Gov. Joe Lombardo has set a new record for the most vetoes issued in a single legislative session, with the first-term Republican rejecting 75 bills passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.
That includes 43 vetoes issued Friday, the final day for Lombardo to sign or veto any bills passed during the regular legislative session before they would automatically become law at midnight.
Bills scuttled by Lombardo late Friday — the end of a constitutional 10-day window for the governor to sign or veto legislation — include a raft of housing bills that would have added new tenant protections and overhauled the state’s summary eviction procedures and a bill that would have continued funding universal free school breakfast and lunches at K-12 schools.
The governor also vetoed a bill that would have allowed higher education employees to collectively bargain under state law and another piece of legislation that would have provided state-funded health care coverage to pregnant people who don’t qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status.
“This session, Democrats passed legislation that raised taxes, eroded constitutional rights, and expanded bureaucracy, among countless other examples of government overreach,” Lombardo said in a Friday afternoon statement. “Nevadans elected me to protect and serve our state – which includes protecting Nevadans from harmful and dangerous legislation.
Lombardo’s Chief of Staff Ben Kieckhefer told The Nevada Independent Friday night that the number of vetoes reflect Lombardo’s willingness to “hold the line” against policies he believed would violate constitutional rights, get in the way of business or expand government into places it should not be.
Lombardo’s 75 vetoes far outpace previous single-session veto totals by dozens, and place him second all-time in total vetoes, only behind the state’s last Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, who vetoed 97 bills across eight years in office.
Three of the vetoed 75 bills were resurrected via amendments on other pieces of legislation. One took place during the regular legislative session and the other two bills were attached as amendments to the Oakland A’s stadium bill approved in a special legislative session.
This is a developing story, and will be updated in the coming days with additional details about bills Lombardo vetoed. The governor’s office has posted a list of vetoes here, while the Legislature maintains an online list of vetoes here — though neither were fully up to date as of Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Click here to see a summary of the latest measures that have been vetoed.
The vetoes issued Friday alone exceed the 41 vetoes issued by Sandoval after the 2017 legislative session, and fall just five short of the previous single-session veto record, 48, set by Gov. Jim Gibbons in 2009.
Alongside the personal record years from Sandoval and Gibbons, the only other session that saw a governor veto more than 30 bills was the state’s first legislative session in 1864, which saw Gov. H.G. Blasdel veto 32 measures. Overall, Sandoval holds the highest veto record for any Nevada governor, having vetoed 97 bills during his eight years in office, besting the previous record of 59 held by Gibbons.
Since 1899, only two governors have ended a legislative session without vetoing a bill — Democratic Gov. Mike O’Callaghan in 1975 and Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn in 2003.
Once a governor vetoes a measure, the bill returns to the Senate or Assembly, depending on whichever house first sponsored it. Members of the house have to vote by a two-thirds majority to override the veto or the veto remains. The bill then needs to receive a two-thirds majority in the other house to complete the veto override.
Though Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly held a two-thirds majority during the most recent legislative session and could override a veto, Senate Democrats held 13 of 21 seats and needed to convince at least one Republican to join them if they hoped to overturn the governor’s veto.
Throughout the legislative session, Lombardo’s administration maintained that the governor would evaluate legislation as it arrives across his desk and would comment and respond to legislation in its final form.
Veto overrides are relatively rare. Outside of Gibbons, who had 25 vetoes overridden, no Nevada governor has had more than three vetoes overridden during their time in office. Neither of the state’s last two governors — Sandoval and Gov. Steve Sisolak — have had a veto overridden.
The 43 bills Lombardo vetoed after the session will not be transmitted back to the Legislature until the next regularly scheduled legislative session, set to begin in 2025. Only at that time will lawmakers have the opportunity to attempt to override any of those vetoes.
Here’s a brief look at all of the bills Lombardo has vetoed.
Click here for a spreadsheet containing all vetoes.
JUNE 16 VETOES
This section will be updated over the coming days with additional details about bills vetoed Friday.
- Tenant protections and an eviction diversion program — SB335, sponsored by Sen. James Ohrenschall (D-Las Vegas), would have protected tenants who had pending rental assistance applications from being evicted and also established a formal eviction diversion program within Nevada’s court system. The measure passed out of the Senate and Assembly on party-line votes, with Republicans in opposition.
