Tahoe bonding bills win committee approval in Nevada Legislature
Two bills designed to enable issuance of Tahoe environmental and statewide natural resource project bonds won approval from the Senate Government Affairs Committee on Friday.
Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, presented SB197 and SB198 before the committee earlier in the week, saying the bills simply extend the deadlines for issuing bonds under those programs.
SB198 is the so-called “Q-1” bonds authorized in 2002 to protect, preserve and benefit the property and natural resources in Nevada. All but $18.6 million of the maximum $200 million authorized has been issued but, without passage of an extension, the bonding authority would expire in 2019.
SB197 provides up to $100 million in bonds to support the Lake Tahoe Basin Environmental Improvement Program. Kieckhefer told the committee there’s about $92 million left in that program but the authority will expire in 2020 without an extension.
Deputy Conservation and Natural Resources Director Jim Lawrence said the reason bonds haven’t been issued in both programs is the economy.
“The debt capacity to issue bonds was severely constrained during the recession,” he told the committee.
With the economy recovering, Nevada’s debt capacity is once again growing, creating the opportunity to issue bonds for those types of projects.
There was no opposition to either bill during the committee hearing.
Both bills head to the floor of the Senate for passage next week.