For: Immediate Use
Date: April 15, 2019
From: Laughlin Economic Development Corporation
Media Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
80th LEGISLATURE SB-213 + AB-389 die in committee
Separate incorporation bills die in Senate, Assembly committees
CARSON CITY – Attempts to incorporate Laughlin as Nevada’s newest city will have to wait until 2021 as 2 widely different bills died April 12 in the Senate and Assembly Government Affairs Committees.
SB-213 received an initial hearing in the Senate GAF, but did not advance to a workshop hearing for amendments. AB-389, virtually a duplicate of the last previous incorporation attempt in June 2012, was assigned to the Assembly GAF; it never received its initial hearing. The deadline for all bills to clear their original committees was April 12.
SB-213 provided the direct granting by the Legislature of a charter for a City of Laughlin. It provided a 2- year window in which to set up the municipal government which would have started operation on July 1, 2021. A Mayor and City Council of 5 members would have been elected city-wide in November of 2020. The Council, under the proposed charter, would have been granted the authority before July 1, 2021, to adopt ordinances, hire a City Manager and department heads, and adopt a budget. SB-213 specifically eliminated only the Clark County Fire Department from being part of the new City.
The bill also provided that the costs of incorporation – including a state Committee on Local Government Finances feasibility study – be taken from the Fort Mohave Valley Development Fund.
Proponents pointed to the advantages of local control over local government functions, having 5 Laughlin residents to whom they could easily take their concerns instead of having them all in the urban Las Vegas area. Additionally an incorporated Laughlin would have had representation on 9 of the 15 entities now providing services to the community. Currently, no one from Laughlin has ever held a seat on those urban-based boards and commissions. This includes the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the Clark County Flood Control District, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, among others.
The main objections vocally focused around skipping an election to approve or reject incorporation, and the economic impact of excluding the Casino Drive corridor from the city.
Current Fire and police staffing of approximately 90 employees consume all but the Town Manager’s Office portion of the Laughlin-specific budget. County administrators have reduced the number of departments in the Laughlin budget by two-thirds since the previous municipal election by absorbing those positions and dollars into the general county departments.
Martin Knauss, President of the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, stated “The inability of SB-213 to move forward and allow a complete study of the feasibility of incorporation for Laughlin is disappointing. By not endorsing the bill, it does not appear the County staff management will allow a full and complete fiscal accountability of the expenses and revenues specific to Laughlin to be published for review by its residents.”
AB-389 required an election to approve or reject forming a municipality, and is virtually identical to 2012, which has been the only election on the question in the community’s 50-plus years of existence.
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