Late Tuesday night, legislators voted to send Governor Joe Lombardo a budget for financing capital improvement projects.
Assembly Bill 1 was introduced, heard, and passed during an extraordinary session of the Legislature just hours after Governor Lombardo issued a proclamation recalling legislators to pass the bill.
The bill, which would allocate nearly $2 billion for capital projects and renew a property tax, is identical to Assembly Bill 521, which expired Monday night after failing to pass with a two-thirds supermajority by the midnight deadline, with all Senate Republicans voting against it.
Assembly members P.K. O’Neill, R-Carson City, Danielle Gallant, R-Las Vegas, and Rich DeLong, R-Reno, voted with the majority of Democrats to ratify the bill by a vote of 28 to 11.
The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 14-7, with Republican Sen. Scott Hammond of Las Vegas joining Democrats in support. All other Republicans in the chamber voted no.
Hammond stated in an interview, “It was a difficult decision.”
Republicans opposed the measure once more on Tuesday evening, requesting an amendment that would have provided $32 million to charter school instructors.
Sen. Ira Hansen said, “I unequivocally support every provision of this bill.” “We have omitted a crucial component. The reason we’re in a special session is because having that $32 million is essential to us.”
Sen. Heidi Seevers Gansert, R-Reno, said she voted against the measure on Monday “in protest.”
“I believed that financing for public charter schools in this budget was inadequate, so I voted against it in protest. This action prompted a special session, but I have no misgivings,” said Seevers Gansert. We increased awareness of the disparities in funding for public charter schools.
Hammond, however, stated that he did not believe that holding out for charter school funding would have produced different results.
“Look, I’ve been here for many, many years, and sometimes, you know, it’s worth holding out for, there’s something there, and other times it’s just not there,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, implored her colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle to support the bill, highlighting the fact that it will fund veteran homes, a forensic facility in Southern Nevada, and other projects.
“If we’re going to play politics here, then fine,” Cannizzaro said. “However, I urge your support because this bill contains good policies that will help and support Nevadans.”
The 34th special session in the history of the state lasted less than two hours.