October 12, 2011

Legislature exempt from open meeting laws

The Las Vegas Sun had an interesting story today focusing on the Legislature excluding itself from Nevada's open meeting laws.

The story notes how NRS 241.010, Nevada's open meeting law, slyly mentions: "'Public body' does not include the Legislature of the State of Nevada."

The Sun tied the story to the current redistricting saga. Unless a compromise is agreed upon, Governor Sandoval has rejected a special session for lawmakers to complete the redistricting process, and while redistricting is the Legislature's constitutional obligation, the Sun notes that because the Legislature is not subject to open meeting laws: "...lawmakers could meet in private, come to an agreement, and then come in for public input and a ceremonial vote."

It's a shame the Legislature has punted its constitutional responsibility to pass redistricting maps. If the Legislature does come back into session, they should follow example of the court and make the process transparent.