Gibbons vetoes bills for licensing vehicles, reporting medical events

CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons on Tuesday vetoed a bill to require licensing for off-road vehicles and one requiring the state Health Division to prepare annual reports on the causes of major medical events.

Gibbons’ vetoes of Senate Bills 319 and 394 were his 10th and 11th of the 2009 legislative session, one shy of the 12 vetoed by Gov. Bob List in 1981. That is the most vetoes as far back as 1947, when records began to be kept, according to the Legislative Counsel Bureau.

The governor, in a veto message, said he vetoed SB394 that would require licensing of all-terrain vehicles and other off-road vehicle because it represented a fee on groups who enjoy off-highway activities for free.

"I do not support a new fee on an activity that Nevadans have previously enjoyed freely," Gibbons said.

The bill passed the Senate 17-1 and the Assembly 34-6, both by more than the two-thirds needed to override a veto. The bill was sponsored by the Senate Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee.

The Legislature does not adjourn until Monday, so there is plenty of time for a vote to override vetoes.

Gibbons said he vetoed SB319 because it requires the publication of reports about major medical events at health care facilities.

"The publication of such reports creates an opportunity for mischief from those who would seek to profit from the misfortunes of others by identifying events that could become the basis of litigation," he stated.

The Department of Health and Human Services already maintains such reports and is equipped to handle medical problems, he said.

Under the bill, the state Health Division would be required to prepare a summary of reports of medical problems, such as the hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas last year.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Henderson. It passed the Senate 14-6, and in the Assembly 26-14.

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