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Floor Leaders

From Chapter III of the 2013 Legislative Manual:

In addition to the formal leadership in the two houses of the Legislature, the partisan nature of the chambers makes it necessary to use party leadership positions to manage the legislative workload. In the Senate, the Majority and Minority Floor Leaders of their respective parties are selected during party caucuses. In the Assembly, the Speaker and the Minority Floor Leader are selected during party caucuses of their respective parties. The Senate and Assembly also have, by custom, established the positions of Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Assistant Minority Floor Leader, Majority Whip, Minority Whip, Assistant Majority Whip, and Assistant Minority Whip. House leaders are not legal officers of the houses, since their offices do not exist under provisions of law. In Nevada, the Senate Majority Floor Leader is the actual leader of the Senate, with powers similar to those of the Speaker of the Assembly.

Generally, the Majority Floor Leader or the Assistant Majority Floor Leader manages the referral to committee of bills that are received from the other house and works closely with the presiding officer on parliamentary operations involving legislation being considered on the floor. Thus, a thorough knowledge of parliamentary procedure is an important attribute of a competent Majority Floor Leader or Assistant Majority Floor Leader.

Floor leaders are party officials in the Legislature and are responsible for maintaining party discipline in their respective houses. Straight party voting is relatively uncommon in the Nevada Legislature, as members customarily exercise wide latitude in voting. But in certain critical areas, the Majority and Minority Floor Leaders are expected to call a caucus to determine their party's stance on an issue. Once a position is agreed upon, the floor leaders act as "whips" to solidify partisan support for the caucus decision. The tenure of the floor leaders extends during the interim between regular sessions of the Legislature and until the election of their successors after the general election.


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Last updated 1/28/2013

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