- Adjusting Nevada’s summary eviction process — Nevada’s unique rapid summary eviction process requires a tenant to make the first filing in an eviction case, not the landlord. AB340, sponsored by Assemblywoman Shondra Summers-Armstrong (D-Las Vegas), sought to amend Nevada’s summary process by requiring a landlord to make the first filing in a summary eviction case. The bill passed out of the Assembly and Senate along party-line votes, with Democrats in support.
- Tenant protections — SB78, sponsored by Sen. Fabian Doñate (D-Las Vegas), replicated a tenants’ rights bill from the 2021 session (SB218). It would have provided for a grace period of at least three days before a landlord could charge a tenant late fees, specified that a landlord could only charge an application fee to one prospective tenant at a time and prohibit increases in fees without advance notice. The measure passed out of the Senate on a 14-7 vote with one Republican, Sen. Scott Hammond (R-Las Vegas), joining Democrats in support. It passed out of the Assembly on a party-line 28-14 vote with Democrats in support.
- Tenant fee transparency — AB218, sponsored by Assemblywoman Venicia Considine (D-Las Vegas), would have increased the transparency of rental fees and prohibited fees associated with paying rent through an online payment system. The measure passed out of the Assembly on a party-line 28-14 vote, with Republicans in opposition. It also passed out of the Senate on a party-line 13-7 vote, with Democrats in support.
- Finance reporting for inaugural committees — SB60, a bill from the secretary of state’s office that passed out of both houses along party lines, was gutted and replaced on the final day of the legislative session to instead require state constitutional officers’ “inaugural committees” report financial contributions and expenditures, similar to what is required for political committees. The overhauled bill arrived in response to reporting from The Nevada Independent finding that Lombardo created a nonprofit organization called “Nevada Inaugural Committee” to run events and fundraise for his inaugural balls rather than register a political action committee (PAC) — a departure from how previous governors registered their inaugural committees as PACs.
- Expanding ballot languages — AB246, sponsored by Assemblywoman Selena Torres (D-Las Vegas), would have expanded access to election materials by requiring counties to provide ballots in non-English languages if there are at least 5,000 qualified voters from a minority group of limited-English proficiency in that county. Under the new thresholds — lower than those in federal law — the bill would have required Clark County to provide ballots in Chinese in future elections. It passed on largely party-line votes, with Democrats and two Republican senators in support.
- PERS bill — AB498, a Democrat-backed bill, would have trimmed state employees’ share of retirement contributions and increased employers’ share. The veto triggers a provision of the state worker pay bill AB522 that now means state workers will get an additional 7 percent raises in fiscal year 2025.
- Funding universal free school lunch — AB319, sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-Las Vegas), would have extended a COVID-era decision by lawmakers to fund universal free school lunches statewide at K-12 schools. Originally funded in 2022 by federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, the bill would have used a mix of remaining federal money and $43 million in new state dollars to continue the program through the next two years. Republicans opposed the measure in a party-line vote in the Assembly, but three Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill in the Senate.
- Collective bargaining for higher ed employees — AB224, sponsored by Assemblywoman Sarah Peters (D-Reno) and backed by the Nevada Faculty Alliance, would have effectively placed professional employees at the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) under a 2019 law allowing state workers to collectively bargain. Those higher education workers are the only state workers currently excluded from the law under separate bargaining language maintained by the Board of Regents, which governs higher education. The measure — which marks the third attempt by faculty to secure bargaining rights under state law — saw some Republican support in the Assembly, but none in the Senate.
- State-funded health care bill for undocumented pregnant women — SB419 would have provided state-funded health care coverage to pregnant people who don’t qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status. Bill sponsor Sen. Fabian Doñate (D-Las Vegas) initially proposed to expand Medicaid coverage to all undocumented people in Nevada, potentially adding tens of thousands of people to the state’s Medicaid rolls, but SB419 was scaled back through the legislative process.
