(Annie Black) – On March 17, 2020, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak invoked “emergency” powers and unilaterally shut the entire state’s economy down due to the Wuhan coronavirus.
Four days later I wrote in an AnnieGram…
“We’re in an emergency situation. The governor needs counsel. And he needs to hear from voices outside his inner circle. Especially legislators who are closer to their constituents on the ground and better able understand the impact of these decisions. It’s time for the governor to call a special session.”
On April 4, 2020 I renewed my call…
“(A)ll 63 elected members of the Legislature should be called into a Special Session, the sooner the better. … We’re allowing too much power to be placed in the hands of one man who clearly has no experience whatsoever dealing with a situation like this.”
Once again, no go.
As the economic devastation from the #SislolakShutdown worsened – and it was clear the governor was not going to consult with nor obtain legislative approval for his “emergency” directives – I released on May 27, 2020 “Black’s Blueprint: 7 Steps for Rebuilding Nevada” which included the following…
1.) EMERGENCY POWERS LIMITATION ACT
“It’s one thing to give the governor the power to declare a short-term emergency. It’s another thing to give him an indefinite blank check – like what we’ve experienced during the COVID-19 shutdown.
“The Legislature needs to pass a bill that limits the scope and length of time any governor can wield ‘emergency powers’ – including the suspension of constitutional rights – without seeking the approval of the elected members of the Legislature.”
I also noted that if the governor refused to call a special session, legislators had the power to do so themselves.
The governor has since convened two special sessions and, not surprisingly, refused to include in his agenda any measure that would rein in the authoritarian powers he’s conveyed upon himself for almost FIVE MONTHS now.
So at the conclusion of today’s special session, Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer issued a formal “Petition of the Members of the Legislature of the State of Nevada to Convene a Special Session” which reads as follows…
“Now, therefore, the undersigned members of the Legislature, by virtue of the authority vested in them by the Constitution of the State of Nevada and by transmitting to the Secretary of State one of more substantially similar petitions signed, in the aggregate, by the required number of members calling for a special session, do hereby convene the Legislature into a special session to begin on or before Thursday, August 6, 2020. The following business may be transacted during the special session:
- A bill to require a state of emergency or a declaration of disaster proclaimed by the Governor or by a resolution of the Legislature to terminate not later than 30 days after the proclamation of the state of emergency or declaration of disaster, unless, if the Legislature is not in session, a special session of the Legislature is convened and a 2/3’s majority of the Legislature approves the extension of the state of emergency or declaration of disaster, or, if the Legislature is in regular session, a 2/3’s majority of the Legislature approves the extension of the state of emergency or declaration of disaster.”
Unfortunately, by law a 2/3’s majority of the Legislature is required to call itself into a special session – and Republicans only make up a third of the Legislature.
Meaning Sen. Settelmeyer’s petition calling for a special session has virtually no chance of being approved by the Democrat majority.
But the mere act of calling for a special session to adopt an Emergency Powers Limitation bill is a HUGE step in the right direction and raises the issue to the voting public. Just as importantly, it creates an election issue for GOP candidates to run on in November.
Republicans running against incumbent Democrats who refuse to sign Sen. Settelmeyer’s petition can bludgeon their opponents for supporting the governor’s blank check to continue destroying Nevada’s economy and worsening our budget deficit.
Looking forward to seeing the list of legislators who signed and didn’t sign the petition. Sure hope EVERY Republican signed it.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“If the media seriously wanted to report the news – instead of spinning it – they could stop calling rioters ‘protesters.'” – Thomas Sowell
Annie Black is a Mesquite City Councilwoman and Assemblywoman-elect for Nevada State Assembly District 19. You can get more information by visiting www.electannieblack.com