A Law to Be Named Later, Nevada makes things harder

Nevada’s legislators have long desired to do something that they haven’t been able to do.

I understand. It happens in baseball. Two teams want to trade a player, but can’t decide who to trade for that player. So, one team hands over, say, their left-fielder for “a player to be named later” from the other team.

These deals require tremendous trust.

I wonder how much the people of Nevada trust their state legislature.

I wonder because what their legislators want is to make the ballot initiative process much, much harder to use.

Years ago, the federal courts struck down a requirement that petition signatures be gathered in three-fourths of Nevada’s counties. So the state legislature passed a new law requiring signatures from every county.

Yes, the court struck that law down, too.

Nevada solons came back with legislation mandating that petitions be gathered in each of 42 legislative districts. This makes a petition drive actually 42 drives — greatly increasing costs and the opportunity for error.

Worried that scheme wouldn’t pass court review, legislators amended the bill to require petitions to come from every U.S. congressional district. But only for this election cycle. There’s a kicker: By 2011, legislators will create “petition districts.” How many districts? They’ll decide later . . . as many as they determine can get away with.

The bill passed in the last days of the just-completed session. It’s sort of a policy to be named later.

Unlike that bill, this is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.