- Banning some “forever chemicals” — SB76, a bill sponsored by Sen. Dina Neal (D-North Las Vegas), would have banned the sale of certain products containing PFAS or “forever chemicals,” including carpets, food packages and cosmetics. Those chemicals do not break down in the environment, and have been potentially linked to certain cancers and developmental issues in children. It passed with bipartisan support out of the Assembly and Senate.
JUNE 5 VETOES
Medical aid in dying
Lombardo became the first governor nationwide to veto a medical-aid-in-dying legalization bill (SB239) that passed out of the Legislature. The bill would have allowed patients with a terminal illness to self-administer life-ending medication under certain circumstances, following the example of other states including California, Oregon, and Washington.
To qualify for medical-aid-in-dying under the bill, patients would have needed a prognosis of no more than six months by two physicians. Under existing law, patients with such illnesses may only refuse resuscitation and life-saving treatment.
In his veto message, Lombardo said he was “not comfortable supporting this bill” in light of “recent progress in science and medicine and the fact that only a small number of states and jurisdictions allow for similar end-of-life protocols.”
The bill passed in the Assembly on a 23-19 vote and the Senate on an 11-10 vote. This was the farthest that such a bill has made it in the Nevada Legislature, having been proposed in several previous sessions.
Capping prescription drug prices
AB250, sponsored by Assemblywoman Venicia Considine (D-Las Vegas), would have capped costs for prescription drugs at the maximum fair prices negotiated by Medicare under provisions created through the federal Inflation Reduction Act.
The bill faced opposition from drug producers, including the pharmaceutical trade group PhRMA, which criticized the proposal for tying the state to federal decisions on drug negotiations.
Lombardo in his veto message said the bill “would set arbitrary price caps in Nevada based on federal decisions with no review or consideration from state stakeholders.” He argued that “caps could restrict patients’ access to medicines and result in less innovative treatments for patients.”
JUNE 3 VETOES
Gender-affirming care protections
Lombardo on Saturday vetoed SB302, a bill that would have protected health care providers offering gender-affirming care.
Supporters said without the measure, providers may leave the state, further exacerbating the state’s health care provider shortage. SB302 passed out of the Assembly (28-14) and Senate (13-8) on party-line votes, with Republicans in opposition.
In his veto message, Lombardo said he could not support the bill because it “inhibits the Executive Branch’s ability to be certain that all gender-affirming care related to minors comports with State law.” He also said the measure “decreases the Executive Branch’s authority to ensure the highest public health and child safety standards for Nevadans.”
The bill was one of three significant LGBTQ protection measures proposed this session. On Wednesday, Lombardo signed one of those bills in the form of SB153, a bill requiring the Nevada Department of Corrections to adopt standards and protections for transgender, gender nonconforming and gender nonbinary incarcerated individuals.
A third measure (SB163) is still making its way through the legislative process. That bill would require insurance companies to cover treatment of conditions relating to gender dysphoria, a condition where individuals experience a mismatch between their gender identity and assigned sex at birth.
Requiring paid leave to qualify for tax abatements
SB429, a bill presented by Sen. Edgar Flores (D-Las Vegas) and Democratic former Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall, would have required companies with 50-plus employees that are seeking tax abatements from the state to provide their employees with paid family and medical leave for at least 12 weeks at a rate of at least 55 percent of the employee’s salary.
The bill passed 17-4 with bipartisan support in the Senate (four Republicans opposed) and passed along party lines (26-14) in the Assembly, with Democrats in support.
Flores described the bill during a hearing in April as a “pro-growth and pro-family” approach to “attract those businesses with an employee-centered culture.”
Lombardo in his veto message said the bill would apply “a unique precondition to a narrowly tailored group of businesses who are pursuing Nevada performance-based tax abatements” on top of existing state law requiring certain businesses to provide paid leave. He argued it would reduce Nevada’s competitiveness in attracting businesses to the state.
“SB429 would place Nevada at a severe disadvantage in its work to bring desirable businesses within its borders,” he said. “My commitment has been and will continue to be maintaining a streamlined and non-overly regulated state government structure to ensure Nevada remains open for business.”
