CARSON CITY — The state Legislature concluded the first month of its four-month, 120-day session on Friday still operating at a reduced level of activity in a session already expected to be more run-of-the-mill than swing for the fences.
The legislative building remains closed to the public amid COVID-19 concerns, contributing to the odd sense that little is getting done. Both the Assembly and Senate worked through light agendas and took days off from floor sessions. Committee hearings, all being conducted virtually, drew complaints from some participants seeking more time to comment on bills.
Republicans in both houses are pressing for the building to reopen, citing relaxed restrictions on public gatherings implemented in recent weeks by the governor. Democrats, who control both houses, continue to urge caution and restraint.
Vaccinations begin, but still no firm reopening plans
With lawmakers, legislative staff and others who work in the building receiving vaccinations for COVID-19 last week, the timeline for when the facility could reopen to the general public is becoming ever so slightly less blurry.
Democratic leaders Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said in a joint statement Thursday that if everything goes to plan, the next phase for reopening of the building could start in early April.
“We are discussing next steps now that many staff are starting to be vaccinated and are working off the assumption that vaccinations could have us on track for the next of phase of limited reopening in early April. All of this will be guided by case numbers and public health best practices,” the statement said.
What’s on deck
The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 118, which would create the Nevada First Scholars Program within the Nevada System of Higher Education. The program would provide support