Legislative Briefly

Diesel projects gets stimulus funds

The federal government has awarded $1.73 million to Nevada's Division of Environmental Protection to fund clean diesel projects.

Action EPA Region 9 administrator Laura Yoshii said the money will bolster the state's economy by creating new, green jobs and by improving the state's air quality.

The money is part of the stimulus package and will be awarded as grants to replace the oldest and least efficient diesel buses operated by Nevada school districts.

She said this grant is noncompetitive and will be awarded to all states.

Domestic partner bill endorsed

(AP) " A bill aimed at giving same-sex domestic partners the rights and benefits that Nevada offers to married couples won approval Wednesday in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.

SB283 was approved after its author, Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, said it was amended to ensure that public employers wouldn't have be required to provide health care benefits to a staffer's partner, "so there's no fiscal impact."

However, the bill doesn't prohibit a public or private employer from voluntarily providing such benefits, Parks added.

Gender discrimination bill approved

(AP) " A bill barring discrimination based on sexual orientation won approval Wednesday on a 19-2 Nevada Senate vote.

SB207, introduced by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, an openly gay state lawmaker, now moves to the state Assembly for final legislative action. "No" votes were cast by Sens. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, and Maurice Washington, R-Sparks.

Washington asked several questions about the scope of SB207 in advance of the Senate floor vote, but the discussion was low-key compared with previous committee testimony that prompted Parks to say he was "grossly offended" by one of the bill's critics.

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