSON CITY – A proposal by an out-going Nevada lawmaker to officially recognize an alternate pronunciation of the name of the state as an acceptable second-choice has generated a lot of comment, with most residents not surprisingly opposed to the idea.

But some of those posting comments on various news sites also support the idea that maybe Nevadans should be more tolerant of those who “mispronounce” the state’s name.

Others have suggested the resolution sought for drafting by Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, is a waste of time and money.

Asked for his opinion on the pronunciation issue, native Nevadan and Gov. Jim Gibbons said the Ne-vah-da version does bother him. Asked how he reacts, Gibbons said: “Well, I tell them if they want to be socially acceptable they should say ‘Ne-vaaa-da’. We have a Ramada Hotel, but it is in Nevada.”

Mortenson, who won’t be returning to the Assembly due to term limits, said his resolution is intended only to acknowledge the alternative pronunciation of the state’s name used by people around the world. It is not an effort to change the accepted pronunciation of Nevada, which is Spanish for “snow-capped,” referring to the Sierra Nevada.

Another lawmaker will have to introduce the resolution on his behalf if it is to get a hearing in the 2011 legislative session.

Retired state Archivist Guy Rocha has argued, however, that Mortenson’s alternative pronunciation is not Spanish but one that has developed in the eastern part of the United States.

Mortenson’s proposed resolution language follows:

BDR Draft

Whereas there are two common pronunciations of the name of our great state:

(1)   the provincial pronunciation utilized by approximately two-million Nevadans, using a flat A-sound — a sound not unlike the bleating of a sheep, and;

(2)   the cosmopolitan or Spanish pronunciation used by the other seven-billion inhabitants of our planet, using a soft “A” intonation—not unlike a sigh of contentment, and;

Whereas the name Nevada is a Spanish word meaning covered-with-snow, and;

Whereas the Spanish word for covered-with-snow existed for many centuries before the “discovery” of America and the existence of our great state, and;

Whereas it is becoming a continuous, prodigious, and daunting task for the two million colloquial-speaking inhabitants to interrupt and correct the other seven-billion inhabitants of the Planet who utilize the Spanish/cosmopolitan pronunciation, and;

Whereas our colloquial State citizens accomplished their responsibility by interrupting and correcting a confused George Stephanopoulos during a world-wide television broadcast of the Democratic Presidential forum held in Carson City in February of 2007, and;

Whereas the same colloquial State citizens wisely chose not to interrupt President George Bush when he used the Spanish pronunciation during a reelection tour of our great state, and;

Whereas it is almost impossible to correct television pundits worldwide — virtually all of whom utilize the Spanish pronunciation, and;

Whereas the metropolitan area of Las Vegas has grown to exceed two million inhabitants—most of whom are composed of the afore mentioned seven-billion cosmopolitans, and;

Whereas our great state is rapidly transitioning from a colloquial status to a cosmopolitan status, and;

Whereas visitations to the entertainment capitol of the world exceed the visitations to Mecca, and these visitors to our great state should not be subjected to rude corrections of their traditional pronunciation by well-meaning colloquial individuals, and;

Whereas the citizens of our great state are universally known, not only for their fierce independence, they are also known for their open-mindedness, their neighborly attitude, their compassionate charity, and their benevolent tolerance;

Therefore; be it resolved, that henceforth, there will be two acceptable pronunciations for the name of our great state:

(1)    the preferred pronunciation will be the colloquial pronunciation, and;

(2)    the less-preferred pronunciation will be the charitably-tolerated Spanish/cosmopolitan pronunciation.



Gov. Jim Gibbons on pronunciation of “Nevada”:

081110Gibbons1 :07 is in Nevada.”

Outgoing Nevada State Lawmaker Seeks To End State Pronunciation Debate

By Sean Whaley | 3:21 pm August 10th, 2010

CARSON CITY – If there is one thing near and dear to the hearts of many Nevadans, it is the pronunciation of the name of their state.

For most Nevadans, it is pronounced Ne-vaaa-da. The middle syllable rhymes with glad. It is not pronounced Ne-vah-da. And many Nevadans don’t mind letting people know when they err.