Expanding labor commissioner authority on prevailing wage
In another veto of a prevailing wage measure, Lombardo on Saturday vetoed SB433, a bill sponsored by Sen. Skip Daly (D-Sparks) that would have required the state’s labor commissioner to create new regulations governing what projects would be required to pay the state’s prevailing wage. The bill passed out of both chambers of the Legislature on party-line votes, with Democrats in support.
In his veto message, Lombardo said the measure would have delegated a “disproportionate amount of authority to the Labor Commissioner,” and that many of the same decisions on prevailing wage projects would be better made by counties and cities.
“Nevadans, and the counties and cities in the Silver State, deserve to decide how various public works projects will be implemented — specifically those localities’ decisions regarding the prevailing wage,” Lombardo wrote.
School employee transfers in collective bargaining agreements
SB251, a bill sponsored by Sen. Edgar Flores (D-Las Vegas), would have required large school districts (in this case, the Clark County School District) to include school support staff as part of bargaining agreement requirements governing how and when employees are transferred or reassigned. As part of that inclusion, the bill would also prescribe the transfer of existing employees in either a workforce reduction or in a “surplus situation,” in which enrollment dips lower employment needs at certain schools.
The measure was lauded by education unions, which have long criticized the state’s education collective bargaining law as ambiguous and unclear on the subject, and have criticized the “surplusing” of support staff because of fluctuating enrollment numbers, rather than employee performance. It passed through both houses on a party-line vote, with Republicans in opposition.
But in his veto message, Lombardo argued the measure would “significantly restrict principals and leaders in local school precincts from hiring the individuals they believe best meet the qualifications and needs of their respective schools.”
“Since this bill misguidedly restricts a local school precinct from hiring its chosen educational and support staff and does nothing to ensure better learning outcomes in Nevada’s classrooms, I cannot support it,” he wrote.
Doctors as independent contractors
Members of the state Patient Protection Commission proposed AB11, a measure prohibiting hospitals from hiring doctors, as a way to address a lack of clarity in statute and align with three opinions from past attorneys general. That includes a 2010 opinion issued by then-Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto that declared it “has been the longstanding practice in Nevada that physicians only work as contractors for private hospitals, and not as employees.”
The law would not have applied to community hospitals or academic institutions.
Lombardo vetoed the measure Saturday, making good on a threat implied in a February letter obtained by The Nevada Independent saying the governor did not support the measure and asking members of the commission not to advance the legislation.
In his veto message, Lombardo said the bill would “decrease access to care for Nevadans by placing significant burdens on the ability to recruit physicians to Nevada” and noted that most states allow hospitals to employ physicians, and that most physicians prefer employment with a hospital.
“Access to physicians is critical to maintaining the health and wellness of Nevadans,” Lombardo wrote. “This bill would remove long-standing policies which have incentivized physicians to accept employment at 501(c)(3) not-for-profit hospitals and various government employers.”
The measure passed out of the Assembly on a 26-16 vote in April and out of the Senate along a 13-7 party-line vote in May with Republicans in opposition.
Disclosure: This blurb about the Patient Protection Commission was edited by Assistant Editors Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder. Sara Cholhagian Ralston, a commission member, is married to Nevada Independent CEO Jon Ralston.
Banning certain cooling refrigerants
Despite clearing both houses unanimously and bearing a Republican sponsor, Lombardo vetoed AB97 on Saturday over concerns with overly broad language. The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Melissa Hardy (R-Henderson), would have banned the use of certain environmentally harmful refrigerants in cooling systems.
Lombardo called it “an important goal for Nevada” in his veto message. But he also sharply criticized the inclusion of a “or use of” clause that would not only have banned the creation of new systems with such refrigerants, but also required the conversion of existing systems in already-built structures.
“An ordinance requiring that sort of removal would place an outrageous cost-burden on many recreational, governmental and business facilities throughout the state,” Lombardo wrote. “Since AB97 places a potentially extreme and unfounded cost-burden on large-scale cooling systems across Nevada, I cannot support it.”
JUNE 1 VETOES
Criminalizing false presidential electors
SB133 would have created a felony penalty for creating or submitting a false slate of presidential electors, with penalties of four to 10 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
In a June 1 veto message, Lombardo said he agreed with the bill’s efforts to secure elections, but had concerns about the severity of punishment. He noted that the punishment is higher than that for “high-level fentanyl traffickers, certain domestic violence perpetrators, and even some of the most extreme and violent actors on January 6.”
