Nevada voters reject ballot measure that would have increased legislative control over state board of regents

On November 3, Nevada voters chose not to adopt Nevada Question 1, a ballot measure that would have given the state legislature more control over the Nevada State Board of Regents. The Board of Regents is an elected executive agency that manages Nevada’s higher education system.

According to the 2017 legislation that introduced the ballot measure, the Board of Regents “has, at various times, relied on its constitutional status and its authority to control and manage the affairs of the State University as a defensive shield and cloak against the people’s legislative check of accountability,” and has “taken actions that have hindered, thwarted or undermined the Legislature’s investigation, review and scrutiny of the institutions, programs and operations of the Nevada System of Higher Education.”

The ballot measure would have removed references to the Board of Regents from the Nevada Constitution to ensure that the agency only uses authority derived from statutes passed by the legislature.

Supporters of the measure, like State Assemblyman Jim Wheeler (R), argued, “Question 1 simply makes the Board of Regents a statutory body, subject to checks and balances—an important American principle.” 

Opponents of the measure, like Board of Regents Member Laura E. Perkins, argued, “There’s no numbers or positive proof that the system that may or may not come out of this is better than the system that we have now.”

Questions about legislative control of administrative agencies often involve the nondelegation doctrine, one of five pillars key to understanding the main areas of debate about the nature and scope of the administrative state. The nondelegation doctrine is a legal principle holding that legislative bodies cannot delegate their legislative powers to executive agencies or private entities.

To learn more about the ballot measure or the nondelegation doctrine, see here:

Additional reading:

Text of the resolution:

Assembly Joint Resolution No. 5

Source of Wheeler quote:

Jim Wheeler: Vote for Question 1, reform higher education

Source of Perkins quote:

The Indy Explains: Question 1, a measure that would strike the Board of Regents from the Constitution