In 2003 then-President Bush was criticized for what many considered his mispronunciation of the state’s name during his first visit to Nevada as president.

The mispronunciation by then-NBC news anchor Brian Williams in 2008 even generated a report by the news agency itself that addressed the proper pronunciation of the state’s name, which is Spanish for snow-capped, referring to the Sierra Nevada.

While many Nevadans take this pronunciation stuff seriously, one state lawmaker just wants to call the whole thing off.

Out-going Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, wants to end the pronunciation debate for good. He has requested the drafting of a concurrent resolution that, “resolves that there are two acceptable pronunciations for the name of the state of Nevada.”

Mortenson said the description of the resolution on the Legislature’s bill draft request list isn’t quite right. It is BDR 205 requested on Aug. 1.

“It should say there is one preferred pronunciation, and one that is tolerated,” he said.

Mortenson, who acknowledges he is likely to get numerous calls and emails for his proposal, said the intent is to be accepting of the alternate pronunciation, which he said is the preferred pronunciation for most of the world.

“It is a terribly daunting task for Nevadans to try and correct the other 8 billion people on the planet,” he said. “Maybe we ought to just allow a different pronunciation.”

Mortenson said he still remembers when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was booed for mispronouncing the state’s name when he moderated a presidential candidate forum in Nevada in 2007.

“He didn’t understand what everybody was booing him about,” Mortenson said. “It was rude and crude.”

Former state Archivist Guy Rocha, who is now retired, has spent a lot of time researching the pronunciation issue and was himself the target of nasty emails when he suggested in 2003 that Bush should have pronounced the state’s name properly.

While all for civility, Rocha said the proposed resolution misses an important point. The pronunciation Mortenson wants accepted is not Spanish, but a pronunciation learned mostly by Americans east of the Rockies, he said.

“Essentially it is a long standing mispronunciation that people defend as Spanish and I challenge that,” Rocha said.

The Spanish pronunciation would be more along the lines of “Neyvada,” he said.

The key point is that the “correct” pronunciation of a town or state is the one used by the residents, and visitors typically use that pronunciation as a sign of respect if they are aware and able to do so, Rocha said. Any correcting should be done gently. But knowingly mispronouncing the name of a city or state won’t win you any friends, he said.

Mortenson, who is termed out of office, won’t be able to usher his measure through the Legislature in the 2011 session himself, but another lawmaker may choose to introduce the resolution on his behalf.

Such resolutions are typically approved by lawmakers without the lengthy hearings and testimony that accompany bills seeking to change state law. Given the seriousness of the issue for many Nevadans however, this resolution could be a notable exception.



Retired State Archivist Guy Rocha says pronunciation issue requires civility:

081010Rocha1 :12 of each other.”

Rocha says proposed resolution won’t clarify pronunciation issue:

081010Rocha2 :22 it is different.”

Rocha says learning the pronunciation of a state or town is a sign of respect:

081010Rocha3 :13 very good welcome.”

McCain: I Am TOO a Real Conservative

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:19 am April 16th, 2010

I know this is not a Silver State snippet, but I’m justifying it on the basis that (1) JD Hayworth was recently the headliner of a Nevada News Bureau Newsmakers event as well as a guest on Ralston’s Face to Face and (2) Arizona is a neighbor and friend to Nevada.

As predicted by political pundits and expected by industry insiders, John McCain, who is facing a surprisingly tough primary challenge by the self-declared “Consistent Conservative” JD Hayworth, is finding ways to demonstrate that is is also a Real conservative.  Really!

This time he’s done so with the acquiescence of the Boys Club that is the U.S. Senate, who quite willingly went along with McCain’s wish to sponsor yesterday’s resolution against a Value-Added Tax (VAT).

McCain made his desire to champion the measure known after he returned to D.C. from the Easter break and (no doubt) exclaimed — in addition to saying his constituents were in an uproar about VMT, as reported in the Daily Caller (see linked story below) — “That son-of-a-b*itch is holding in the polls with this whole True Conservative meme!  I have to do something!”

First of many stories like this ‘tween now and November, methinks.

(And if you think my use of “SOB” above was going too far, let me just say I toned it down from what I imagine McCain really and regularly calls Hayworth behind closed doors.)