Nevada General Assembly
Regular sessions of the Nevada Legislature are held biennially in odd-numbered years. They convene on the first Monday in February after the election of members of the Senate and Assembly. Sessions are limited to 120 calendar days following the approval by voters of a constitutional amendment in 1998. Previous sessions were unlimited in length following the repeal in 1958 of a constitutional provision setting a 60-day maximum limit on the duration of a session. Since 1958, there has been only one regular session of less than 60 days, that being the single annual session of 1960, which lasted 55 days. Between 1975 and 1997, regular sessions in Nevada ran between 113 and 169 days. Conversely, the 1989 Special Session was the shortest in history, lasting just over two hours in the Senate.
At other times, the Governor may, for a specific purpose, call the Legislature into special session, or the Legislature may, upon a petition signed by two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the Legislature, convene a special session for a specific purpose without action by the Governor.
The Legislature Between Sessions
In addition to their ongoing representational duties, members of the Legislature are also involved in committee work between sessions. Members are assigned to various permanent and interim study committees to investigate a wide range of issues and make recommendations to the next session of the Legislature. These committees hold public hearings, direct research, and deliberate on proposed legislation for the next session of the Legislature.
The Legislative Counsel Bureau provides central, nonpartisan staff support for the Nevada Legislature. This agency includes a Director and the Administrative, Audit, Fiscal Analysis, Legal, and Research Divisions.
The Legislative Counsel Bureau is supervised by the Legislative Commission, a body of 12 legislators, 6 from each house. The Commission meets periodically to take action on behalf of the Legislative Branch of government and provides guidance to the staff of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.
Qualifications of Legislators
To be elected to either house of the Legislature, a person must be at least 21 years of age at the time of the election, a resident of the State for at least one year, and a qualified elector and resident in the district to be represented.
Terms of Office
All 42 members of the Assembly are elected for 2-year terms at the general election held in even-numbered years. Members of the Senate are elected for 4-year terms, with 10 being elected in one General Election and 11 in the next. Effective for the 2010 General Election, a current or former Assembly or Senate member may not seek election to a house in which he or she has served for 12 years or more.