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BLOG: Lawmakers gavel in for special session on stadium, convention center expansion

Posted at 8:48 AM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 22:05:42-04

3:25 p.m. Three high-ranking casino officials implored Nevada lawmakers to approve the stadium proposal, saying that the proposal was the next step in the evolution of Las Vegas.

Casear's Jan Jones Blackhurst, MGM CEO Jim Murren and Steve Wynn spoke before Nevada lawmakers Monday afternoon, setting off an afternoon of choreographed testimony from numerous supporters of the stadium.

Wynn, who said it was his first time testifying before the Legislature, said the proposal was a needed next step in ensuring the solvency of the state's tourism industry, which he said underwrites much of Nevada's economy and government.

"No single thing has presented itself in my 49 years that has such a potential impact on the tourism industry," he said.

Murren and Blackhurst echoed those remarks, imploring lawmakers that the potential economic benefits of both projects were worth the risk.

2 p.m. Steve Wynn and Las Vegas casino executives to speak on behalf of proposed stadium. 

10:30 a.m. Two hearings on the stadium measure and a separate sales tax increase for more police funding are occurring simultaneously.

Lawmakers in the Senate are reviewing and questioning the legislation that would increase hotel room taxes to partially fund a proposed stadium and expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the state Assembly are proposing a proposed 0.10 percent sales tax increase, and would prioritize funding to to areas around the Las Vegas Strip before going to other police agencies in the county.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo, testifying in Carson City, asked lawmakers to consider the measure separate from the proposed stadium and said the need for more police funding was present with or without the project.

"This bill needs to stand on its own," he said.

9:45 a.m.: Several major Las Vegas casino executives, including Steve Wynn, MGM CEO Jim Murren and Caesars's Jan Jones, are scheduled to testify in favor of the stadium deal and convention center expansion later this afternoon. They'll meet in the Assembly chamber, and a livestream can be found here.

8:50 a.m: Nevada lawmakers have officially gaveled into a special session Monday, focusing on two pieces of legislation that include financing for a domed NFL stadium near the Las Vegas Strip.

Legislators are expected to meet for several day to discuss the two pieces of legislation, which are supported by Gov. Brian Sandoval and were given approved by an infrastructure committee earlier in September.

The first piece of legislation calls for raising hotel room taxes in Clark County to partially finance a proposed $1.9 billion stadium as well as a $1.4 billion expansion to Las Vegas Convention Center, and was introduced in the state Senate. You can read the full 56-page bill here.

Another piece of legislation would allow the Clark County commission to raise sales taxes in the county to help pay for more police specifically near the Las Vegas Strip. That bill was introduced in the state Assembly, and can be read here.

Lawmakers are expected to work through today and tomorrow, and recess at sundown on Tuesday to observe the important Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.