Urgent Action Request from the 81st Legislative Session on Governor’s Emergency Powers
Five of our Nevada Republican legislators (Senator Hansen, Senator Hammond, Senator Pickard, Assemblyman Wheeler, and Assemblywoman Black) have pending Bill Draft Requests (BDR) to end Governor Sisolak’s emergency declaration, as well as to narrow Executive authority and require validation by the Legislature, of all future such declarations.
Your 2020 Nevada Republican Convention unanimously passed a resolution, “Nevada Republican Convention Resolution G-2020-06, To Define and Limit Emergency Powers of Nevada Governor” You can read the resolution here. The resolution challenges the Nevada Legislature to limit the Governor’s authority. We demand the definition of an emergency be narrowed, emergency authority be decentralized to counties, and demand that emergency declarations require recurring validation by the Legislature.
Emergencies occur and government needs to be able to quickly and responsibly act to protect lives and property. However, as United States District Judge William S. Stickman IV wrote, “The liberties protected by the Constitution are not fair-weather freedoms.” Judge Stickman continued, “…the solution to a national crisis can never be permitted to supersede the commitment to individual liberty that stands as the foundation of the American experiment.” The US Constitution exists for times of crises, and we demand the Legislature be required to validate that the “cure” isn’t worse than the crisis, as Gov. Sisolak’s current proclamations clearly are.
Once the initial days of a crisis pass, ongoing measures must be subject to open debate, modification, and legislative approval to continue. The Governor must be compelled by law to prove to the people’s representatives that exceptional Executive authority past an initial crisis response is in fact needed. Federalist Paper 49 tells us that The People are the fountain of all power, and we delegate some of that power to multiple branches of government in our American republic to prevent its abuse as we have seen under Gov. Sisolak. We demand the Legislature reassert itself into the emergency powers process.
Republicans must show the Legislature that we set the bar in Convention last June. The Nevada Legislature must limit King Sisolak’s authority. Nevada Revised Statute 414 currently provides mandatory compensation for the taking of property by government incidental to these emergency powers. The Takings Clause of the US Constitution also applies. The potential litigation damages against the state of Nevada for these shutdowns could be in the billions of dollars. The People have a right and a duty through their elected representatives to ensure an ongoing emergency is in fact an emergency and that economic damages born by workers, business owners, and taxpayers are minimized.
Our Nevada Republican legislators support the efforts to pass these bills – please thank them for their support. More importantly, contact the Democrat legislators responsible for moving these bills, listed below, and respectfully demand they allow the following Bill Draft Requests (BDR)s to be heard during this session. As these are just drafts at this point, we do not have the full language of the bills but will share when those become accessible. We need folks to DEMAND that the following BDRs are heard this session:
BDR-178 (Senator Hansen): Limits the Governor’s use of executive power under an emergency declaration.
BDR-19-590 (Senator Hammond): Revises provisions relating to emergency management.
BDR-36-51 (Senator Pickard): Revises provisions relating to emergency management, including requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to extend the Governor’s declaration of emergency beyond 30 days and prohibiting agencies and regulatory boards from adopting restrictions which exceed the restrictions imposed by the Governor.
BDR-36-41 (Assemblyman Wheeler): Limits the duration of a state of emergency or declaration of disaster declared by the Governor.
BDR-930 (Assemblywoman Black): Proposes a resolution terminating the Governor’s Declaration of Emergency for COVID-19, dated March 12, 2020.
Contact the following legislators by phone and email everyday telling them that election reform is needed in Nevada and you want these BDR’s to be heard this session:
Senate Government Affairs
Marilyn Dondero-Loop (Chair): Marilyn.DonderoLoop@sen.state.nv.usOffice– (775) 684-1445
James Ohrenschall (Vice Chair): James.Ohrenschall@sen.state.nv.us Office- (775) 684-6503
Majority Leader Nicole Cannizarro:
Nicole.Cannizzaro@sen.state.nv.us Office- (775) 684-1475
Assembly Government Affairs
Edgar Flores (Chair): Edgar.Flores@asm.state.nv.us – (775) 684-8583
Selena Torres (Vice Chair): Selena.Torres@asm.state.nv.us – (775) 684-8599
Speaker Jason Frierson:
Jason.Frierson@asm.state.nv.us Office- (775) 684-8637
We encourage you to speak your mind and share your own thoughts, but below are some key points to address with these legislators. E-mail statements that are similar in message (such as copy-and-paste scripts) will be filtered through the NVLeg emails and legislators will only receive one email with that language. We encourage you to write your own personalized email:
“The Governor’s Emergency Powers are hurting Nevadans. His power to completely and solely change the State must be changed to require a review of the Legislature. We ask you to ensure hearings for the following Bill Draft Requests this session:
BDR-178 (Senator Hansen)
BDR-19-590 (Senator Hammond)
BDR-36-41 (Assemblyman Wheeler)
BDR-36-51 (Senator Pickard)
BDR-930 (Assemblywoman Black)
The Governor must not hold all the power to determine when and how long our state is in an emergency. During this pandemic we have seen policies enacted that violate our constitutional rights and cripple our state more than the pandemic. Governors were never meant to exercise this much authority. We have been in a state of emergency for almost a year with no input from our Legislature. This must change and it starts with these bills being heard.”
We only retain possession of the rights we exercise.