Reno assemblywoman Amber Joiner, a Democrat, is choosing not to run for reelection in 2018. Joiner was appointed to her seat in Assembly District 24 in 2014, and since then has served for two regular sessions and two special sessions.
But in an email to The Nevada Independent, Joiner says the financial burden of campaigning and serving is unsustainable.
"For me, it has been impossible to find full-time employment that isn't either a conflict of interest or a conflict of schedule with serving in and campaigning for this seat in the Assembly," Joiner wrote. "I think it is time for Nevada to take a serious look at how prohibitive it is for people to serve in this role with no pay, health insurance, or administrative staff for 20 months at a time."
She joins fellow Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, also a Democrat and speaker pro tempore during the 2017 legislative session, in bowing out of the 2018 contest for financial reasons.
Nevada legislators are among the lowest paid state representatives in the country. They make about $9,000 dollars in salary per session, with an extra $142 in per diem.
Perennial efforts to professionalize the state's legislature, including attempts to increase member salaries, have generally stalled.
In California, the country’s highest paid state legislature, members make about $107,000 per session -- not including a per diem. The state is an outlier, however, as most legislatures hover somewhere between $10,000 and $40,000 per year.
Jacob Solis is a senior at The Reynolds School of Journalism.