Governor adds two more vetoes

CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons has vetoed two more bills, bringing the number of gubernatorial vetoes this legislative session to four.

Gibbons vetoed Assembly Bill 230, dealing with arrests by officers of the state Agriculture Department, and Assembly Bill 326, on buildings made of unreinforced masonry.

In the case of AB230, Gibbons said he didn’t see the logic of expanding the jurisdiction of Agriculture Department arrests.

“There is simply no compelling need to put arrests by the Department of Agriculture on an equivalent jurisdictional level as arrests made by the Nevada Highway Patrol,” he wrote in a letter explaining the veto.

He also objected to the bill’s provision that would have allowed the Agriculture Department to choose the county in which violators would be prosecuted, instead of having the prosecution automatically take place in the same county as the violation.

Assembly Judiciary Chairman Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks, said the legislation was needed to address situations in which animal vaccination violations might span several counties but only get recorded in one.

Anderson said he hoped the governor could be persuaded to support a similar bill in a future Legislature.

AB326 would have required some local governments to inventory all buildings in their jurisdiction made of unreinforced masonry, both publicly and privately owned.

Gibbons said in his veto letter it was unduly burdensome.

“To compile such a list would necessarily require an exhaustive review of both public and private structures throughout every city and county,” he said.

“The fiscal impact of this bill on local governments would be detrimental and would outweigh any benefits.”

Assembly Government Affairs Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, said legislators in both houses had felt that “if there is an unreinforced building that might fall down on you, it would be good to know about it.”

Kirkpatrick said she hoped the topic would be taken up in the next legislative session.

Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, who sponsored the bill, said it was drafted with the help of Clark County earthquake experts who thought there should be an inventory of “buildings that might be safe during seismic activity.”

Gibbons’ four vetoes are on pace with his predecessor. Former Gov. Kenny Guinn vetoed four bills in each of the two legislative sessions during his first term, 1999 and 2001.

Guinn vetoed no bills in the 2003 Legislature and three bills in 2005.

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