Group of Activists Sues Nevada Legislature Over Closure of Capitol - State and Federal Communications

February 19, 2021  •  

Group of Activists Sues Nevada Legislature Over Closure of Capitol

Nevada State Capitol Octagonal Annex

Four conservative Nevada lobbyists are suing Gov. Steve Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford, Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Brenda Erdoes, and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.

They argue they are suffering irreparable harm from COVID-19 prevention rules keeping the legislative session largely virtual and barring lobbyists from entering the Legislative Building.

All four were registered lobbyists during the 2019 legislative session.

The complaint was filed in federal District Court.

The lawsuit seeks a court-ordered injunction to immediately allow plaintiffs access to the Capitol to engage in lobbying activities.

The complaint alleges the emergency orders limiting public access to the Legislature violates their constitutional rights to petition the government and free speech.

They also argue Nevada is no longer experiencing an emergency to justify the restrictions.

The 2021 legislative session has been closed to all but lawmakers, essential staff, and some members of the media.

However, officials have announced plans to vaccinate personnel next week and left open the possibility the format will relax later in the 120-day session.

Committee hearings are being conducted virtually, with lawmakers videoconferencing in from their offices rather than gathering together in committee rooms.

Lobbyists are allowed to make appointments with lawmakers through videoconference, although formal registration of lobbyists has not opened up and Assembly Bill 110 modifying lobbyist registration policies is pending.

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