Sisolak: Second special session of 2020 won’t immediately follow first

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Sun, Jul 19, 2020 (3:19 p.m.)

Due to safety concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, legislators will not immediately be called into a second special legislative session after the current one ends, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Sunday.

Sisolak’s announcement came as the current legislative session began to wind down. Lawmakers indicated they intended to wrap the session up on Sunday, 12 days after it began, with the passage of a massive budget cut bill meant to fill a $1.2 billion hole in the state budget.

"While it was my previous intention to call an immediate subsequent special session to discuss extraordinary policy issues that I believe cannot and should not wait until the regularly scheduled 2021 legislative session, I have serious reservations about having our lawmakers convene again for a similar – or longer – period of time in the midst of this spike in our state," Sisolak said in a statement.

As of Sunday afternoon, there were 35,765 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nevada. Sisolak did not indicate a date for the second special session, but said he would do so when the Legislature and his office have "fully reviewed all policy items."

In the statement, Sisolak said the second session would tackle an array of issues, including criminal social justice and electoral policy reform. He said the session also would include measures to "stabilize Nevada businesses" to lessen economic impacts of the pandemic, and to create new safety standards for employees.

In addition, lawmakers will consider measures to remove "statutory barriers" for the state’s unemployment insurance program, which has been plagued by issues and payment delays.

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, in a press conference with Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, did not offer specifics about what policy issues would be brought up, but said lawmakers had been in discussion with Sisolak for months on various issues.

"We’re going to continue to talk about what would be appropriate for now versus next session and whether or not health conditions allow for us to continue to talk about some of those policies," Frierson said.

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