Saturday, May 30, 2015

Upon Further Review: Nevada Assembly Committee Passes Presidential Primary Bill

A day after rejecting the measure to create a presidential primary in Nevada, the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee passed an amended SB 421 on a party line, 6-4 vote. Unlike Wednesday's less cohesive committee vote, majority Republicans on the panel voted as a bloc in favor of the change on Thursday, May 28.

The amended bill would establish a separate presidential primary scheduled for the last Tuesday in February. That differs from the Senate-passed version that would not only have created a presidential primary in the Silver state, but would have, in a cost-savings move, shifted the June primaries for other offices up to February as well. It was that latter provision that received pushback from elections administrators across the state and Democrats on the panel among others.

With time winding down on a legislative session due to adjourn on June 1, SB 421 now heads to the Assembly floor with a "Do Pass" recommendation from the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee. If the bill passes there, it could proceed along one of two paths. First, the bill could be sent back to the state Senate for another round of consideration (in its amended form). However, it could also head to a conference committee to hammer out the differences between the chambers (before being sent back for final votes in the Assembly and Senate). Either way offers potential roadblocks.

But first thing's first: The full Assembly gets a crack at voting up or down on the measure to create a presidential primary in the Silver state.

A tip of the cap to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News for the heads up on the committee vote.

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