Nevada: Constitutional amendment to create judicial compensation commission appears dead; plan to repeal defunct advisory statutory commission advances in Assembly

A constitutional amendment which would have created a new binding compensation commission to set salaries for judges and other elected officials in Nevada appears dead while plans to repeal a defunct statutory body have cleared the Assembly.

AJR 10, which had been approved by the 2015/2016 Nevada legislature, would have created a Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Certain Elected Officers to set salaries for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Courts, and other state and local officials. The Commission’s recommendations would have been binding.

All seven members were to have been appointed to the commission by the governor; AJR 10 as originally introduced would have had seats chosen by members of each of the 3 branches of government.

The constitutional amendment needed to be passed by the 2017 session (Nevada’s legislature sits every other year) in order to get on the 2018 ballot. Under Joint Standing Rule No. 14.3.2 final action on a joint resolution may only be taken by the house of origin on or before the 79th calendar day of the legislative session (April 25 for this year).

The existing Commission to Review Compensation, which is created by statute and merely advisory, appears not to have met or held a session since the 1990s (see page 3). That body was to have reviewed the compensation paid to same officials covered by the proposed constitutional amendment. A bill to eliminate the Commission to Review Compensation (AB 126) and others commissions passed the Assembly.