Do as we say

Members of the Nevada Legislature have been processing legislation to limit the ability of public bodies to hold closed meetings while the legislators themselves have been meeting in closed meetings.

Budget leaders in both houses have been meeting in private on a dispute over education funding (see “Education first?” also in News).

Assembly Bill 433, sponsored by Speaker Barbara Buckley, has been approved by the Assembly and is now before the Senate. It was prompted by a May 2005 Nevada Tax Commission action secretly granting a $40 million tax refund to Southern California Edison.

The Tax Commission acted under language in the law allowing it to close meetings on tax appeals “if the taxpayer requests that it be closed.” A.B. 433 would allow closure upon “request by the taxpayer and for good cause shown … to receive proprietary or confidential information.” It defines proprietary information narrowly and further limits meeting closures by other public bodies.