Published Saturday, May 25, 2013 | 11:57 a.m.
Updated Saturday, May 25, 2013 | 5:49 p.m.
A bill to give driver's licenses to people who entered the U.S. illegally has advanced in the Legislature, but Picon Punch might not become the state’s official drink.
The Assembly Transportation Committee, with two members dissenting, approved the bill Saturday to allow undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s privilege cards.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles estimated that 60,000 people would apply for this type of license.
Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Las Vegas, said the authorization cards could not be used for voter registration. Committee Chairman Richard Carrillo, D-Las Vegas, referred to a section in the bill that people with these licenses would still not qualify for benefits such as welfare.
Senate Bill 303 would prohibit the release of information on the cards to enforce immigration laws.
Card seekers would have to take the same driving tests, and their authorization cards would have to be renewed every year instead of the normal four years.
The DMV estimated it would collect an extra $250,000 a year, which would go toward building roads.
Supporters have argued that immigrants with privilege cards could buy cars, insurance and gasoline, helping the state’s economy.
The bill goes to the floor of the Assembly. Voting against it in committee were Republicans Jim Wheeler of Minden and John Hambrick of Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, the measure to make Picon Punch the official drink of the state may go down the drain.
Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, said the Senate refused Friday to accept his amendment to Senate Bill 436, which would kill the plan. That section of the bill said, “The traditional Basque drink known as Picon Punch is hereby designated as the official state drink of the state of Nevada.”
The drink includes Amer Picon, club sofa, grenadine and a splash of brandy. The Senate takes the official vote on the amendment Monday, but Horne said it doesn't have the support its needs.
It was a favorite of Basque sheepherders in Northern Nevada.
That would mean the proposal would suffer the same fate as the effort to name the Blue Weimaraner as the official state dog.
The Assembly Ways and Means Committee approved a bill Saturday to nab out-of-state contractors who come into Nevada and don’t pay the required fees.
Carrillo said these contractors complete the job and return to their home state with their profits.
Senate Bill 167 would require such contractors to pay a fee of $200 for the first vehicle and $150 for each additional vehicle. Failure to pay the fee would result in a fine of up to $500 and up to $750 for a subsequent offense.
It is expected to result in an additional $6 million a year in revenue for the state.
The bill goes to the floor of the Assembly.
This story has been edited to reflect the fact the Senate hasn’t yet taken the official vote on the picon punch amendment.