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November 1, 2014

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Session takes on partisan edge

Senate Democrats introduced amendments this evening, raising the partisan edge at the end of a surprisingly nonpartisan day.

These were clever gambits by Senate Minority Leader Steven Horsford, though the longterm ramifications are yet to be seen.

The first amendment asked to add accountability to a bill cutting textbook money.

The second proposal came from Sen. Dina Titus, in which she proposed allowing Nevada gas tax rates to go down if the federal government declares a tax holiday. Both measures failed 11-10, with all the Republicans voting against it and all the Democrats voting for it.

The accountability measure would have come with some cost, the reason Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, said he voted against it. Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, said she voted against the measure because it would only have the governor's efficiency committee look at K-12.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio said, "They're wasting time, and these are campaign speeches."

Beers added that Democrats have been negotiating with Republicans for a week, and they have just seen these amendments.

"It calls into question their trust-worthiness," he said.

In the tensest moment of the day, Horsford introduced an amendment to the bill cutting textbook money that would have added "accountability measures" by having the governor's Spending And Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission look at K-12.

It would have come with some costs, though, and caught Senate Republicans off guard.

This move put Republicans in an uncomfortable position, forced to vote against the red meat "accountability measure." The Senate - again with 11 Republicans to 10 Democrats - withdrew the bill before a vote on Titus' gas tax exemption.

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