Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoes career-low 7 bills
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a career-low seven bills that passed the Republican-controlled Legislature, including measures aimed at breaking up a tiny Nevada town and changing rules on special license plates for classic cars.
The Republican governor wrapped up his work signing and vetoing bills Friday, less than two weeks after lawmakers finished their 120-day session.
Sandoval vetoed 17 bills after the 2013 legislative session and rejected 28 measures in 2011; Democrats controlled the Legislature in both of those sessions. Sandoval has issued 52 vetoes throughout his career and ranks third among all Nevada governors for the number of vetoes, behind his immediate predecessor Gov. Jim Gibbons and Gov. Edward Carville, who served in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Here’s a look at the seven measures the governor blocked:
LIFTING SEX OFFENDER BAN
SB99 would have repealed a provision banning offenders convicted of the most serious sex offenses from going within 500 feet of a school, playground or other place used primarily by children.
Sandoval acknowledged merits to portions of the bill, which also would have required sex offenders to register more frequently and would have allowed judges more discretion on whether to take a sex offender off of lifetime supervision. But he said it would have placed children at greater risk from the most dangerous sexual predators.
RELAXING TAXI RULES
SB183 would have loosened rules at the Nevada Transportation Authority and allowed more taxi and limo companies to enter the market.
It also would have removed language that requires the agency to determine that the market can support a new company — a provision that bill proponents argue protects existing cab and limo companies at the expense of new competition.
Sandoval said a company’s ability to survive financially is an important factor in whether the company can afford to transport people safely and meet high industry standards.
CURBING PRODUCT DEFECT LAWSUITS
SB161 would have given immunity to businesses that unknowingly sell defective products and would have only allowed lawsuits for the entities that manufacture the product.
Sandoval said the bill limits important legal remedies for Nevada consumers who were harmed by businesses that sell defective products and doesn’t promote the interests of all the state’s consumers.
CAPPING PRODUCT DEFECT DAMAGES
SB296 would have capped the amount of punitive damages a plaintiff can seek in a defective product case.
Like SB161, the measure was sponsored by Republican Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson and elicited split votes and passionate floor speeches in the Legislature.
DISSOLVING CITY OF ELY
SB238 would have required an advisory ballot question within the City of Ely asking voters if they wanted to dissolve their city.
Sandoval said the bill circumvents an existing process by which Ely residents could decide their own fate.
BARRING CLASSIC CAR PLATES
AB326 would have placed a moratorium on specialty license plates for classic vehicles in an attempt to stop people from abusing the plates to avoid emissions tests.
Sandoval said a separate bill already addressed the smog test scofflaws, and AB326 would have had a negative impact on Nevada events such as Hot August Nights.
CUTTING NATIONAL GUARD BENEFITS
AB472 would have prevented Nevada National Guard members from drawing on the state’s Patriot Relief Account for reimbursements of group life insurance premiums, and would have prevented Guard members from claiming more than $1,000 in reimbursements per semester for textbooks.
Sandoval said ending the life insurance reimbursements would create a hardship for service members and was important for their families at a time when some of them are still deployed.