Gov. Gibbons adds 5 more vetoes to list | NevadaAppeal.com

Gov. Gibbons adds 5 more vetoes to list

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons speaks about the 2009 Nevada Legislative session including his record 41 vetoes and the Legislature's record 25 veto overrides in his office at the Capitol in Carson City, Nev., on Wednesday, June 3, 2009.
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Gov. Jim Gibbons has added five more vetoes to the list, bringing his total for this session to 48.

“We would not have had to veto so many bills if the Legislature had not sent over so many bad bills,” he said.

The list includes SB143, which provided the $500,000 necessary to do the tax study agreed upon by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, and Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno.

Gibbons said one problem with the bill is that it is worded so broadly the money could be used for nearly any purpose involving taxes.

“Of greater significance is the fact that the Legislature has chosen to appropriate a half million dollars during a recession to study further tax increases,” he wrote in his veto message. He charged that lawmakers were focused on finding ways to increase spending “instead of reducing spending to match existing revenues.”

“We don’t need an expensive study to tell us that government revenues will decline during a recession. We don’t need an expensive study to justify maintaining unsustainable levels of spending by increasing taxes while our citizens struggle to get by.  What we do need is responsible government that puts the needs of its citizens above its own wants.”

Gibbons also vetoed AB503 which would have created an advisory committee to develop ways of funding highway projects in Nevada. His specific objection was that the measure created a legislative committee to make recommendations and gave that committee the power to put its recommendations on the 2010 election ballot as an advisory question. That, he said, allows a small group to control the policy decisions which should be job of the Legislature as a whole.

He also rejected AB451, a financing program for small businesses that provided for loans using up to $20 million in state funds. The bill originally was designed to help businesses owned by minorities but was later amended to provide loan opportunities to women owned and numerous other small businesses.

Gibbons said the bill changes the fundamental duties of the state treasurer requiring that office “to engage in de facto social investing at the expense of ignoring fiduciary obligations.”

He also vetoed two measures dealing with law enforcement. SB396 would have required law enforcement agencies to provide 48 hours notice to any officer with knowledge about alleged misconduct and changed the hearings process for the accused.

Gibbons said it would inhibit the ability of an agency to investigate alleged misconduct by an officer. He said existing rules are adequate to protect peace officers from unfounded accusations.

Finally, he vetoed AB130, which was specific to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. He said he did do because the bill precluded the county from participating in negotiations between Metro and its employees.

“The entity responsible for funding the agreements that result from those negotiations should have a real seat at the negotiating table,” he said.

Under AB130, the local government would only have the power to monitor negotiations.

In addition, Gibbons decided to allow three measures to become law next week without his signature. Among them is AB309, the anti-stalking bill which was amended to include changes to the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act. The specific change allows smoking at tobacco related conventions such as the annual cigar aficionados gathering in Las Vegas.

All the measures vetoed after the Legislature adjourned June 1 will be presented to the 2011 Legislature when it convenes in February of that year for a decision on whether to override or sustain the veto.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.