He added that he believed the bill “does nothing to ensure the security of our elections.”
The bill was passed 28-14 in the Assembly and 11-10 in the Senate. The vote was mostly split along party lines, with Democrats in favor; two Democratic senators — Sens. Melanie Scheible (D-Las Vegas) and James Ohrenschall (D-Las Vegas) — split with their party to vote against the bill. Scheible cited concerns over the harshness of the punishment.
Attorney General Aaron Ford had supported the measure, saying that under existing state laws, his office was unable to prosecute the Nevada Republicans who, in 2020, falsely pledged the state’s electoral votes to then-President Donald Trump, despite him losing the popular vote to President Joe Biden.
Temporary rent caps for seniors, Social Security recipients
To address rising rents and predatory rental practices affecting those living on fixed incomes, Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-Las Vegas) sponsored a measure that would implement temporary rent caps for seniors 62 or older or for those living on Social Security.
The bill, AB298, proposed capping rent increases at 10 percent of a qualified resident’s rent for a period of time running from June 30, 2023, until Dec. 31, 2024. It also would have also prohibited charging application fees for minors in the applicant’s household and required landlords to return application fees to those who applied for an apartment but were not selected and screened.
Under the policy, landlords would also have to share explicit details about the qualifications for application approval and an itemized list of application fees — two policies aimed at ensuring that those seeking housing were only charged the costs that the landlord or business actually spent on screening.
Despite the bill passing out of the Assembly in April with bipartisan support (36-6), including eight Republican Assembly members in support, members of the Senate passed the bill in a party-line vote (13-8) with Republicans in opposition in May.
Lombardo vetoed the measure Thursday, calling it an “unreasonable restraint on standard business activity” in his veto message.
“Though the bill is admirably intended to increase transparency in the rental process, it is needlessly heavy-handed in its approach,” Lombardo wrote.
Prevailing wage requirements for public, railroad, monorail work
Lombardo vetoed two bills that would have expanded the categories of workers on public projects entitled to be paid at least the prevailing wage in their field.
AB235, sponsored by Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno (D-North Las Vegas), would have modified existing law that requires all contracts involving a public body to include in express terms the pay of all skilled and unskilled workers matching their respective prevailing wages. Under this bill, workers doing “custom fabrication” of nonstandard goods for the project would have also been guaranteed to be paid the prevailing wage on public works projects. AB235 passed along party lines in the Assembly and the Senate.
SB299 would have removed an exemption from existing law and required construction or any other workers for railroad and monorail projects to be paid the prevailing wage for that work, regardless of the involvement of a public body in the contract. SB299 garnered bipartisan support in both houses, passing in the Assembly 37-5 and in the Senate 15-6.
Lombardo’s veto message for AB235 said that the bill would increase costs for prefabricated projects, with those costs “inevitably being absorbed by Nevada taxpayers.” Of SB299, Lombardo said its requirements would burden taxpayers for monorail projects and be “irrelevant to railroad projects since the Federal Railroad Administration already requires prevailing wages.”
Summer school options for all Nevada public schools
SB340 would have required all Nevada school districts to submit plans for providing summer school options in 2023 and 2024 to any K-12 students who choose to participate. The bill would have required the plans to have a special focus on pupils most at risk of learning loss, including students with deficiencies in core subjects, chronically absent students, students learning English, and students with disabilities. School districts would have also needed to provide transportation, breakfast and lunch, and virtual learning options for certain students.
The bill passed on party-line votes in the Assembly and the Senate with Democrats in favor.
Lombardo’s veto message said that it made little sense to mandate plans for the upcoming school year when those plans have already been in place. He also rebuked supporters for the lack of funding the bill offered districts in 2024, noting that school districts still have some federal relief funds from the COVID-19 pandemic to support summer programming this year.
Sen. Marilyn Dondero Loop (D-Las Vegas) criticized Lombardo’s veto of the bill, saying in a statement Thursday “from students with disabilities to students behind in math, reading, and science, everyone suffers when we do not have year-round learning opportunities.”
