‘Pork’ spending bills show up as session end nears
The legislation that detractors refer to as “pork” finally showed up on the Senate floor late Monday.
SB526 contains 31 different projects totaling $35.8 million – most of it in projects for Northern and rural Nevada. Late in the evening, another similar bill was expected from the Assembly, but staff indicated most of that bill would deal with Southern Nevada needs.
SB526 includes $500,000 toward reconstruction of the V&T Railroad between Virginia City and Carson City. The legislation gives organizers of the railroad project until June 30, 2007, to spend the money.
Also on the list for western Nevada is $364,026 to cover rising food and utility costs at China Spring Youth Camp and Aurora Pines, the adjacent girls’ facility. The funding would pay to add six more employees to the staff of the complex south of Minden-Gardnerville.
The $500,000 matching funds requested by Kay and Hale Bennett, who are building an airport in Lyon County, was also approved. They testified the money will be matched 19 to 1 by the federal government to expand, improve, and maintain rural airports throughout Nevada, generating a total of $10 million for rural airport improvements.
Other grants on the list include:
• $3 million for the Nevada Economic Development Fund to make grants economic development in rural Nevada.
• $500,000 to help blighted urban areas of the state.
• $1 million to help economic diversification in counties subject to dramatic economic fluctuations because of their dependence on mining.
• Veterans grants of $81,900 to create and issue Nevada War on Terrorism medals for guard and reserve troops called to active duty, $300,000 to establish a veterans’ services coordinator for Nye and Esmeralda counties, and $140,000 to build a road into the Fernley veterans cemetery.
• $1.5 for SMART Moves programs at Boys & Girls Clubs around the state to combat drug and alcohol abuse.
• $50,000 for bookmobile operations in rural Nevada
• $300,000 for the Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program.
• $5 million to build Reno a community-assistance center for the homeless and poor.
• $10 million for the Nevada Cancer Institute for research and equipment plus $500,000 for a pain management study.
• $2.2 million for a juvenile detention facility for White Pine, Eureka and Lincoln counties
• $250,000 to create a Basque Genealogy Center at University of Nevada, Reno.
• $1,546,775 to the Division of Forestry for wildfire programs and support of the Nevada Fire Safe Council.
• $1 million to buy equipment to analyze groundwater yields in arid areas for Desert Research Institute.
• $350,000 for VASA Arts of Nevada to restore Lake Mansion in Reno.
• $350,000 to Cultural Affairs to create the Nevada Online Encyclopedia.
• $150,000 to Clark County’s museum guild to move and repair the Boulder City Museum.
• $600,000 to implement the Truckee River Recreational Master Plan.
• $371,125 to Cultural Affairs to buy several historic artifacts.
• $1 million to build a new campus for Opportunity Village.
• $100,000 for the Advisory Council on the State Program for Fitness and Wellness.
• $250,000 to study and plan for dividing up the Clark County School District.
• 2,8 million to provide reporting of school test scores of pupils and to improve scores on required exams.
• $1 million to the Taxation Committee to cover state and local government costs in implementing property tax relief passed by the Legislature.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.