Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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Editorial: Needed: Veto-proof plan

It is frightening to think that the current legislative session may end without a realistic solution to Nevada's projected transportation crisis.

With inflation taken into account, the state will fall $5 billion short by 2015 of being able to afford several absolutely vital road projects, including many in Southern Nevada.

What adds to the fright - caused by the double threat of road money drying up while hundreds more cars pour onto the streets and highways every day - is the similar plight of the federal government.

At the beginning of the tax-defying Bush administration, the Federal Highway Trust Fund was running a surplus. Projections show that it will be nearing a deficit at the end of the administration in January 2009 and definitely running a deficit by that year's end.

Given the looming deficit, states can expect to receive less federal highway money when their own state highway funds are running short .

This means it is even more imperative for Gov. Jim Gibbons and the Legislature to agree on a realistic, long-term funding plan for Nevada's roads. So far, however, Gibbons has been earning his nickname - the Gridlock Governor - by threatening to veto tax or fee increases and by proposing unrealistic schemes such as filching room-tax money from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

It is now up to the Legislature, in the remaining few days of its session, to agree on a responsible - and veto-proof - plan.

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