News - Political
78th Legislative Session Begins in Carson City
The 78th legislative session is underway in Carson City with Nevada Assembly Members and Senators taking their oaths of office. It's also the first time the Republicans have had the majority in both houses since 1985.
Monday, February 2nd 2015, 4:29 PM PST by
Monday, February 2nd 2015, 5:50 PM PST
The 78th legislative session is underway in Carson City with Nevada Assembly Members and Senators taking their oaths of office.
Education is exactly what many of our lawmakers will be getting this session.
The Assembly has 17 new members while the Senate has three freshmen. It's also the first time the Republicans have had the majority in both houses since 1985.
"This session's going to be interesting, as so far, everyone is playing nice. The election of the speaker went very smoothly, which was a pleasant surprise. So, we'll just have to see how the rest of the days follow out,” says Assem. Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D).
Assemblyman John Hambrick was unanimously elected as Speaker of the Assembly. The four-term Republican from Clark County says he doesn't take the position lightly. "I'm honored and privileged to be the Speaker and I hope that I represent, not only my constituents, but every citizen of this state, regardless of the party. I am now Speaker of all people."
The first day of the session started with plenty of pomp and circumstance -- that included family and friends of the legislators. But now, the work begins.
"There's going to be some growing pains. We know that but I think we've got a common goal. We've got common interests in making this state the best it can possibly be for the children and the residents of the state,” says Sen. Ben Kieckhefer (R).
Governor Brian Sandoval is calling for a $7.3 billion budget. It includes education reform and a change in tax policy -- that could increase revenue by about $1 billion over the next biennium. It's up to the legislature to decide if that is the route they want to take for the Silver State.
"We've been clamoring for this for decades. We've been the ones putting forth these efforts that are now endorsed and embraced by Governor Sandoval and his allies. So, welcome them to the table in that regard, and we're looking forward to trying to fund a way to make it work,” says Sen. Aaron Ford (D).
Senator Debbie Smith is the only lawmaker who isn't here, today. She is dealing with an undisclosed medical condition and is getting medical care in another state. She says she will give us more information about her illness down the road.