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Introduction and First Reading

From Chapter III of the 2013 Legislative Manual:

After a bill has been drafted, it is ready for introduction in the Legislature. Only legislators and standing committees are authorized to introduce a bill. Under the Nevada Constitution, any bill may originate in either house, and all bills passed by one may be amended in the other. This is a significant departure from the practice in the United States Congress, where bills raising revenue must originate in the House of Representatives. But in Nevada, as in Congress, bills originating in one house must be sponsored by a member or a committee of that house. Joint sponsorship of legislation by standing committees and by one or more legislators from one or both houses (Senate and Assembly) is authorized.

The Senate and the Assembly have joint rules that place a time and number limit on legislators' requests for the drafting of bills and resolutions. After a regular legislative session has convened, each Senator is entitled to four, and each member of the Assembly is entitled to two, requests for the drafting of a bill that must be submitted by the eighth calendar day of session. The number of requests for bills by standing committees is also limited, and these requests must be submitted by the fifteenth calendar day of session. Emergency bills may be authorized by the Majority Floor Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, the Minority Leader of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the Assembly. All bill draft requests must be introduced no later than ten calendar days after initial delivery. Appendix A provides an overview of the deadlines for introduction and passage of legislation.

All bills in Nevada, except for those placed on a consent calendar, are required by the Constitution to be read by sections in each house on three separate days. In an emergency, two-thirds of the house where a bill is pending may order this rule dispensed with on the first and second readings, but a bill must be read by sections on its final passage. To comply with the constitutional requirements, the houses have first, second, and third readings on every bill and joint resolution. However, because of the volume of bills processed through the chambers, time considerations have necessitated a liberal interpretation of the meaning of the phrase to "read by sections." At the time the Constitution was framed, printed bills were not available to each legislator for analysis, so three full readings permitted a greater study and understanding of a bill's contents and any amendments added to it prior to the vote on final passage. Today, of course, bills are readily available with the latest amendments incorporated into their texts.

The first reading in both houses is for information only. When the bills are introduced and first read, they are delivered by a legislator or legislative staff member to the desk of the Secretary or Chief Clerk, as the case may be, who assigns numbers to the bills and gives them first reading by title. In the Senate, bills and resolutions are usually referred to committees with jurisdiction over measures affecting specific titles and chapters of NRS as prescribed in Senate Standing Rule No. 40. Although a bill may initially be referred to a particular committee, on occasion, different committees may be proposed from the floor. In the Assembly, a motion is usually made for referral to committees by the introducer. As with all bill referrals the whole house votes on the question. A duplicate copy is transmitted to the Legislative Counsel for photocomposition and filing. By the following day, the official printed copies of the bills and resolutions are delivered to the Secretary or Chief Clerk. Immediately thereafter, the official printed copies are delivered by receipt to the chairs of the committees to which the bills or resolutions were referred. (When a bill introduced and passed in the first house is presented to the other house, it is typically the Assistant Majority Floor Leader in the Senate and the Majority Floor Leader in the Assembly who make a motion to refer it to committee.)


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Last updated 1/29/2013

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