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Assembly adjourns without voting on stadium

Posted at 8:29 AM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 09:29:20-04

1:15 a.m. Lawmakers in the Nevada Assembly decided to adjourn without holding a vote on the proposed stadium early Friday morning, after questioning several officials on road infrastructure costs. 

Assembly members questioned Nevada Department of Transportation director Rudy Malfabon and Gov. Brian Sandoval's Chief of Staff Mike Willden into the early morning hours Friday, concerned with a recently revealed report on potential costs of road construction if the proposed stadium is built.

Malfabon said the report was preliminary and that he didn't predict NDOT asking for any additional funds related to stadium construction during the next legislative session.  

Lawmakers said they were concerned with the late publication of the report, and questioned whether it would require the department to make changes in it's priority list for road construction.

"We’re going to take some of those much needed projects that have already been delayed because the recession and delay them even further," Democratic Assemblywoman Heidi Swank said.

Assemblyman Derek Armstrong said several amendments to the stadium bill have been drafted, but lawmakers will late until later on Friday to address them.

11:39 p.m. Plans have gone awry after lawmakers learned of a traffic impact report showing that the proposed stadium would require moving up hundreds of millions of dollars in planned infrastructure costs.

In a report commissioned by the Nevada Department of Transportation and CH2M, hundreds of millions of dollars in freeway infrastructure costs would need to be accelerated in order to meet traffic needs brought on by construction of the stadium.

The report could delay votes, as many lawmakers were unaware of the report until late Thursday. NDOT also posted a fiscal note to the bill saying it wouldn't have an impact on agency costs.

You can read the full report here.

10:36 p.m. Assembly members are likely to reconvene late Thursday or early Friday in order to vote on the stadium deal.

Lawmakers and lobbyists are furiously working to ensure that the measure, which raises hotel room taxes, can pass by the required two-thirds vote. Assembly members spent about a dozen hours hearing testimony and asking questions on the bill Thursday.

9:10 p.m. The Assembly adjourned without a vote Thursday night and will resume Friday morning.

Assemblyman Ira Hansen says 17 firm GOP yes votes but only a handful of Democrats at this time.

7:20 p.m. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval released the following statement following both houses of the Legislature voting to approve AB1, a sales tax increase to help fund more police in Las Vegas.

During the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee meetings, the issue of public safety was brought to the forefront due to the significant population increase across southern Nevada. Protecting Nevadans and the millions of visitors who travel here annually has always been a top priority for me. I would like to thank the members of the legislature for responding to the urgency of this request in order to provide the resources for our law enforcement officials to continue to keep our communities safe. Their approval of Assembly Bill 1 is another step toward an enhanced level of vigilance so that we are able to take every measure possible to prepare for the new threat levels in today’s society.”

7:00 p.m. With the Assembly planning to continue public comment on the stadium bill until roughly 8.pm., here's some of the concerns and issues brought by Nevada lawmakers about the proposal today.

  • Democratic Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton noted that the room tax increase will affect Nevada residents who live in temporary residence that require weekly payments. She said this fact discredited the notion touted by stadium supporters than no state citizens will be affected by the tax - an assertion that stadium proponents didn't deny, but said was an issue they could revisit or continue to work on.
  • Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority head Rossi Ralenkotter said continuing delays on expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center could cost up to $50 million in "lost time." Ralenkotter told members of the state Assembly that the convention center risked losing future conventions if increased room taxes for the authority were delayed until the next legislative session.
  • Stadium backers hit back on claims that the economic impact study of the proposed stadium was flawed, saying stadium critics hadn't asked or read any of the detailed studies done on the impact of increased visitors. Jeremy Aguero, an economist with Applied Analysis who helped prepare and defend the economic impact study, said several of the stadium critics haven't contacted him for details on the study and that he hasn't seen any "legitimate criticism" of his work.

4:55 p.m. Assembly members are still questioning SB1, the stadium and convention center expansion bill. Assemblyman Derek Armstrong said that public comment will begin around 6 p.m.

4:35 p.m. AB1, the 'More Cops' sales tax increase, was passed unanimously in the Senate. Will now go to Gov. Sandoval for approval, and still needs to be approved by the Clark County commission to officially take effect.

2:55 p.m. Lawmakers are taking a quick lunch break in between various questions on the proposed stadium legislation, with legislators peppering stadium proponents with questions on everything from the makeup of the stadium board to the intricacies of the bonding process.

Members of the state Assembly listened to presentations and sent out questions for several hours Thursday, with Republican lawmakers still hoping to pass the bill out tonight. Public comment on the measure is expected to come in sometime in the afternoon.

10:30 a.m. Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson told KTNV that he expects to hold a vote on the stadium bill between 7 and 9 p.m. on Thursday.

Lawmakers are currently hearing testimony on the stadium bill, and will have the opportunity to ask questions and suggest amendments. A livestream of the hearing can be found here.

10:00 a.m. After a handful of comments, Nevada Assembly members voted out a bill allowing the Clark County sales tax to be raised by 0.10 percent to help fund more police.

After several hours of questions and floor speeches, lawmakers voted on a 35-7 margin to approve the bill. The measure now moves to the state Senate.

Proponents said they agreed that a greater police presence was needed on both the Las Vegas Strip and in neighborhoods throughout Clark County.

"If it takes a year to get an officer on the streets, we need to do this now," Republican Assemblywoman Victoria Dooling said.

Opponents generally said that the measure wasn't the type of emergency that required a special session to deal with, and questioned the reliance on sales tax to fund different government functions.

"This seems to follow a pattern: string a bunch of taxes together and never really come together with a coherent plan of public funding," Democratic Assemblywoman Stephanie Smith said.

Assembly members are expected to spend the rest of Thursday discussing the stadium and convention center expansion bill.

8:30 a.m. All eyes are on the state Assembly this morning, as the lower house of the Legislature currently has both bills proposed during this special session.

After state Senators voted 16-5 on Tuesday to approve room tax increases for a proposed domed stadium and a major expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center. The bill, SB1, now moves to the state Assembly where lawmakers expect to begin hearings on the legislation around mid-morning.

Assembly members still need to pass another piece of legislation, allowing the Clark County Commission to raise the county sales tax by 0.1 percent to help fund more police officers through the county. The measure is expected to pass easily.

The state Senate isn't scheduled to gavel in until 2 p.m.