Legislature begins 4-month run Monday; Senate leader hints at possible changes


    Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson of North Las Vegas says increased school funding, increases in minimum wage and collective bargaining are among his priorities as the 80th session of the Nevada Legislature begins its 120-day run Monday in Carson City. (Facebook photo)

    Tomorrow it begins again.

    Four four months, state politicians will shape the state's future.

    The 80th session of the Nevada Legislature promises new changes, to go along with new faces.

    But, it's an experienced one that will help lead them ... Senate Majority Leader and Democrat Kelvin Atkinson.

    "For myself and people who have been around for some time, this is the first time they’ve got to serve for my party, to have all three offices," Atkinson told News 3 on Sunday. "That’s pretty exciting for people."

    The Democratic Party controls all three branches of state government, governor, Senate and Assembly.

    That power is something he addressed.

    "We don’t want to be the session of just blowing everything up because we have the numbers," he said. "We’ve got to be careful. We do know were not a blue state but we can turn at any time."

    So, what changes are coming?

    The senator said collective bargaining will be at the center of his plans. Minimum wage increases and school funding increases are as well.

    So is the way they do business.

    Right now, state politicians meet for 120 days every two years.

    That, Atkinson says, needs to change.

    "We're always having that discussion of does this system work. We don’t think it does anymore," he said. "Were 3 million (state residents) by the time next session were 3.2 or 3.3. We don’t think its keeping up. We don’t want to call a special session so we wait. It’s becoming quite antiquated."

    Splitting the session up annually -- splitting time between Carson City and Las Vegas -- is expected to be introduced as well.

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