Posts Tagged ‘veto’

Republicans Release Redistricting Data, Lay Out Terms For Two-Party Negotiations

By Andrew Doughman | 12:45 pm May 20th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Republicans today announced they have released to the public a set of complicated data about their redistricting proposal.

Democrats had said earlier the release of the data is a requirement before the two parties can begin to work toward a compromise.

The release of the data brightens an otherwise gloomy portrait of partisanship. Republicans and Democrats have so far elected not to negotiate terms in the redistricting battle.

When Democrats learned of the release, they issued a statement saying they will freeze their bill, now before the Senate, so that Republicans and Democrats can compare their plans and look for “common ground.”

“We welcome this opportunity to finally compare these two proposals and look forward to quickly investigating the potential for compromise with our friends on the other side of the aisle,” Democrats said in a statement.

Republicans seemed to have answered the call of Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, who asked Republicans to release their data.

“We had constituents calling us, so we thought we’d be open and transparent,” said Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon. “The product wasn’t really ours. It was produced by folks who are working on redistricting for us and they wanted to make sure everything was correct [before releasing data].”

The data question had stalled any talk of compromise between Republicans and Democrats, who every 10 years must create revised boundaries for seats for Congress and the state Assembly and Senate according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

Republicans responded to the Democratic call for compromise, saying they are “willing to negotiate.” They did, however, lay out terms for negotiation.

Senate Republicans released a statement this afternoon in which they said they “insist” on pre-conditions for negotiation.

They want a fixed number of majority-minority Hispanics: one in  Congress, four in the state Senate and eight in the state Assembly. That quota is identical to what Republicans originally called for in their proposal.

They also called for eight competitive state Senate and eight competitive state Assembly districts.

“We believe the Voting Rights Act requires fair representation of Hispanics in the U.S. Congress, Nevada State Senate and Nevada Assembly,” said Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas. “We also believe that no political party should have a monopoly on power.”

Democrats later rejected the premise for establishing terms of negotiation prior to meeting with Republicans.

“We stand ready, without preconditions, to meet and discuss a way forward,” legislative Democrats said in a statement released this afternoon.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has already vetoed the previous Democratic redistricting plan, saying it treated Nevada’s Hispanic population unfairly and did not comply with the federal Voting Rights Act.

The new plan is a second attempt for Nevada’s Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican governor to reach a compromise over appropriate political boundaries. If they cannot agree, the political tug-o-war could be resolved by a judge.

The gridlock continued yesterday as Democrats elected to hear their second redistricting proposal but declined to hear the Republican proposal since the Republican data had yet to be released. Instead, Democrats voted on their own proposal.

Republicans had said they objected to the way Democrats were moving Democratic bills without hearing a Republican proposal.

But Democrats had said they wanted an “open and transparent” process from Republicans.

The data would allow Democrats and members of the public to examine the exact boundaries of districts proposed in the Republican bill.

Although Republicans provided a bill, the 194-page document contains arcane references to Census block tracts, which are nearly impossible for people to visualize.

The Legislature’s information-technology staff has had the complex data, but Republicans had not authorized them to release it until today.

 

Democrats Introduce Revised Congressional Maps

By Andrew Doughman | 3:23 pm May 17th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Since the governor did not like their last redistricting plan, Democrats are trying again with revisions to their redistricting maps.

Gov. Brian Sandoval earlier vetoed the Democratic plan for the boundaries of political districts, which must be redrawn every 10 years according to U.S. Census demographic data.

The new plan is a second attempt for Nevada’s Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican governor to reach a compromise over appropriate political boundaries. If they cannot agree, the political tug-o-war could be resolved before a judge.

In a short afternoon hearing today, Democrats introduced and voted their second proposal, Assembly Bill 566, out of committee with Republicans again voting against it. Lawmakers could vote on the bill in the Assembly as early as tomorrow.

“One of the reasons we’re trying to move this stuff is because we want as much time as possible to consider them,” said Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, who noted that the legislative session is scheduled to end soon.

Segerblom said that they did make changes based on what the governor had asked for.

The plan, however, provoked backlash from Republicans, who said their plan has never received a hearing, much less a vote.

Republicans also contended that the Democratic plans still are not fair.

