Raiders special legislative session set for second week of October | RecordCourier.com

Raiders special legislative session set for second week of October

by Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Gov. Brian Sandoval said Wednesday he plans to call a special legislative session in the second week of October to deal with the proposed Raiders' football stadium plan.

He also indicated his agenda would include the funding for expansion of the Las Vegas convention center and the sales tax hike to put more police officers on the streets in Clark County.

He said in a statement issued Wednesday evening he's comfortable with the recommendations from the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, which wants to raise the room tax to provide $750 million toward construction of a $1.9 billion stadium for the Oakland football team.

"Based on the current environment, I believe a special session of the Legislature is warranted and should be called as soon as can be practicably accomplished," Sandoval said.

The public share of the stadium cost would be backed by a 0.88 percent increase in the Clark County room tax for Strip resorts, a half percent for those resorts and hotels within 25 miles of the Clark County offices. Hotels outside that circle wouldn't see an increase.

The public money would be matched by a $650 million private contribution primarily by Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adleson and $500 million from Raiders owners the Davis family.

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Sandoval said his announcement follows a meeting this week with Raiders owner Mark Davis as well as Clark Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, a proponent of the stadium.

One big question is whether the proclamation for the special session would ask lawmakers to approve the public funding plan — which would require a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and Assembly — or simply authorize the Clark County Commission to approve the room tax hike. That would only require a simple majority vote by lawmakers.

There might be some trouble getting two thirds with some lawmakers in tight re-election races in the south. There are already opponents arguing a room tax increase should go to build schools in the south — a proposed bill draft by Sen. Tick Segerbloom of Las Vegas — instead of a stadium.

And at least two Clark County commissioners, Chris Giunchigliani and Marilyn Kirkpatrick, have raised questions about using public money for the project. Giunchigliani has flat said she supports the stadium but feels private money should build it, not public funds.

Sandoval, however, described the stadium plan as "the opportunity to invest in Nevada's most foundational industry, tourism."