Nevada’s legislative process is defined in Article 4 of Nevada’s constitution. It sets when the legislature meets, lays out the structure for the legislature, and defines the legislative process.
Table of Contents
- Nevada's Legislative Sessions
- Structure of the Nevada Legislature
- The Legislative Process in Nevada
- The Interim Session
When does Nevada’s legislature meet?
Nevada’s legislature meets in odd-numbered years for 120 consecutive days beginning the first Monday in February.
When does the session start?
This year, the session runs from Monday, February 2 to June 1, 2015. This is the 78th session of the Nevada legislature.
What happens between legislative sessions?
See information about interim legislative sessions, below.
Where can I learn more about the Nevada Legislature?
The Nevada Legislature's website is www.leg.state.nv.us. You can get information on bills, legislators, and upcoming committee meetings; share your opinion on bills; and even watch meetings and floor sessions live.
How is Nevada’s legislature structured?
Like the federal government, Nevada’s has a bicameral legislature. The two houses are called the Assembly and the Senate.
How many legislators are there?
There are 42 Assemblypersons and 21 Senators. Legislators come from all parts of the state.
How can I find my legislator?
If you live in Nevada, you can find your legislator using this interactive map.
How long are the legislators’ terms?
The term of office for Nevada’s legislators mirrors the terms of our federal Congress, but Nevada’s legislators are subject to term limits. Members of the Nevada Assembly serve two-year terms. If reelected, they are limited to six terms, or twelve total years in the Assembly. Members of the Nevada Senate serve four year terms. If reelected, they are limited to three terms, or twelve total years in the Senate.
The Legislative Process
Who can submit a bill?
When someone wants to change our law, they must first submit an idea for a bill, known as Bill Draft Requests or “BDRs.” BDRs can be submitted by legislators, legislative committees, the Governor, State agencies, and local governments.
How does a bill become a law?
Once a BDR is drafted into a full bill, it is read and referred to a committee. If the bill passes out of committee, it is read two additional times to the full house. After the third reading, the bill receives a roll call vote. Most bills only need a constitutional majority to pass, but tax or fee increases require a two-thirds majority. If the bill passes the first house, the process is repeated in the second house. If the bill passes the second house, it must be signed by the governor to become a law.
Additional details and information about Nevada’s legislative process can be found in this chart (PDF), prepared by the Nevada legislature.
What if the governor does not sign the bill?
If the Governor does not approve of a bill, he or she has the option of vetoing it. If a bill is vetoed, it returns to its original house and may be reconsidered. To override the Governor’s veto and become law, the bill must pass both houses with a two thirds vote.
If the Governor chooses not to either sign or veto the bill, it will still become a law.
Are there any deadlines a bill has to meet during the session?
Yes. If a bill fails to meet any of the following deadlines, the bill dies and can no longer be considered.
- Day 8 (Monday, Week 2) – Legislators’ BDRs are due
- Day 15 (Monday, Week 3) – Legislative BDRs arising out of Committees are due and Comments to Legislators BDRs are due
- Day 22 (Monday, Week 4) – Committees’ BDR Details are due
- Day 43 (Monday, Week 7) – Legislators must formally introduce their bills
- Day 50 (Monday, Week 8) – Committees must introduce their bills
- Day 68 (Friday, Week 10) – Bills must pass out of committee of the originating house
- Day 79 (Tuesday, Week 12) – Bills must pass out of the first house
- Day 103 (Friday, Week 15) – Bills must pass out of committee of the second house
- Day 110 (Friday, Week 16) – Bills must pass out of the second house
- Day 120 (Monday, Week 18) - End of session
The Interim Session
What happens between legislative sessions?
Between sessions, members of the legislature are still involved in committee work. Legislators sit on various interim committees, study committees, and advisory committees that cover a wide range of issues. These committees hold public hearings, direct research, and deliberate on proposed legislation for the next session of the Legislature.
What if the full legislature needs to meet between legislative sessions?
The legislature can call an emergency session if two-thirds of both the currently-elected House and Senate petition the Secretary of State hold a session. The petition must state the order of business to be discussed and only bills related to the order of business can be considered.