“It doesn’t create enough competitive districts,” said Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, R-Henderson. “We want more competitive districts.”

Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, noted that Republicans have not even put their data into the Legislature’s computer system.

“I’m not trying to start a fight here, but the Republican maps are not on the public GIS system,” he said. “I’m just perplexed whey we can’t get this information. I’d love to have this discussion.”

Democrats voted to have the Republican plan hosted on the Legislature’s information system.

The new Democratic proposal includes two solid Democratic-leaning districts, one solid Republican district and one district with a 7 percent Democratic edge.

In a statement released this past Saturday, Sandoval said he did not believe Democrats complied with the federal Voting Rights Act, which guides how states should treat ethnic minorities when drawing political boundaries.

So Democrats created a congressional district three with a 36.72 percent Hispanic population.

This district is represented by Republican Representative Joe Heck, who won by a slim margin over Democratic incumbent Dina Titus during 2010.

Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, who saw the new proposals this morning, said that Heck’s winning margin was “inch deep” in the 2010 election, therefore making it difficult to keep his district Republican.

Compared to their vetoed plan, the Democratic proposal also moves Heck’s district solidly into Clark County, whereas before it had spread north into rural Nevada.

Heck is the only incumbent that Democrats and Republicans are considering as they draw new districts. Former Rep. Dean Heller became Sen. Heller after Sandoval appointed him to replace Sen. John Ensign, who resigned last month. Rep. Shelley Berkley has said she will face Heller in an 2012 election for that Senate seat.

Nevada’s explosive population growth between 2001 and 2010 earned also Nevada one more Congressional District, giving Nevada four Congressional Districts.

In a Republican plan released earlier, Republicans had drawn one congressional district with a majority Hispanic population. They had also created two districts favoring Democratic candidates and two favoring Republican candidates.

New Democratic Proposed Congressional Districts

District Population Deviation GOP% DEM% HVAP% BVAP% Total Hispanic%
CD01 675,138 0 31.12 47.33 22.29 13.03 26.28
CD02 675138 0 42.81 35.27 16.6 2.19 20.43
CD03 675137 -1 30.28 47.33 31.33 9.91 36.72
CD04 675138 0 35.27 42.28 19.3 8.99 22.7

Vetoed Democratic Proposed Congressional Districts

District Population Deviation GOP% DEM% HVAP% BVAP% Total Hispanic%
CD 01 675,138 0 31.9% 47.9% na na 33.6%
CD 02 675,138 0 42.8% 36.0% na na 20.5%
CD 03 675,138 0 34.4% 44.1% na na 29.2%
CD 04 675,137 -1 35.0% 43.1% na na 22.9%
*former CD04 in last proposal **CD03 in last proposal

Democrats also offered minor amendments to their vetoed proposals for state Assembly and Senate districts. The governor had said in his veto statement that he thought the Democratic proposals were too skewed toward Democrats.

“At its core, this bill creates districts that were drawn exclusively for political gain,” Sandoval said in his statement.

Segerblom said he still believes there is time to compromise.

“It’s still early … lots of time to talk and negotiate,” he said.

If Sandoval vetoes this plan, Democrats may still have time to introduce a third proposal. So far, that plan is not yet in the works.

“There is no plan C,” Segerblom said.

 

Gov. Sandoval To Lawmakers: Finish Your Work By June 6

By Sean Whaley | 5:35 pm May 16th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Memo to Nevada lawmakers: If you don’t finish up your work on June 6 as the constitution requires, don’t expect Gov. Brian Sandoval to call you back to work right away in a special session.

Sandoval Senior Adviser Dale Erquiaga, in a briefing today with the press, said there is a belief expressed by some involved in the process that if the Legislature does not complete a budget and redistricting by the 120-day deadline, that Sandoval will immediately call lawmakers back into session to continue their work.

That won’t happen, Erquiaga said. There won’t be a special session called for the remainder of that week for certain, he said. Only the governor can call a special session of the Legislature.

The session will actually end at 1 a.m. on June 7. The Legislature gets the extra hour because of the change to daylight savings time.

“Three weeks from today, the Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn and they will do so,” Erquiaga said. “There will be no special session that week. So those folks who think that this governor will simply keep the Legislature around to continue its work are misinformed. They can finish their work on June 6 and we expect them to do so.