Counting votes earlier, changes to voter registration challenges
SB404 would have moved up the date for counting early voting results, allowing election officials to begin counting ballots on the first day of early voting, rather than Election Day.
The bill, which passed along party lines in both houses, would have also changed laws around voter registration challenges, prohibiting challenges of a registered voter voting by mail-in ballot.
Lombardo called SB404 a “bad bill” in his veto message. He said by weakening mechanisms for verifying residency and restricting a voter’s ability to challenge another voter’s eligibility, it would “serve to decrease confidence in elections by limiting the mechanisms by which voters themselves can prevent fraudulent voting.”
Pointing to concerns about election integrity, he also highlighted his own wide-ranging elections bill SB405, which Democratic lawmakers have not heard or moved this session. Lombardo argued various provisions in the bill — including requiring voter ID, shortening the timeline for submitting ballots and ending universal vote by mail — would increase public confidence in the state’s elections.
Counting ballots twice
AB394 would have prohibited election officials from counting ballots twice, except as required in the case of an audit or recount. The bill arrived in response to several rural counties’ attempts last year to count ballots by hand, including Nye County, where election administrators counted votes both by hand and through mechanical voting systems.
Lombardo in his veto message described the bill as an “overreach” into the conduct of local election officials and that such officials should not be restricted from counting ballots twice if they believe doing so would increase the accuracy of the count.
Increasing school security personnel chosen by precincts
SB148, sponsored by Sen. Roberta Lange (D-Las Vegas), would have required local school precincts to maintain a minimum staffing ratio of three security staff per 1,000 students, with a minimum of three safety monitors per school. This bill was first considered by lawmakers the day after a Clark County School District employee was hit by a stray bullet. The bill also included other provisions that would have given more say over staffing to local precincts, as opposed to superintendents.
It passed on a party-line vote out of the Assembly (28-14) and the Senate (13-8).
Lombardo said in his veto message that giving local precincts decision making power on more staffing decisions would make the process even more time-consuming.
“This bill would further increase delays, potentially requiring schools to wait years for basic services to be improved,” he wrote.
Limiting the sale of compact fluorescent lightbulbs
Lombardo vetoed a measure that would have prohibited retailers in the state from selling or distributing certain types of lightbulbs after 2025.
Assemblywoman Selena La Rue Hatch (D-Reno) sponsored AB144 in an attempt to address the environmental and health hazards presented by toxic chemicals contained in compact fluorescent lights, such as mercury. The bill exempted lighting used in specific instances such as photocopying, manufacturing and medical or veterinary diagnosis or treatment.
Members of the Assembly passed the bill in a party-line vote (28-14) followed by a 12-9 vote in the Senate, with Sen. Dina Neal (D-North Las Vegas) joining Republicans in opposition.
Criticizing the penalties included in the bill, Lombardo called AB144 “yet another example of an unnecessary, strict regulation that eliminates choice.” His June 1 veto message also pointed out that almost half of U.S. households already use non-fluorescent LED bulbs.
Language access for prescription drugs
AB251, a bill requiring pharmacies to dispense prescriptions with information about the medication and how to take it in the 10 most commonly spoken languages in Nevada, sponsored by Assemblyman Duy Nguyen (D-Las Vegas),did not advance.
Under existing law, the State Board of Pharmacy decides which languages must be provided in addition to English.
Though the bill received bipartisan support in the Assembly (33-9), members of the Senate voted along party lines to pass it (13-7) with Republicans in opposition.
Lombardo described the bill as “well-intentioned,” but noted in his veto messagethat it would create a burden on pharmacies in the state.
“Not only is the law burdensome,” Lombardo said. “It also provides no clarity about whether and how pharmacists should provide verbal instructions.”
Health insurance subsidy for long-term substitute teachers
AB282, sponsored by Assemblywoman Shondra Summers-Armstrong (D-Las Vegas), would have required school districts employing certain long-term substitute teachers a $450 monthly subsidy to purchase a health insurance plan. The bill would also have prevented school districts from limiting substitute teacher hours as a means of preventing such teachers from qualifying for the subsidies.
