By Anne Knowles
CARSON CITY – The legislation to withdraw Nevada from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency passed in the Assembly early Tuesday morning and is on its way to the desk of Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
The bill passed 28 to 14. Before the vote, Assemblymen Pat Hickey, R-Reno, and Kelly Kite, R-Minden, voiced their support of the legislation, while Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Reno, both urged lawmakers to reject it.
“The bill does not do away with any environmental protections and gives Nevada the voice it deserves,” Kite said.
“A lot has been said about giving Nevada a voice. But it now takes five Nevada votes to approve a project and (the bill) reduces it to four. I don’t see how that’s an increase in power,” Pierce said.
Pierce said the bill would likely have “enormous, long-reaching consequences that the people who proposed this bill do not begin to understand.”
Senate Bill 271 came up for a vote well past midnight, with less than half an hour left in the 2011 legislative session.
The bill calls for Nevada to pull out of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Compact unless certain reforms, including a change in the TRPA voting structure, are enacted. An amendment to the bill was added that requires the Legislative Committee for the Review and Oversight of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Marlette Lake Water System to prepare a report on the TRPA and to assemble a delegation to meet with California legislators to negotiate changes at the agency. The amendment also gives the oversight committee the authority to submit a bill draft request to the 2013 legislative session preventing Nevada’s withdrawal from the Compact.
“We hope that passage of the bill will bring the two states to the table to seriously review policy differences on the future of Lake Tahoe,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta said in a statement released at 8:10 this morning. “It’s important to note the final version of the bill took a more measured approach to bring policy issues to the fore and TRPA looks forward to working with Nevada lawmakers in the next few years to address the key points of the legislation.”
Here is how the lawmakers voted.
This is the text for SB271.