“I want you to understand clearly that this notion that has been bred around here lately that special sessions just follow on after the 120th day is not an operating premise for this administration,” he said. “We don’t think they need to come back at all. If they don’t finish by June 6, it is their responsibility.”

Erquiaga also said Sandoval believes the tax proposals under discussion by lawmakers over the past few days, including a services tax, were “dead on arrival” and the Legislature should work to finish the next two-year budget with the $6.1 billion in available revenue. The amount of revenue, revised upwards after some add backs and new Economic Forum projections, compares to the $6.2 billion in spending in the current budget, he said.

Sandoval has agreed to look at a “trigger” mechanism whereby if tax revenues come in ahead of the forum’s conservative projections, that the money can be restored to K-12 and higher education over the course of the two years of the budget, Erquiaga said.

But the $1.2 billion in tax proposals being pushed by Democrats, including a new business margin tax and the extension of taxes approved in 2009 that will sunset June 30, are not supported by Sandoval, he said.

Sandoval would support a review of the various tax proposals in the interim before the next session in 2013, but it is too late to review the complex data now even if the objective was for a revenue neutral tax structure, Erquiaga said.

“Fourteen days is not a time frame in which to adopt the most significant shift in tax policy in this state since 1955,” he said.

The comments came as Democrat lawmakers today added more spending to Sandoval’s proposed budget in the area of parole and probation. They also came as Sandoval vetoed a bill passed by Democrats funding public education for the next two years that contained $660 million in spending beyond what he had proposed. In his veto message, Sandoval said the higher level of funding amounted to a “circuitous attempt to secure a tax increase.”

In response, Assembly Ways and Means Chairwoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said: “In his veto statement, the governor mentions only spending the money we have and not allowing for additional funding of education. Let me be clear: A.B. 568 does not contain additional funding, but instead prevents massive cuts to public schools – the largest in our state’s history.”

The Senate Revenue Committee today also took more testimony on a bill to extend the tax cuts set to expire June 30 and to implement a new business tax that would eventually replace the current modified business tax on payroll.

Asked what happens if the Legislature fails to finish the budget by the deadline, Erquiaga said that scenario is not being given any consideration at this time. The administration is researching what would have to happen if the state does not have a budget by the start of the fiscal year July 1 but no contingency plans are being developed, he said.

“We don’t think it’s going to be necessary,” Erquiaga said.

“I think it is more likely they will agree if they realize there is a real deadline with this administration, and that they don’t get to just stay and meet a couple of more weeks,” he said. “They have three weeks.”

Audio clips:

Sandoval Senior Adviser Dale Erquiaga says there will be no special session called immediately if lawmakers fail to finish their work by June 6:

051611Erquiaga1 :25 to do so.”

Erquiaga says the idea that special sessions just follow the 120-day session is not an operating premise for the Sandoval administration:

051611Erquiaga2 :18 as we’re concerned.”

Erquiaga says the Legislature can finish in the three weeks remaining:

051611Erquiaga3 :22 is their responsibility.”

Erquiaga says Sandoval has a real deadline for the Legislature to adjourn:

051611Erquiaga4 :15 have three weeks.”

Erquiaga says there is not enough time remaining in the session to have a major overhaul of Nevada tax policy:

051611Erquiaga5 :09 state since 1955.”

Governor’s First Veto Sparks Public Relations Battle

By Andrew Doughman | 2:04 pm April 4th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval’s first veto has sparked a fight over who, exactly, has the support of the people.

Sandoval today vetoed a bill from Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, that would have allowed school districts to use debt reserves for school renovation.

Sandoval is counting on that same pot of money to fund school district operating costs.

Both the Republican governor and the Democratic Assemblywoman are pointing fingers accusing the other of being irresponsible.

Democrats argue that Sandoval’s veto represents a betrayal of the voters will. Smith contends that the governor is raiding a fund that voters approved for school construction.

“Not only are these children being disregarded, so are the voters who voted for these funds to be used for school rehabilitation and construction,” she said in a statement released following Sandoval’s veto.

Sandoval said that the Democrats would open up a hole in his budget that would result in teachers losing their jobs. His advisers said the voters understand times have changed, and the funds are required for operating costs.

