Geoff Dornan

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May 24, 2011
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Bill to pull out of TRPA amended, heads to Senate floor

Sen. John Lee's bill to pull Nevada out of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency heads to the Senate floor today for an amendment he said would give it enough support to pass.

Instead of pulling Nevada out of the compact, the amended Senate Bill 271 would call for changes in how the bistate agency operates, threatening withdrawal only if those changes don't happen.

The biggest change is the elimination of the super majority voting rule which requires a majority of members of each state to support any decision before it passes. Lee and others have complained California members ritually use that rule to block practically every change or development.

In addition, anyone suing to challenge any part of the basinwide regional plan have the burden of showing that the plan violates the compact.

Lee said the plan also would be changed to require the governing board consider economic conditions in the Tahoe Basin "so its decisions do not negatively impact the economy."

He said that, if California and the U.S. Congress reject those and other changes in the bill, Nevada would withdraw from the bistate compact effective in 2015.

"Everybody wants a clean lake," Lee said. "Nobody wants to see it polluted."

But he charged that obstructionists have made it so difficult to do anything at the lake that even deciding whether a homeowner can cut down a dead tree in his yard takes years.

Lee will ask the Senate today to approve the amendment and move the bill forward for a final vote in the Senate.

If approved, the bill would still have to be approved by the Assembly.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated May 24, 2011 08:11PM Published May 24, 2011 08:10PM Copyright 2011 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.