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How a bill becomes Nevada law — lobbyist explains the politics of it all

Janine Hansen explained the fine points of being a lobbyist and getting things done in Carson City at a lecture at the Pahrump Valley Museum this month.

She began her PowerPoint presentation with how a bill draft request (BDR) works its way through the Nevada Legislature to eventually become a law.

BDRs come from the elected officials, local and county governments and others. The Legislative Council Bureau then writes the bill and gives it a number. AB5 would be Assembly Bill number 5, for example.

A bill can be derailed at almost any point. Once it is sent to the proper committee, the committee chairperson can elect not to even bring it up.

If they do, the committee can do nothing and the bill dies. If the committee does hold hearings and listens to testimony from lobbyists of all sorts and then votes to “Do Pass” — the bill goes to the speaker of the Assembly who can let the bill die or bring it to the floor of the Assembly to be voted on.

If it passes, it goes to the Senate, where the whole process is repeated.

Once a bill passes both houses, it goes to the governor, who can sign it into law or veto it. It takes a two/thirds vote of both houses to override a veto, otherwise the bill is dead.

Hansen went over the process of how to best testify before a committee. She has been doing so since 1991 and says she supports bills based on the Constitution and freedom instead of which party brought the bill forward. She works with legislators on both sides of the aisle to alter bills with which she disagrees. She says that it’s hard to work with those who are not necessarily your friend, but that’s what you have to do.

“When at the Legislature, you get what you can. Twenty-five percent is better than zero.”

She acknowledged that not everyone can attend legislative sessions, but pointed out that people power is especially effective in altering bills and votes. Legislators count emails for or against bills and the more they receive, the more likely they are to be affected one way or the other. She then gave the Legislature’s email address, www.leg.state.nv.us., which contains everything one might want to know about the Legislature or any particular bill. One can also watch committee hearings live on the site.

New Nevada State Movement

Robert Thomas, leader of the New Nevada State Movement was instrumental in getting Hansen to Pahrump.

“We were lucky to get her down here,” he said.

The New Nevada State Movement was first considered after the November 2018 election.Its mission is to “inform the public of the advantages of peacefully forming a new state out of rural Nevada, using the methodology set forth in the U.S. Constitution, and increasing personal liberty by strengthening the individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights,” according to its website.

The group believes “rural counties of Nevada voted in line with the provisions in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights” while voters in the state’s more populous urban regions “voted progressive ideology.”

The New Nevada State Movement aims to form a new rural-counties government representing what they believe are common values and interests.

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