“We think the voters understand that the circumstances have changed,” said Dale Erquiaga, the governor’s senior adviser.

Assembly Bill 183 will almost certainly die since Democrats in the Assembly and Senate do not have the two-thirds majority vote required to override Sandoval’s veto.

Assembly and Senate Republicans voted as a bloc against the bill before it arrived at the governor’s office, and nothing indicates that any of them will change their minds now.

So the real battle is over how Nevadans interpret the veto.

Voters in the school districts of both Clark and Washoe counties approved school construction bonds about a decade ago.

The school districts are required by law to save some of that money in a debt reserve account for repayment of the construction bonds.

Another way of viewing it is to say that voters approved buying a bottle of soda for school districts. The law allows districts to drink most of that soda, but they have to keep some of it in the bottle.

Both Sandoval and Smith want the districts to keep less. Sandoval would use the money to pay for operating costs, the basic expenditures that ensure schools open every day.

“In appropriating bond reserve money for construction, proponents of the bill have reduced the amount of funds available for classroom instruction by approximately $301million,” Sandoval said in a statement issued this morning. “Along the way, they have misleadingly cited those who voted for the issuance of school bonds in the past as supporting their cause today, unfairly attributing to them their narrow view.”

Smith said it was “shocking” that the governor would accuse her and her supports of misleading the public.

“When the voters voted for this, they didn’t vote for part of it to for construction and part of it to go to a reserve,” she said. “…If I’m a voter, I’m assuming anything in that fund is going to go for construction.”

Voters approved the bond money, and the Legislature required in law that some of that money be kept in a reserve account.

None of that money was slated for anything except debt service. Smith and Sandoval want to use some of that money for two different purposes.

The better use of that money is the fight Smith and Sandoval are trying to win.

You can read the bill here and decide for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor’s Veto Looms As Democrats Showcase Suffering Schools

By Andrew Doughman | 3:39 pm March 29th, 2011

SUN VALLEY, NEVADA – When Sara Weatherford teaches at Sun Valley Elementary, she says frequent power outages and rattling pipes interrupt her lessons.

The 52-year-old school is a hodgepodge of a half dozen buildings erected intermittently over the past five decades. Noise bleeds through the walls between classrooms, making it difficult to concentrate, she says.

It’s schools like Sun Valley Elementary that Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, wants to fix. Smith has sponsored a bill that would allow school districts to dip into the piggy banks they keep for debt payments.

The extra money would help school districts like the Washoe County School District renovate old schools like Sun Valley Elementary.

If the state was flush with money, the plan might not be controversial. But big pots of money are scarce these days, and Gov. Brian Sandoval has another use for the same funds.

In what would be his first veto since assuming office in January, Sandoval plans to veto Smith’s bill, Assembly Bill 183. Sandoval has booked the same money into his budget for school operating costs.

Smith and the Democrats cannot override the governor’s veto since Republicans in the Legislature will not vote against the governor, who is also a Republican.

So Democrats today opted for the next best thing. They called a press conference.

Washoe County School District Superintendent Heath Morrison addresses the press at Sun Valley Elementary School, where he voiced support for Assemblywoman Debbie Smith's school renovation bill.

This morning, Washoe County School District Superintendent Heath Morrison, flanked by education advocates and a union representative, stood behind a lectern at Sun Valley Elementary and spoke in support of the bill as television cameras rolled and reporters scribbled notes.

“We’d like to welcome you to Sun Valley Elementary School, and we are here today to make sure we are raising our voices in support for Assembly Bill 183,” Morrison said. “It allows us … to have safe, inviting schools conducive for children to learn.”

Sandoval is expected to receive the bill today. His spokesperson, Mary-Sarah Kinner, said today that the press conference did not change the governor’s mind.

“Unfortunately the bill does create a $300 million hole in the budget with no plan to fund that,” Sandoval told the Nevada News Bureau last week, after the bill passed out of the Senate and Assembly on party-line votes.

Mark Stanton, chief capital projects and facilities management officer for the Washoe County School District, said Smith’s bill would let the school district take about $35 million out of its debt reserve account.

This would let the school district issue more bonds, which would raise the money necessary to renovate schools.

The governor, however, wants to sweep the debt reserves into the district’s operating fund. If he signed Smith’s bill, he would risk punching a hole in his own budget.

