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Tule Springs scrapped in favor of Las Vegas Raiders in license plate bill

CARSON CITY — The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument license plate bill became the Las Vegas Raiders license plate bill after being amended Thursday.

Senate Bill 428 initially would have created a special license plate for people to show their support for the national monument, the 22,650-acre site on the northern edge of Las Vegas that has provided Ice Age artifacts and fossils of dire wolves, lions, camels, bison, mammoths, llamas and even giant ground sloths.

But the bill was amended heavily Thursday in the Senate Transportation committee, and now SB 428 would create a specialty plate to support the Las Vegas Raiders.

Like the bill that would create a new plate for the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, the Raiders plates would come with the additional costs typically applied to all Nevada specialty plates. The Golden Knights have said they will fund the production of their plates, but it is unclear if the Raiders will do the same.

The Raiders are expected to move to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season.

The Tule Springs aspect of the bill also changed. The plates approved by SB 428 would no longer benefit the national monument, but rather Tule Springs State Park.

The problem with that?

Tule Springs State Park does not exist.

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed budget sets aside money to create that 315-acre park, but his budget still must be approved by the Nevada Legislature.

Under the bill, the Tule Springs plates would start being produced after that state park had officially been designated. If that doesn’t happen, then the plates would not be made.

The committee voted 4-1 to amend and send the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Republican Don Gustavson was the sole nay vote.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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