Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

Currently: 73° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Nevada Legislature 2013:

Mo Denis and the walking dead: Majority leader keeps recycling legislation alive as ‘zombie bill’

Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, resurrected one of his bills Friday after other legislators had presumptively killed it.

He had earlier faced scrutiny after the Sun reported that he had authored two bills that would directly benefit his previous employer, a materials recycling facility.

That bill faced certain death in the Assembly, so Denis gave it a second life as a so-called “zombie bill” by sticking the language of his bill into another bill, Assembly Bill 487.

The politics surrounding this bill don’t involve the usual Republican-versus-Democrat dynamic. Instead, the Senate and Assembly often grapple with one another as they try to get their bills through the final days of the legislative session, which ends June 3.

Legislators try to shepherd their beloved bills through the legislative process, avoiding the death of their bills through parliamentary procedure and dealmaking. This particular amendment arrived at the last minute on an important deadline day.

“In this building, there’s a lot of of things that go on when it comes to bills,” Denis said.

The original bill, Senate Bill 316, would have required construction sites to dispose of their demolition waste at a materials recovery facilities, which sort waste into garbage and recyclables. It also would have cut out other types of recycling centers, but it has since been amended.

Now, he said, it’s a good bill that will create jobs and promote recycling.

“This will actually benefit businesses and contractors, and recycling is increased,” he said.

The amendment is only necessary because Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Reno, had the original bill gutted via a common legislative tactic: Instead of having the bill do something, legislators can make it a bill that would study the possibility of doing something.

This didn’t please Denis, who still hopes the bill will pass.

“They took everything out and turned it into a study,” Denis said. “That doesn’t increase recycling if they made it a study.”

But Bobzien said members of the Assembly had concerns that construction costs would increase because of the bill.

Denis, however, said his amendment changes the bill so that it allows for more competition while also only applying to Clark County, thus mollifying concerns of rural Republicans.

Still, the bill has to go back to the Assembly, where it faces an uncertain future.

“The reception on our side will likely be similar to what it was,” Bobzien said. “The same questions are there. Clearly, this is a signal from the (Senate) majority leader that this is important to him.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 2 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Mo bad bills...

    Mo knows bad bills...skirting the law...and a illegal alien who is his constituent...

  2. Due to unchecked population and building growth in Clark County, it is necessary to keep and pass this recycling bill supported by Mo Denis. Northern Nevada and the rurals don't really have this concern nor problem and should QUIT making it their pawn. Shame on them. Bobzien needs to get over himself, including the rest of those who hate Southern Nevada so much that they will impede any good thing just to promote their political careers, and THAT is what it is.

    Peace,
    Star