“It’s a philosophical decision about whether we want to use the construction dollars for operating costs,” Smith said today in her office.

She said she has not negotiated any compromise with the governor over his intent to veto her bill.

Nonetheless, the Assembly Democrats waited the maximum time permitted until they had to submit the bill to the governor.

Smith said they waited to “let things settle” and give the governor some time to think about the bill.

Smith, however, expects Sandoval to receive the bill today, meaning the governor will have until the end of next Monday, April 4, to either sign or veto the bill.

“We’ve had conversations about that and I think there was an understanding that I had a different position on that bill,” Sandoval said this past week.

The bill would be Sandoval’s first veto since he took office at the beginning of this year.

Sandoval Confirms Veto Threat Of Two Democratic Jobs Bills

By Sean Whaley | 7:01 pm March 8th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Democratic legislative leaders today questioned a comment from the Sandoval administration that two job creation bills they are pursuing will be vetoed for creating a hole in the governor’s recommended state general fund budget.

But Gov. Brian Sandoval reiterated his veto position, saying the two measures would create more than a $400 million hole in his proposed budget without offering any way to close the gap. Most other bills won’t be evaluated until they reach his desk, he said.

But Senate Bill 192 and Assembly Bill 183 are different, Sandoval said.

“There is a big budget issue there,” he said today. “Because they create a major hole in the budget without the provision of any type of strategy or plan as to how to back fill that loss of revenue.”

At a Monday briefing, Dale Erquiaga, senior adviser to Sandoval, said any measure that creates a hole in the proposed $5.8 billion general fund budget faces a veto from the governor.

The unequivocal comment was a departure from past statements that Sandoval will evaluate each bill once it reaches his desk before deciding to sign or veto the legislation.

In discussing several legislative priorities today, Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, was asked to comment on the Sandoval administration veto threat.

“The governor also said before that he would wait until the bills went through both houses to see how they came out before they got to his desk before he talked about vetoes so it seems like there’s a change of position there,” he said.

“I think what we’ll do about it is we will work with business, who is fairly excited about some of these bills, to try to override a veto,” Oceguera said.

Senate Bill 192, would direct 2 cents in existing property taxes to Clark and Washoe counties to use to bond for public works construction projects. It passed the Senate on a party line 11-10 vote on Monday and headed to the Assembly.

Nevada Senate Republicans said the measure would create a $94.3 million budget hole.

Sandoval wants to use the money to support the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Assembly Bill 183 passed the Assembly on Friday, also on a party line 25-16 vote. It will now be considered in the Senate. It would allow school districts to use $400 million in bond reserve funds to improve older schools.

Sandoval has instead proposed that the money be used to fund school district operating costs as part of his budget.

Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says the two jobs bills create major hole his budget:

030811Sandoval :09 loss of revenue.”

Assembly Speaker John Oceguera says veto threat is a change of position:

030811Oceguera1 :14 of position there.”

Oceguera says Democrats will work on veto override:

030811Oceguera2 :08 override a veto.”

Gibbons Round-Up

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:01 pm March 17th, 2010

A quick trifecta of items about the governor:

In which he formed an education task force headed by Elaine Wynn and Dan Klaich.

In which he explains his executive order (and veto) re: furloughs.

In which he writes a letter to Shelley Berkley saying leave health care to the state.

AP: Gibbons to Veto Furlough Bill

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:31 pm March 8th, 2010

Via the AP via the RJ, Governor Gibbons will veto the furlough bill from the special session:

CARSON CITY — Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons will veto a bill tightening furloughs for state workers that was passed during a special session of the Legislature.

Gibbons’ staff says the governor instead will enact most of the provisions of SB3 through executive order and regulations.

The bill also establishes four-day, 10-hour work weeks for most state agencies beginning July 1, and tightens one-day-per-month furloughs imposed last year by requiring exempt employees to instead take a 4.6 percent pay cut.

Chief of Staff Robin Reedy won’t discuss details of the governor’s concerns over the bill, saying they will be addressed in the governor’s veto message.

Governor Gibbons to Sign Race to Top Bill in Las Vegas on Wednesday

By Sean Whaley | 11:57 am March 8th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Gov. Jim Gibbons on Wednesday will sign the “Race to the Top” bill allowing Nevada to compete for federal school improvement funds, a spokesman said today.

