Friday, May 22, 2009 | 6:26 p.m.
F Street bill gets Senate's OK
CARSON CITY – By a 19-2 vote, the Senate has approved a bill aimed at the reopening of F Street in Las Vegas with the cost estimated at anywhere from $40 million to $70 million.
Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, says the city has committed to spend $22.5 million toward the reopening, including $2.5 million for design and the environmental study.
He said the city and the state Transportation Department have agreed to work together to secure federal funds to pay for the project. And the state will pick up the remainder of what's left over.
The street linked residents of the predominately black neighborhood in West Las Vegas to the downtown and to a planned new downtown development.
Assembly Bill 304 returns to the Assembly for agreement on an amendment. Voting against the measure were Sens. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas and Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas.
Legislature approves off-roading bill
The Legislature has approved a bill to register and license thousands of off-road vehicles.
The Senate agreed with an amendment to the bill that would impose a $20-$30 registration fee on such things as all terrain motorcycles, dune buggies and snowmobiles.
Leah Bradle, executive director of the Nevada Powersport Dealers Association, said she was very pleased but added there was a “likely veto” by Gov. Jim Gibbons because of the fee.
She said she will work to overturn the veto when and if the bill returns to the Legislature.
Bradle estimates there are 200,000 off-road vehicles in Nevada. But Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Elko, who sponsored the bill, says there may be as many as 425,000.
Park of the money collected from the registration fee would go toward improving off-road vehicle areas.
Senate Bill 394 was approved by the Senate 17-1 and in the Assembly by 34-6.
Autism bill advances
A bill that would require a health benefit plan to provide an option for coverage of diagnosis and treatment of autism has been approved unanimously by the Senate.
The bill says policies would cover children up to 18 or if enrolled in high school until the individual reaches the age of 22. The maximum benefit must not be less than $36,000 a year for the treatment.
Assembly Bill 162 goes to Gov. Jim Gibbons for his signature.
Constitutional amendment would bring annual sessions
A proposed constitutional amendment is making its way through the Legislature to provide for annual sessions and to boost the pay of lawmakers.
Legislators are now paid for the first 60 days of the 120-day biennial Legislature. And they receive pay for every day of a 20-day special session.
Assembly Joint Resolution 6 would set up a 60 day session in every even numbered year in addition to the regular 120 days in odd-number years. The Senate has adopted an amendment to the resolution that the lawmakers be paid for every day they are in session.
The pay for legislators elected or re-elected in 2008 is $146 per day for the first 60 days. Those holdover senators earn $136 per day.
Legislators are now reimbursed $60 for postage, newspapers and stationary. That limit would be removed. The proposed constitutional amendment would eliminate the extra $2 a day given to the Assembly Speaker and the lieutenant governor, who presides over the Senate.
The lawmakers are also processing Assembly Joint Resolution 5, which would permit the Legislature, upon two-thirds vote of its members, to call itself into special session. At present, only the governor can convene a special session.
These resolutions would have to be approved by the 2011 Legislature and then ratified by the voters.