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InsureNet proposal dead in Assembly

CARSON CITY — A proposal to raise $30 million by using cameras to catch insurance and vehicle registration scofflaws on Nevada roads appears to be dead in the Assembly.

Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, asked the body on Wednesday for a show of hands from people interested in pursuing the idea, proposed by Gov. Jim Gibbons to help reduce the state’s $887 million budget shortfall.

Only Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, R-Henderson, raised his hand.

"Let’s cross that off the list," Buckley said as the special session of the Legislature continued for a second day.

The proposal also had been criticized by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas.

Robin Reedy, Gibbons’ chief of staff, had said that a Chicago company, InsureNet, guaranteed Nevada $30 million if it implemented its system of photographing license plates and determining whether vehicles are insured and properly registered.

Twenty-two percent of Nevada motorists drive without insurance, she said.

The state collects a $250 fine from owners of uninsured vehicles and a $500 fine from each vehicle owner who does not have a valid registration, if it can catch them.

Critics raised the privacy issue, although a spokesman for InsureNet said any information collected by the company would go into a national law enforcement computer network, and the company itself would not retain the information.

InsureNet is not yet operating its insurance verification system in any state. The company now verifies whether people have medical insurance.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

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