The bill passed through both houses with some bipartisan support, including 31-11 in the Assembly and 16-4 in the Senate.
“Addressing the compensation of those substitute teachers who are responsible for providing classroom instruction to students is essential to keeping them coming back to the classroom,” Lombardo wrote in his veto message.
But citing the “overly broad” definition of long-term substitute teachers and parts of the bill that would be “burdensome” to teachers and administrators, he said that increasing the daily compensation would be a more efficient way to provide health insurance access.
Imposing county taxes on fuel and motor vehicles
AB359 would have allowed Clark County commissioners to continue imposing additional increases of a motor vehicle fuel tax via ordinance beyond 2026 — rather than requiring voter approval in the 2026 general election to continue the tax increases.
The bill would have enabled the commissioners to approve continued increases with a two-thirds majority of the board, as long as they did so before Dec. 31, 2026.
The bill received bipartisan support, passing in the Assembly 32-10 and in the Senate 15-5.
In his veto message, Lombardo agreed with the bill’s emphasis on funding for new transportation infrastructure, but wrote that “a decision on this issue, which impacts household budgets everyday, is most appropriately rendered by the voters.” He noted that the 2026 date of the vote allows lawmakers time to consider other possibilities as well.
Moving the Keep Nevada Working Task Force
AB366, brought forward by the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs, would have moved the Keep Nevada Working Task Force from the lieutenant governor’s office to the secretary of state’s office. The role of the task force — to research and develop strategies for supporting career pathways and emerging industries — would have remained largely unchanged.
Both the Assembly and the Senate passed the bill unanimously.
Lombardo said in his veto message that the task force should be moved to the Department of Workforce that would have been created under SB431, a major government modernization bill proposed by Lombardo’s office that was never voted on in the Legislature (and one of several unaddressed Lombardo priorities that ultimately spurred a budget veto late Thursday).
“Since AB366 moves the Keep Nevada Working Task Force from a workforce and economic development-related office to an elections and records-related office, I cannot support it,” he wrote in his veto message.
However, the bill was amended at the last minute into another measure, SB24, that would change elements of the lieutenant governor’s office and that was signed by Lombardo on June 13.
Union-backed train safety bill
AB456, a bill brought by the Assembly Committee on Growth and Infrastructure, would have limited the length of trains running through Nevada to just 7,500 feet and created new requirements for train defect detectors maintained by rail operators. The bill passed through both houses on a party-line vote.
Backers of the bill, chiefly the state’s rail worker unions, had called for the measure as a response to worsening working conditions and what they argued was an increasing risk of serious derailments of so-called “monster trains,” which often exceed 3 miles in length. It came as rail workers nearly initiated their first strike in decades late last year, and after a chemical spill from a derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, drew national attention in February.
But opponents, including rail giant Union Pacific, argued the measure could violate the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause under a Supreme Court ruling from 1945 by regulating interstate commerce (a role reserved by Congress).
Bill proponents have countered that a more recent law, the 1970 Federal Railroad Safety Act, could supersede the ruling. But in his veto message, Lombardo criticized the measure as “policy overreach,” and echoed the claims made by Union Pacific in arguing the bill would be “unlikely to withstand litigation.”
Major budget bill, Appropriations Act, vetoed at last minute
Late Thursday night, amid stalled negotiations with Democratic legislative leaders, Lombardo vetoed the Appropriations Act (AB520), a sweeping government funding bill and one of the five major budget bills. Read more about that veto here.
MAY 31 VETOES
Money for legislative renovations
AB464, an appropriations bill from the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, would have sent $1.55 million to the Legislative Fund for “project development and initial operating expenses relating to anticipated building renovations and construction.” In hearings, Legislative Counsel Bureau head Brenda Erdoes told lawmakers the money would be split between $1 million in planning funds for the legislative building in Carson City, with the extra $500,000 split between potential projects in Carson City and Clark County.
The measure received split bipartisan support in the Assembly, with seven Republicans joining Democrats to advance the measure 35-7. Later amended in the Senate (where it received an extra $500,000 appropriation), the vote ended up on party lines, 13-8.
