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Speeding up projects on federal lands gets boost from Lombardo

Two weeks ago, Democratic Rep. Susie Lee called on Gov. Joe Lombardo to endorse a bill that aims to expedite projects on public lands, and Nevada’s Republican governor did just that on Thursday — a rare show of support for a Democrat’s bill.

“Nevada families deserve access to attainable housing — and that begins with eliminating governmental barriers to development,” Lombardo said in a statement.

Lee’s Accelerating Appraisals and Conservation Efforts (AACE) Act will help remove federal red tape so the state can move more efficiently on new housing and infrastructure projects, Lombardo said, marking the first time he’s endorsed a Democrat’s bill in Congress as governor.

Lombardo had sent a letter to President Joe Biden a couple of weeks ago ahead of the president’s visit to the Silver State to talk about housing. In the letter, the former Clark County sheriff urged Biden to release more of Nevada’s federally owned land to make way for more housing developments.

The AACE Act would address the shortage of land appraisers who assess the value of public land before a transaction by allowing the Department of Interior to contract with private appraisers to tackle federal appraisal bottlenecks and expedite the process.

In a state like Nevada, where more than 80 percent of its land is federal, the legislation will give the Department of Interior the flexibility to get land deals done more quickly, and at no additional cost to taxpayers, according to Lee.

“Affordable housing is a bipartisan issue and I’m glad that Governor Lombardo has endorsed my AACE Act — common-sense legislation to cut red tape and get housing, conservation, and infrastructure projects moving on public lands,” Lee said in a statement Thursday.

Lee’s bill recently passed unanimously out of the House Natural Resources Committee and was endorsed by the Problem Solvers Caucus, which is made up of 32 Republicans and 32 Democrats, according to Lee’s office.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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