Sandoval’s 2017 veto count 2nd-highest in Nevada history

Gov. Brian Sandoval has vetoed 41 bills this year, a number topped only by the 48 issued in 2009 by Gov. Jim Gibbons.

But despite these vetoes and a Democratic majority in both houses of the Legislature, the Republican Sandoval has also signed more than 600 measures into law, The Las Vegas Sun reported.

Sandoval was governor during two of the five sessions with the most vetoes, according to data going back to 1899. This year’s vetoes need to be put into perspective, Sandoval said. His office noted that the 608 bills he signed this year are the most he’s ever approved from a single session.

“I’m dealing with Democratic majorities, and some of their priorities aren’t the same as mine,” Sandoval said. “That’s part of the process. This is the separation of powers.”

Sandoval issued 28 vetoes in 2011, 17 in 2013 and seven in 2015, when Republicans controlled the Legislature.

“Even with Republican majorities, there were some bills that I didn’t agree with,” Sandoval said. “I think that speaks to the fact that I try to keep the best interests of the people of Nevada in mind when I sign those bills.”

Among the Democrat-backed bills signed by the governor was a ban on conversion therapy for minors and a requirement for diaper-changing tables that are accessible to both men and women in new public buildings.

His vetoes included a bill that would have allowed the creation of voting centers where any registered voter could cast a ballot on election day, regardless of where they live. His veto message said the current system works and he’s heard no “compelling” reasons for reform.

Also vetoed was a bill on paid sick leave, with Sandoval citing potential negative impacts to businesses.

“Bills like minimum wage, paid sick leave, making it easier to vote — some of those policies were those that we knew were more of a challenge for the governor,” Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Aaron D. Ford, of Las Vegas, said. “We’re disappointed that he didn’t see what we saw, which is that the vast majority of citizens in this state wanted all of those things to happen.”

Two pieces of minimum wage-raising legislation passed along party lines this session. One bill sought increases through Nevada’s labor commission, but was vetoed by the governor. A proposed resolution would have enacted the change through a voter-approved constitutional amendment. Lawmakers need to vote again in 2019 to decide whether it goes to a ballot.

In vetoing the minimum wage bill, Sandoval said it’s important to note that passing the resolution again would give voters the ability to decide whether raising the minimum wage is appropriate.


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