Highway money bill introduced

Assembly Ways and Means Chairman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, on Monday introduced legislation that would dedicate $170 million in state surplus this year to the next phase of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas.

The proposal was first drafted by outgoing Gov. Kenny Guinn and endorsed by incoming Gov. Jim Gibbons. The funding is already in the state treasury but can't be used on operating costs because of the statutory cap.

The $170 million will extend improvements to I-15 from the spaghetti bowl north to Craig Road to help relieve some of the most serious highway congestion in the Las Vegas area.

AB544 is expected to easily win approval since it has widespread support among Southern Nevada lawmakers.

The bill appropriating the next largest piece of the surplus over the cap has yet to be introduced but has also been endorsed by both governors: $110 million to jump start construction of the first major project in the university system's Health Sciences Center project.

The measure was referred to Ways and Means for a hearing.


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