In his Wednesday veto message, Lombardo criticized a lack of “transparency and accountability” in the formal bill language and said he couldn’t support the measure until “there is sufficient detail” supporting the request.
“When the Executive Branch submits a capital improvement project, it includes a detailed breakout of costs and a summary of the project,” the veto message read. “The Legislature provides only a single line on a sheet of paper.”
Process for filling local government vacancies
On Wednesday, Lombardo vetoed two bills affecting how vacancies on local government boards and commissions are filled.
- SB20, a bill brought by the Nevada Association of Counties that would have changed the process of filling vacancies on county commissions. It would have allowed counties to provide the governor with the names of two potential appointees of the same political party as the most recent holder of the vacant seat, from which the governor would choose to make the appointment. It also would have permitted boards to call a special election to fill a vacant commission seat and establish a process for filling vacancies at a public meeting. The bill passed out of the Assembly on a 31-10 vote and out of the Senate on a 16-5 vote.
- SB210, which would have declared the public policy of the state that any appointments made by the governor to local boards or commissions should reflect the diversity of the state, including age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnic and geographic diversity. The bill also would have required boards and commissions to submit a list of potential appointees to the governor within 60 days of a vacancy occurring, and revised reporting requirements of certain licensing boards concerning the criminal history of applicants. The bill passed out of the Assembly on a 27-14 vote and passed out of the Senate on a 16-4 vote.
Lombardo’s veto message on SB20 said the bill “is a general overreach intended to upset the established balance between Nevada’s county commissions and the Executive Branch’s appointment authority.” Under existing law, the governor is allowed to appoint any person to a vacancy on a county commission seat as long as the appointee is of the same political party.
Lombardo called SB210 “well-intentioned” in his veto message, but said it also encroaches on the governor’s ability to make appointments.
Local heat mitigation plans
SB169 would have required Clark and Washoe counties to include heat mitigation strategies — such as cooling spaces, public drinking water access and urban tree canopies — to their long-term development master plan.
Lombardo vetoed the bill May 31, writing in his veto message that while well-intentioned, the bill would create “significantly more red tape for master-planned projects in two of Nevada’s fastest growing counties.”
The bill was passed on a 31-10 vote in the Assembly and on an 18-3 vote in the Senate.
Democratic lawmakers opted not to proceed with a veto override vote on SB171 on May 29.
MAY 29 VETOES
Medical debt collection
AB223, sponsored by Assemblyman Max Carter (D-Las Vegas), would have modified medical debt collection law and required creditors to issue debtors “payoff letters,” which detail exactly how much debt is owed. The measure was passed by the Assembly on a 38-2 vote and unanimously by the Senate.
Lombardo’s veto called the measure “well intended,” but criticized its creation of a “private right to action” — essentially one private party forcing another private party to do something — and argued existing regulatory structures under the state Department of Business and Industry could handle debtor complaints.
Statewide mental health consortium
AB265, sponsored by Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow (D-Las Vegas), would have created a statewide mental health consortium, a body that would have connected similar regional groups and would have been able to file one bill draft request per legislative session. It was passed by both chambers unanimously.
Though calling the intent “noble,” Lombardo’s veto criticized an unfunded mandate from the bill, the lack of a new fiscal note this year despite a $200,000 fiscal note on a similar measure from 2021, as well as a new layer of “unnecessary bureaucracy.”
MAY 17 VETOES
Gun control bills
In mid-May, Lombardo vetoed a trio of Democrat-proposed gun control measures, all of which had passed on party-line votes out of the Legislature. The governor said in a statement that he will “not support legislation that infringes on the constitutional rights of Nevadans” and raised several constitutional concerns in his veto messages for the three bills.
The bills included:
- SB171, which would have prevented someone who was convicted of a hate crime within the past 10 years from purchasing a gun
- AB354, which would have criminalized bringing a gun within 100 feet of an election site
- AB355, which would have raised the legal age to purchase certain semi-automatic rifles and shotguns to 21, as well as closed a legal loophole in the state’s 2021 attempt to ban so-called “ghost guns.”
Democratic lawmakers opted not to proceed with a veto override vote on SB171 on May 29.