LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Three Nevada lawmakers say they are currently sick with COVID-19 and one of them is hospitalized. Concerns are now growing about how lawmakers will grapple with pressing state issues in the next legislative session set to begin on Feb. 1.
Nevada State Senator, the majority whip Dr. Pat Spearman, is hospitalized.
PREVIOUS STORY: Nevada Sen. Spearman hospitalized due to COVID-19
The senator, who is 65, has been thanking her supporters on Twitter from her hospital bed.
I want everyone to know that state @Senatorspearman is in the hospital with Covid. She is a national treasure & hero & championed the ratification of The ERA in Nevada after decades. She is a LGBT vet and has made our country a far better place. 1/2— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 30, 2020
Her hospitalization became known on Thursday after actress Patricia Arquette tweeted that the senator had refused a local hospital’s offer to make room for her and headed to the VA’s hospital instead.
Spearman retired from the U.S. Army. She currently represents District 1, which includes much of North Las Vegas.
Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted his well wishes for a speedy recovery to Spearman on Thursday.
I was glad to be able to speak to @Senatorspearman throughout this week to check in on her health. I am glad she is in good spirits. I know she is a fighter. As she said, “the only way to defeat this is through unity.”— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) December 31, 2020
Nevada Assemblywoman Nguyen tweeted on Dec. 29 that her household is positive.
Our household is COVID positive. Despite taking all possible mitigation measures, we likely picked it up from one of the courts that continue to meet in person.— Rochelle Nguyen (@rochellenguyen) December 30, 2020
Please continue to take action to slow the spread until people get vaccinated - mask, distance, contact trace.
Nevada Assemblyman Watts tweeted on Dec. 31 that he tested positive that morning.
A fitting end to 2020: I tested positive for COVID this morning. I have very mild symptoms, thankfully.— Howard Watts III (@HowardWattsNV) December 31, 2020
If you let your guard down even a little (I did) it is so easy to catch it, especially now. I’m glad that I’ve stayed in so much there’s almost no chance I’ve infected others
The illnesses come as the Nevada legislature is scheduled to convene in Carson City on Feb. 1.
The legislature meets every odd numbered year on the first Monday of February, according to the Nevada constitution.
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom continues to suggest the session be pushed back 30 days and begin on March 1.
the nevada constitution requires the legislature to start the first monday in february for 120 days, but if @GovSisolak agreed to a 30 day special session, they could start in march and go to july - much safer— Tick Segerblom (@tsegerblom) December 20, 2020
Segerblom, a former Nevada legislator himself, says Nevada's lawmakers already have a lot to do under normal circumstances in the course of a 120-day session.
"People have no idea how much work they do in four months. And if they're set back a week or two because I have to quarantine or somebody misses one vote that hurts all of us," said Segerblom in an interview with 13 Investigates.
Segerblom says the illnesses underscore the need to put a pause on the session until the COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available and accessible for Nevada's 63 state lawmakers.
"We need all 63 people to be focused on the job and not worried about whether they'll die," said Segerblom.
13 Investigates reached out to the three lawmakers who are ill with COVID-19 Friday. We also reached out to the governor's officer for comment. However, the requests were not immediately acknowledged.
13 Action News wishes them full and speedy recoveries.
Segerblom says the governor has the power to postpone the session.