The Latest: North Vegas concerned about bearing Faraday risk
The latest on the Nevada Legislature’s special session to review incentives for electric carmaker Faraday Future (all times local):
Nevada senators have approved a major bill to authorize tax incentives aimed at luring electric carmaker Faraday Future to North Las Vegas.
The Senate voted 17-1 on Friday to approve SB1, which also authorizes public financing for about $120 million worth of planned rail, water and road improvements at the Apex Industrial Park. Republican Sen. Don Gustavson was the lone opponent.
The bill was delayed while amendments were worked out. The updated bill exempts mining and gaming companies from taking advantage of Faraday-style abatements.
It also simplified the process for workers to be declared Nevada residents, especially if they’re veterans. At least half of the workers at Faraday’s plant must be Nevadans before it can tap into tax credits.
The bill now heads to the Assembly for review, scheduled for Saturday.
Democratic state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson is expected to miss the rest of the special session after heading to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.
Fellow Democratic senators say Atkinson came to a floor session Friday but was quiet and seemed ill. They said he consulted with fellow Sen. Joe Hardy, a Republican, before deciding to go to the hospital in the afternoon.
Several fellow senators who visited him in the hospital said he seemed to be in good spirits. Atkinson tweeted that he’d undergo surgery late Friday or early Saturday.
Lawmakers have been meeting in Carson City since Wednesday to review incentives to lure electric carmaker Faraday Future to Nevada.
Assembly members are turning in for the night after passing the first of several bills planned for a special session to lure an electric carmaker to Nevada.
Lawmakers were told to report back to the Assembly chambers at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Senators were waiting Friday night for legislative staff to revise a bill that authorizes tax credits and abatements for Faraday Future. Lawmakers raised concerns earlier in the day about language ensuring at least half of Faraday’s workers are Nevada residents.
Republican Assemblyman Derek Armstrong said senators were expected to approve the major bill Friday night so the Assembly could start working on it Saturday.
The session started Wednesday and was expected to last a few days. Legislators are considering bills authorizing a $335 million incentive package for Faraday.
The Nevada Assembly has passed a job training bill in the first major vote of a special session.
Lawmakers voted 37-4 on Friday evening to pass AB1, a bill that authorizes a new workforce development program called Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada (WINN).
The initiative is modeled after programs in Louisiana and Georgia. State officials would work with major new businesses moving to Nevada to develop customized job training programs.
State officials plan to apply $2.5 million or more to the program initially by transferring funds from the state general fund and an office of science and technology.
Bill proponents say the program would build a bridge so Nevadans could take advantage of new jobs coming to the state. Opponents say Nevada shouldn’t subsidize one company’s training over another.
Lawmakers want to make sure at least half of the employees working at carmaker Faraday Future’s proposed factory are from Nevada, but how to do that gets complicated.
The plant’s workforce must be majority Nevadan for the company to qualify for transferrable tax credits worth up to $38 million.
Senators raised concerns that someone from out of state might get a Nevada driver’s license and be considered a Nevada resident immediately under the bill’s provisions.
A new version of the bill attempted to fix the potential loophole. But lawmakers raised more questions Friday about whether veterans who return from a deployment could take advantage of the jobs immediately and whether immigrants who don’t have a DMV-issued license would qualify.
Senators took a break to work out a solution.
Lawmakers concerned that the state’s top economic development official was given too much power under a deal with electric carmaker Faraday Future are getting their way.
The original version of a bill authorizing tax abatements and infrastructure improvements gave the economic development director unilateral authority to change major agreements.
Republican State Sen. Patricia Farley said Thursday that she trusted the economic development director had only the best of intentions, but raised concerns that the provision took away too much oversight from the Legislature.
An amendment to the bill would require that the full state economic development board also approve major changes.
Director Steve Hill of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development was a key player in the confidential negotiations that led to the $335 million deal with Faraday Future.
North Las Vegas officials say they want electric carmaker Faraday Future’s $1 billion plant to their city, but are concerned they’re on the hook for too much money if the project goes belly up.
City officials testified Friday on a bill that would authorize $120 million in publicly financed infrastructure improvements at or near the Apex Industrial Park.
Some of the rail, road and water investments would be funded by bonds that depend on the infrastructure raising property values at the park and generating more tax revenue.
North Las Vegas would be responsible for making bond payments if there wasn’t enough new tax revenue to pay for it.
City finance director Darren Adair says North Las Vegas is financially strained and wishes the state would take on more risk.
Nevada lawmakers are running behind schedule on the third day of a special session aimed at reviewing a $335 million incentive package for carmaker Faraday Future.
The governor’s chief strategy officer, Dale Erquiaga, says formal amendments to bills discussed in the Senate and Assembly will emerge on Friday. He says more controversial ones are also likely to be proposed by members on the floor.
Erquiaga says interested parties were trying to hammer out disagreements about water rights well after the Assembly and Senate adjourned Thursday evening, and it remained unclear whether a third bill would need to be introduced to resolve the matters.
Lawmakers planned to meet Friday morning, but both the Senate and Assembly were running late.
The session is expected to wrap up Friday or Saturday.