The Senate Finance Committee on Sunday swapped the attorney general for a new southern member on the Department of Transportation Board.
According to testimony, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto was comfortable with the change since she has a half-dozen deputies at NDOT to ensure the department and board have adequate legal advice.
The amended version of Sen. Mark Manendo’s bill is considerably watered down from the version that eliminated the existing board, replacing it with eight Clark County representatives, two from Washoe County and one from the rural counties.
Manendo introduced it saying Southern Nevada has been shorted in the distribution of money and highway projects over the years.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, who would have been removed from the board along with the Attorney General, lieutenant governor and controller, opposed the original version.
Manendo gave his blessing to the amended bill as did the governor’s office.
Removing Masto in favor of another southern Nevada representative, however, doesn’t actually increase southern representation since she is a Clark County native and, as the daughter of the former head of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, not exactly anti-southern Nevada.
The change, however, will guarantee two southern representatives on the NDOT board instead of just one.