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Legislators call on Nevada and California to adopt bi-state compromise

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From page B4 | June 17, 2013 | 3 Comments

SACRAMENTO – Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin), Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) and Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) along with their counterparts in the Nevada legislature encouraged their legislative colleagues to support Gov. Jerry Brown and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s recently negotiated bi-state compromise involving Nevada Senate Bill 229/271 and California Senate Bill 630 (Pavley-D), claiming the compromise is the optimal solution to protecting both the Lake and the region’s economy.

“A unified, functioning bi-state agency is the best thing for the health and well-being of Lake Tahoe and the community at large,” said Sen. Gaines. “I’m pleased to see that cooler minds have prevailed on both sides of the border and political spectrum and encourage my colleagues in the California and Nevada legislatures to pass these amended bills without hesitation.”

As amended, Nevada’s Senate Bill 229 would remove the state’s proposed change to the voting structure of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s (TRPA) Governing Board. It would also keep in place the following two changes to the Compact set forth in SB 271:

• Requiring the TRPA take economic considerations into account when implementing the Regional Plan Update;
• Requiring the plaintiffs in any action challenging the Regional Plan Update to bear the burden of proof.

These two items are amendments to the Compact requiring a joint letter to Congress seeking approval.

Additional provisions outlined in SB 229 would require that:

•Both states agree to cooperate and fully implement the new Regional Plan Update adopted by the TRPA in December 2012;
• Both states would reaffirm that either state may withdraw from the Compact;
• Nevada would repeal the provisions in SB 271 that establish a deadline for Nevada to withdraw from the compact and change the TRPA voting structure; and
•California drops the proposal in SB 630 that would re-establish the California TRPA, which existed before TRPA was formed, because California would no longer need a back-up plan in the event Nevada were to withdraw.

Nevada’s Senate Bill 229 (as amended) may be considered by the Nevada Assembly Government Affairs Committee on May 15. Amendments to California’s Senate Bill 630 will mirror the Nevada language.

“As South Lake Tahoe’s representative in the State Assembly, I’m glad that both California and Nevada stakeholders have agreed to come together to move the goals of Lake Tahoe forward,” said Assemblyman Frank Bigelow. “I’m committed to working together with all parties to find solutions for South Lake Tahoe.”

“Lake Tahoe is of invaluable economic and intrinsic benefit to both California and Nevada, and it is promising that a path forward exists to strengthen the forty-year compact between our two states.” said Assemblyman Gordon.

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento and Sierra counties.

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