CARSON CITY (KLAS) — Today, Carson City is a lot busier. A new Legislative session started with a busy agenda and divided branches of government.
While today was mostly pomp and circumstance, both parties laid the foundation of what’s to come.
At the Legislative Building, Democrats are in control. Not far away, new Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo is settling into his second month in office.
Now, the state is set for making things happen here that impact everyone across Nevada.
First-time Assemblyman Duy Nguyen said it’s “exciting and nervous at the same time.” Nguyen, a Democrat, represents Enterprise. He’s the first Asian-American/Pacific Islander to represent a neighborhood where it’s the majority.
He said his presence brings “a way to make sure that all voices are at the table.”
The tables are full now. Lawmakers from across Nevada are now settling in for 120 days of making laws.
“I’m looking forward to the session and making good policy for the state of Nevada,” Republican Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill said. He represents Carson City and Storey County, as well as a portion of Washoe County.
Policy everyone seems interested in revolves around education. Both sides want to increase investment and improve performance.
Republican Gov. Lombardo’s $11 billion budget includes more per-pupil funding. But is it enough to satisfy Democrats?
Democratic Senator Fabian Donate, who represents a Clark County district surrounding Reid International Airport, the south end of the Strip and the area around Allegiant Stadium, said lawmakers will have to have the money before they can spend it.
“One of the key goals we have is making sure the funding formula gets funded,” Donate said. “We think it needs investment in this upcoming session.”
And everyone here has their own agenda. It’s the nature of politics.
Now, the agenda and campaign promises meet up with the reality of government — with 119 days to go.
“A lot of work to do in 120 days,” Nguyen said.
No formal legislation was introduced today, and it might not be tomorrow either. Committees are still being locked down and laws are being rewritten.
However, one of the first topics is expected to deal with pay raises for state lawmakers.
Lombardo’s proposed $11 billion budget is the largest in state history.