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Veto override record broken as Legislature approves budget

CARSON CITY — The state Senate finished passing the budget through the Legislature over the objections of Gov. Jim Gibbons and made Gibbons the most overridden governor in Nevada history today.

By the required two-thirds margin, senators overrode Gibbons’ vetoes of education funding, general appropriations, a change to the sales tax collection allowance and taking property tax revenue from Clark and Washoe counties. Seven nonbudget measures became law, as the vetoes previously had been overridden by the Assembly.

As of tonight, Gibbons had seen 18 of his vetoes overruled, including bills to raise taxes and create domestic partnerships.

The record for overridden vetoes in a legislative session previously was held by Nevada’s first governor, Henry Blasdel, in 1864-65, with 10. Before this session, a Nevada governor’s veto hadn’t been overridden since 1989. Sunday’s overrides completed the package of bills to fund state government for the next two years. Lawmakers approved about $1 billion in tax increases to enable about $6.8 billion in spending for the biennium, which Gibbons said was too much.

Gibbons has also set an all-time veto record with 41.

The overrides completed in the Senate today were:

Assembly Bill 563, funding K-12 education for the next two years, was overridden by a 19-2 vote, with Republicans Mark Amodei and Mike McGinness against.

Assembly Bill 562, the general appropriations bill, was overridden 17-4, with Republicans Barbara Cegavske and Maurice Washington joining Amodei and McGinness.

On Assembly Bill 552, the sales tax collection allowance, the same 17-4 vote was recorded.

Assembly Bill 543, which takes money from the state’s two largest counties and allows Washoe County to raise taxes to make up for it, saw a 15-6 override vote, with Democrats Terry Care and John Lee joining Amodei, Cegavske, McGinness and Washington.

On Assembly Bill 146, which streamlines business licensing while increasing business license fees, the vote was again 17-4.

Assembly Bill 246, creating an apprentice hunting license, was overridden in the Senate by a 21-0 vote after senators were told Gibbons’ problems with the bill had been addressed and he approved the override.

Assembly Bill 410, on worker’s compensation and collective bargaining agreements, was overridden 18-3, with Cegavske, Washington and Republican Dennis Nolan dissenting.

Assembly Bill 25, adding fees for driver’s license exams, saw a unanimous 21-0 veto override in the Senate.

The veto of Assembly Bill 463, tightening oversight of consultants hired by state agencies, also saw a unanimous override, 21-0.

Assembly Bill 467, changing prevailing wage rules, received an 18-2 vote for override, with Cegavske and Washington against and Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas, not voting because of conflict of interest.

Assembly Bill 121, requiring hospitals in Clark and Washoe counties to meet nursing staff requirements, was overridden 21-0.

Overrides completed in the Assembly today to become law were:

Senate Bill 234, allowing rental car fee increases

Senate Bill 415, funding the Public Employees’ Benefits Program

Senate Bill 283, creating domestic partnerships for gay and straight couples

In addition, the Assembly overrode vetoes on eight bills that now await Senate consideration, while the Senate approved overrides on four bills that now go to the Assembly.

One gubernatorial veto, of a bill to create early childhood education standards, was sustained today, meaning the bill dies according to Gibbons’ wishes.

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

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