A Primer on Nevada’s 2023 Legislative Session

As lawmakers prepare for 120 days in Carson City, we look at what to expect.

The Nevada Legislature convenes its 82nd legislative session on Feb. 6, kicking off the biennial process of determining how to spend Nevada’s tax dollars and what policies to pursue. As 2023 gets underway, let’s take a look at what to expect.

Lots of changes heading into 2023 session

It starts at the top with a new governor-elect in Joe Lombardo. He will work alongside new leadership in the Assembly, including Speaker-Designate Steve Yeager, Democrat from District 9 in Clark County and new Republican Minority Leader Heidi Seevers Gansert in the Senate. Lieutenant Governor-elect Stavros Anthony is another new face and has the tie breaking vote in the Senate, if needed.

Thanks to results from the 2020 Census, Nevada has a new legislative map. Drawn up and approved by a Democratic majority in the legislature in 2021, it was signed into law by outgoing Democratic governor Steve Sisolak.

Incoming Republican governor Joe Lombardo will have $325.8 million more in state revenues to work with over the next biennium, compared to 2021-23. Last month, Sisolak presented his budget priorities, which include a ten percent pay raise for state employees in the first year of this biennium, a more than doubling of the education budget, and the creation of a revolving loan fund for affordable housing.

Lombardo will ultimately be responsible for setting the direction of the state’s finances, and will need to work with a Democratic majority in the legislature.

Yet, what changes stays the same

Democrats maintained – and even increased – their majority in the Assembly and Senate during the 2022 Election, and the party has also re-appointed Nicole Cannizzaro as Senate Majority Leader, a position she also held last session.

Women once again are leading the charge in Nevada. Nearly 59% of elected legislators are women, and women have been chosen as chairs for 9 of ten committees in the Assembly, and 6 of ten in the Senate.

Required Reading

Arguably, the most impactful work of the legislative session is determining the state budget over the next two years. Here is a good resource on how the budget process works in Nevada, including how the governor, legislature and other key players work together.

The Economic Forum released its revenue projections for the state in December.

Read more on outgoing Governor Steve Sisolak’s final proposed budget priorities.

Here’s more on Nevada’s new legislative maps from the 2020 U.S. Census.

Looking ahead…

As the new year begins, Assembly District 10 in Clark County remains vacant. Rochelle Nguyen resigned her seat in December to take an appointment to the state Senate, replacing Chris Brooks. The Clark County Commission, which already appointed Nguyen to the Senate, is responsible for appointing her replacement in the Assembly. For more information on this process, The Nevada Independent has this nice write-up from 2018.

What do you want to know about heading into Nevada’s next legislative session? Let us know what has you confused, concerned or cautious about what lies ahead, and we’ll look into it.

Noah Glick is the Executive Editor for the Sierra Nevada Ally. He is an award-winning journalist, writer, and audio and podcast producer, whose work has been heard nationally on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and more. He is a multiple regional Edward R. Murrow Award winner for his reporting on climate, energy, and housing.


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