Legislative Briefly

Bill imposing room tax hike introduced:

The legislation imposing a 3 percent room tax in Clark and Washoe counties was introduced in the Nevada Assembly Monday.

AB541 is designed to implement the tax supported by voters in a November advisory ballot question. Because of voter support, the tax was supported by Gov. Jim Gibbons and the revenue it would raise included in his proposed budget.

It was originally expected to raise some $290 million over the biennium to help the state budget shortfall. That estimate has since been reduced more than $60 million dollars because of the state of the economy and the slump in tourism business, especially in Southern Nevada.

In order to pass the Legislature, the bill must pass by two-thirds in each house.

Rural health clinic restored:

The Interim Finance Committee Monday voted to accept $4.6 million in federal funding to reopen and restore programs at the Fernley rural health clinic.

The money is a grant through the Social Services Emergency Disaster Relief program and was awarded in the wake of the Fernley flooding caused when the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District canal ruptured.

The money will open the rural health clinic, support domestic violence prevention programs and add Health Division staff in Fernley.

Lawmakers on IFC were told some $320,000 will help pay residential damage claims, $694,000 for residential repairs, $524,000 to repay Small Business Administration loans and $900,000 directly for the clinic.

Another $12.5 million is for repairs to the canal.

Classic cars at the Legislature:

Some 40 antique and classic cars will be on display on the grounds between the Legislature and state Capitol on Thursday.

The event is the biennial Classic Car Day organized by the Sierra Nevada Classic Thunderbirds of Reno. There is no charge for the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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