%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
Nevada Government & Politics
Territory & Statehood

Designing a State

The Legislature of Nevada has always met at Carson City. Governor Nye prescribed that the First Territorial Legislature should meet there on October 1, 1861.  That Legislature designated Carson City as the capital of Nevada Territory and this was reaffirmed by the State Constitution in 1864.

The First Territorial Legislature was held at Abraham Curry's Warm Springs Hotel, located east of Carson City where the State Prison now stands.  A horse-drawn streetcar on wooden rails provided transportation. Sessions from 1862 to 1869 were held in the original Ormsby County Courthouse, which was on the site of the present courthouse at the corner of Carson and Musser streets.  Sessions for the next century, from 1871 until 1969, were held in the State Capitol Building.  Since 1971, all legislative sessions have been held in the Legislative Building, located just south of the Capitol Building.  Nevada is one of only three states in the Nation with its legislative chambers located in a building separate from its capitol.

The schedule of the State Constitution directed that the first session of the Legislature should commence on the second Monday of December 1864, the second regular session on the first Monday of January 1866, and third regular session, which would be the first of the biennial sessions, should commence on the first Monday of January 1867.

Terms of office for Senators are four years, for Assemblymen two years.  Legislators receive salary for the first 60 days during a regular session and the first 20 days during a special session.  The Legislature is the judge of its own membership and may seat or unseat whomever it chooses.

Photo Credit:
Nevada State Museum