This blog entry will address and briefly assess the legislative power of Nevada’s Lieutenant Governor.

Article 5, Section 17 of the Nevada Constitution addresses the office of lieutenant governor. According to this document, the lieutenant governor is designated as President of the Nevada State Senate, but possesses only a casting (tie-breaking) vote within that body. How, then, is that delegation of power actually translated into the daily operations of Nevada’s upper house? To add another dilemma, the Nevada Constitution, in the section of the document devoted entirely to the legislative branch, permits each chamber to create their own operating rules, which could allow for severe restriction of the lieutenant governor’s authority as president of the upper house.

However, according to the rule book governing the Nevada Senate, the Senate President has broad authority, including addressing points of order, document signing power, and they control what is termed as the “general direction” of the chamber. And, rather significantly, the lieutenant governor does, unlike in some other states, actually spend significant amounts of time presiding over sessions of the State Senate. An assessment of the 2015 daily journal history of the Nevada Senate confirms a continual presence of the lieutenant governor acting in this legislative role. Thus, the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada does possess and currently exercises legislative branch authority.

The next entry in this blog will address the statutory duties of the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada.

Works Cited

State of Nevada. Constitution of Nevada. Article 5, Section 17.

Nevada State Senate. Senate Standing Rules. Article 1: Officers and Employees-Rule 1.

Nevada Legislature. Journals. 78th (2015) Session Journals.

 

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