Newly elected Nevada lawmakers attend orientation
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s new lawmakers have gone back to the classroom to get ready to start legislating next year.
The freshman class of the General Assembly took part in a three-day orientation earlier this month, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .
The classes taught the newly elected lawmakers how to use the Legislature’s computer systems and how to deal with lobbyists and the media.
The 13 lawmakers will also attend classes in December to learn about policy issues and in January to study budgets and the legislative process.
“My experience with lawmaking is definitely limited,” said Selena Torres, a 23-year-old newly elected Democratic assemblywoman and teacher at Eldorado High School in Las Vegas.
She has previously attended legislative sessions and testified before lawmakers, but her previous experience with the legislative process was during college.
“Being so new to this whole political process, there’s definitely a lot to learn,” she added.
Legislators approved a bill in 2011 requiring all incoming lawmakers who have never served in the Nevada Legislature to attend orientation. The move came 15 years after Nevada voters approved term limits.
“When the term limits kicked in, we got to a point where we were losing approximately a third of our members every two years,” said Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau. “You can’t have one-third of the Legislature being in the back seats really not participating at a high level.”
Republican Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen also attended orientation. She will represent parts of Sparks and areas all the way to the northern border that are part of Assembly District 32, the same one her husband had represented since 2010.
“It’s nice to have a little bit of knowledge of the lay of the land and to know some of the individuals,” Hansen said. “But it is a totally different experience now that the responsibility is on my shoulders.”
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com