3 more measures get enough signatures to appear on ballot

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The Secretary of State’s Office has certified three petitions as having more than enough signatures to qualify for the November election.

They are the Energy Choice Initiative, the Medical Patient Tax Relief Act and the Net Metering referendum.

To qualify this year, petitions must have at least 55,234 valid signatures from registered Nevada voters including at least 13,809 signatures in each of the four congressional districts. The challenge to the net metering petition is still pending before the Nevada Supreme Court.

The Energy Choice Initiative will be called Question 3. It seeks to change the Nevada Constitution to end NV Energy’s monopoly on electricity generation, allowing businesses and residents to choose other power providers on an open market. The effort is primarily funded by the Las Vegas Sands, which wanted to leave NV Energy but didn’t want to pay a multimillion-dollar exit fee like other casino companies did. NV Energy has not launched a challenge against it.

A rooftop solar referendum is called Question 4. The measure would reverse a rate hike lawmakers authorized last year, and extend older, more favorable rates to an unlimited number of customers. It’s backed by rooftop solar company SolarCity and opposed by a group backed by NV Energy, which argues it shifts costs from people with rooftop solar installations to those without the system. SolarCity commissioned a recent study that disputes there’s a cost-shift. The measure faces a pending legal challenge at the Nevada Supreme Court that could keep it off the ballot; that’s up for a hearing later this month.

The Medical Patient Tax Relief Act will be called Question 5. It would exempt more medical equipment from the sales tax and is backed by Bennett Medical Services, a company that sells the equipment in question.

Two other measures that qualified for the Nevada ballot months ago include Question 1, which expands criminal background checks to more gun sales and transfers, and Question 2, which would legalize recreational marijuana.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State said they will now appoint people to serve on ballot question committees and develop the arguments for and against all three ballot questions. These arguments, as well as other relevant information, will be printed in the sample ballots delivered to all registered voters before the general election on Nov. 8.


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