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Nonprofit plans to challenge A’s stadium funding bill in court

Updated November 14, 2023 - 5:59 pm

A nonprofit group plans to file a lawsuit to overturn the Oakland Athletics stadium funding bill, Senate Bill 1, saying it features multiple violations of the state constitution.

Schools Over Stadiums, a political action committee created by the Nevada State Education Association, said there are five issues with the bill that puts it in violation of the constitution.

The law approved $380 million in public funds for the A’s planned Las Vegas ballpark.

Schools Over Stadiums plans to draft and file litigation in the coming weeks, according to Dawn Etcheverry, the nonprofit’s president.

“After several months of organizing, our commitment to blocking the use of public funds for the stadium project has only grown stronger,” Etcheverry said in a statement. “We believe SB1 violates at least five sections of the state Constitution which should lead to the bill’s partial or total invalidation.”

The Nevada Legislature passed SB1 in June in a special session. Gov. Joe Lombardo then signed it into law.

The articles of the constitution that the teachers group believes were violated involve requirements of a vote of at least two-thirds of each house of the Legislature for increases in public revenue, including taxes; that money not be drawn from the treasury; that the state not assume debt that is more than 2 percent of the assessed value of the state; and that the state not assume debt of any county unless it is to stop an invasion or be used for public defense.

Schools Over Stadiums’ referendum petition aimed at getting the A’s public funding on the 2024 ballot was shot down Nov. 6 by a Carson City District Court judge.

Danny Thompson, one of two lobbyists with A’s ties to challenge the petition in court, said they aren’t deterred by Schools Over Stadium’s planned litigation.

“We are confident in the court ruling and equally confident in the constitutionally of SB1 and will defend our position in court,” Thompson wrote Tuesday in a text message.

The announcement comes as the three-day Major League Baseball fall owners meetings kicked off in Arlington, Texas. There, the 30 MLB team owners are expected to vote on the A’s relocation to Las Vegas.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on X.

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