With a new gubernatorial administration and many new state legislators, it’s sure to be an active session when the Nevada Legislature convenes on February 6, 2023, in Carson City.
On Wednesday, January 11, more than 90 LVGEA investor members attended LVGEA’s Nevada Legislative Preview event at The Space LV, to learn about the upcoming session and potential legislation impacting economic development in Southern Nevada.
“Economic development is a non-partisan issue,” said Amber Stidham, Chief Strategy Officer at LVGEA. “We all need economic development to help create the quality of life we want in the Greater Vegas region. We’ve already started having conversations about mid and long-term strategies to help our entire region win.”
Carrara Nevada, a full-service government affairs and lobbying firm that advises LVGEA on state and regional legislative issues, spoke about the state’s robust budget surplus heading into the session.
“If you’re a new Governor coming in, this is the best news possible,” said Rocky Finseth, President & CEO of Carrara Nevada. “It’s always interesting to watch new administrations come in and put their own touches on a new budget. Governor Lombardo is reworking and restructuring the state budget to fit his administration’s priorities.”
While the newly elected Governor is Republican, Democrats currently have a majority of seats in the state Senate, and a supermajority of seats in the state Assembly.
“It’s not significant this time around since the Democrats don’t have a supermajority in both chambers,” said Finseth when questioned about the Legislature’s ability to pass major tax laws without the Governor’s approval. “But by 2025, if the Democrats assume a supermajority in both the Senate and Assembly, they will be able to override any of the Governor’s vetoes.”
While typically the Legislature publishes around 1,200 pieces of draft legislation each session, only 140 pre-filed bills for the 2023 session have posted to-date, 19 of which Carrara Nevada has currently identified as being important to economic development. The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development has also put forth three bills:
- AB38 – would allow Workforce Innovation for a New Nevada funds to roll over annually
- AB41 – would make some changes to the Nevada Innovation Account
- SB28 – relating to transferable tax credits for film and other productions
LVGEA and Carrara Nevada have and continue to meet with legislative leadership and key committee members to educate the elected leaders on the importance of economic development to the state.
“We believe it’s very important for our state leaders to understand who the LVGEA is, what they’re doing, and the areas where we may be losing out on opportunities to other states,” said Ashley Cruz, Director of Strategic Planning & Initiatives at Carrara Nevada.
Among LVGEA’s priorities heading into the legislative session include:
- Trim down Nevada’s incentive process timeframe, while maintaining guidelines and measures, to secure economic development opportunities for Nevada (administrative)
- Modernize performance-based incentive process application threshold measures (legislative)
- Enable Nevada’s eight Regional Development Authorities to operate at pre-pandemic levels to support economic diversification by restoring funding to, at least, the 2020 level. (legislative)
“Whatever the concern is – whether it’s permitting, or power concerns, or water – speak up,” said Tina Quigley, President & CEO of LVGEA. “We have the opportunity right now to have our voices heard at a legislative and policy level, and they can’t fix what they don’t know needs fixing.”
The 2023 legislative session commences February 6 and is scheduled to end June 5.