SS Exam 2.docx - Chapter 6 u2013 The Nevada Legislature...

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Chapter 6 – The Nevada Legislature - The state government of Nevada consists of 3 branches that oversee each other through a system of checks and balances- State separation of powers is explicitly established in Article 3 of the state constitution - Apportionment:o Nevada’s legislature is bicameral, the lower house is the Nevada State Assembly, with 42 members, and the upper house is the Nevada State Senate, with 21 membersNumbers are not constitutionally mandated, though through Article 15 limits the total number to 75 and Article 4 requires that the number of senators be no more than one-half or less than one-third the number of members of the assembly o From 1915 to 1965 the senate was apportioned on the basis of one senator per county and additionally each county was given at least one assembly member regardless of population Overrepresented rural counties and underrepresented urban areas of the statePrior to 1966, districts representing Reno and Las Vegas contained 75% of the population but only had 21 of the 37 seats in the assembly, 57%, and 2 of the 17 seats, 12%, in the senate o Article 1 and 15 of the state constitution required that legislative apportionment in both house be based on populationReynolds v. Sims: Supreme Court interpreted the federal Constitution to require both houses of all sate legislatures be apportioned on the basis of population Flora Dungan, in 1965, filed a suit in federal court when Nevada failed to follow the apportionment interpretation and mandate resulting in Nevada’s apportionment scheme was unconstitutional and ordered the governor to call a special session of the legislature for the purpose of reapportionment - Structure and Function of the Legislatureo Article 4 of the state constitution requires only that members of the legislature be “duly qualified electors in the respective counties and the districts which they represent”Elector is different from a registered voterQualified Elector: any U.S. citizen who is 18 years old or older, who has not been convicted of a felony, and who has resided in the state for 30 days regardless of whether they are registered to vote Legislator has to be at least 21 years old at the time of the election and have resided in the state for at least on year prior to the election and can be required to be registered to vote in the party they are running for o Members of the senate serve 4-year staggered termso Members of the assembly serve 2-year terms o Amendments adopted in 1922 and 1944 allow county commissioners to fill vacancies occurring between sessions o Member of the state legislature meet every other year for approximately 6 monthsBegin the first Monday of February in odd-numbered years and are required to conclude within 120 calendar days (1864: 60 days on regular sessions and 20 days on special sessions Limits were removed in 1958 by constitutional amendment and then lengths of sessions increased After increasing lengths of sessions and economic costs, another constitutional amendment in 1998 limited regular sessions to 120 days Special sessions called by the governor are not limited on time

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