Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) criticized the Nevada legislature for its inaction banning prostitution in the state, saying it hurts Nevada’s business climate and reputation.

“The legislature, they’re all a bunch of cowards,” Reid said at an Asian Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Thursday when asked if he was still in favor of prohibiting prostitution, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Nevada counties where prostitution in legal

Prostitution is legal in 12 rural Nevada counties, although not every county where it’s legal has a brothel. It’s illegal in four county, including the two most populous, Clark County, home of Las Vegas, and Washoe County, home of Reno, as well as Carson City, the state capitol. That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening there, though. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported last year it arrested 4,041 people for “vice enforcement,” a decline of nearly 3,000 since 2008.

Las Vegas vice enforcement arrests

Reid said he believes prostitution has “hindered economic development in the state,” and called on lawmakers to ban it in 2011, but “hey were afraid to do anything about it.” Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) responded saying it was a local issue for counties to decide.