Dan Burns, communications director for Gibbons, said via email that the governor will sign Senate Bill 2 to give Nevada the chance to compete for as much as $175 million in one-time federal funds to improve student achievement.

The signing will take place in Las Vegas. The bill was passed by the Legislature in the special session that ended March 1.

The bill eliminates a provision in Nevada law that says student achievement data cannot be used to evaluate teachers. The provision has barred Nevada from competing for the funds. An application seeking a share of the funds is due from the state by June.

The measure became embroiled in controversy, however, because some new language was added saying that student achievement data could not be the only criterion for evaluating teachers. The bill passed the Senate on a 16-5 vote, with some Republicans expressing concern about whether the new language might hamper the state’s ability to compete for the funds. The bill passed the Assembly on a unanimous vote.

There was some suggestion that Gibbons might veto the bill, sending it back to the Legislature for a potential override of the veto during the special session. But as a source inside Gibbons’ office told the Nevada News Bureau on February 26, that did not occur.

Strategy to Avoid Gibbons Vetoes on Tap if Needed

By Sean Whaley | 11:36 am February 25th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Because of the tense relationship between the Legislature and Gov. Jim Gibbons over how to find $900 million to balance the state budget, strategies on how to ensure bills are not vetoed after lawmakers adjourn the special session are ready if needed.

If the Legislature adjourns the special session and Gibbons vetoes one or more bills, the measures could not be considered for an override by lawmakers until the 2011 regular session. A two-thirds vote in both houses is required to override a veto.

Gibbons has already announced his intentions to veto the Race to the Top measure giving Nevada the ability to compete for up to $175 million in federal funds to improve student achievement. The measure, Senate Bill 2, contains language Gibbons opposes.

Gibbons has also said he will veto bills that do not meet his standards for new fees the Legislature may impose to balance the budget. Gibbons has said he will veto such measures unless they meet with the approval of those who must pay the new revenues.

Lawmakers are looking at increased gaming fees, among other proposals.

Gibbons vetoed a record number of bills in the 2009 session. Many were overridden by the Legislature but others were sustained.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said all potential contingencies have been explored to ensure some key piece of legislation needed to balance the budget does not end up vetoed, leaving a hole in the spending plan that Gibbons might then deal with on his own after lawmakers have left town.

“We’re not going to adjourn,” Horsford said with a laugh when asked. “We’ve discussed all of our options. We’re here to get the job done, and we have thought through what all of the potential problems may be.”

Rather than adjourn the session “sine die” and allow the potential veto scenario to arise, Horsford said the Senate, in agreement with the Assembly, can adjourn for a set number of days and then return to the capital to override any vetoed bills if need be.

Gibbons has five days to veto a bill, not counting the day the bill was transmitted to his office, and not counting Sundays. So if the Legislature finishes its special session on Sunday, Gibbons would have until Friday to veto a measure.

Horsford said the Legislature continues to try to work with Gibbons to avoid such a scenario.

“We’re always working towards that goal; whether he sees the value in working with us is another story,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, said he is not aware of any such strategy discussions.

“I’m more concerned about doing what we need to do than political strategy,” he said.

“The governor has as much stake as the Legislature in dealing with this shortfall,” Raggio said. “I wouldn’t think anybody would want to put obstacles to meet the constitutional requirement to balancing a budget.”

Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said the Legislature has used such an adjournment process before. In the 21st special session, when the impeachment of the late Controller Kathy Augustine was under way, the session began in November. The Legislature then adjourned until December to give Augustine a chance to prepare a defense to the charges.

Malkiewich, who is an attorney, said he also disagrees with the position of Gibbons that the governor has the authority to set a time to end a special session. That authority rests with the Legislature, he said.

Gibbons spokesman Dan Burns said the governor “knows” he has the right to set an ending time for the session, and he has directed lawmakers to finish by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. Any bills that are passed after that time would not even be considered valid bills, he said.

There is an existing attorney general opinion supporting his position, Burns said.

Rather than worry about end strategies, the Legislature should just move quickly to balance the budget and address the pressing issues, he said.

“Every day they meet is another laid off state worker,” Burns said.

The session is costing $50,000 a day.