Sisolak names legislative committee to study Innovation Zones

Gov. Steve Sisolak and legislative leadership on Friday, July 16, named the members of a committee that will study the idea of creating autonomous Innovation Zones in the Silver State.

Members appointed are Sens. Roberta Lange and Mo Denis, both Democrats, and James Settelmeyer, Republican; and Assembly members Teresa Benitez Thompson and Howard Watts, Democrats, and P.K. O’Neill, Republican.

“I am grateful to our leaders who will be part of this committee and work to provide further analysis and recommendation on the concept of Innovations Zones,” Sisolak said in 
a July 16 statement. “My goal remains the same — to have the ability to create and attract advanced technology industries prepared to significantly invest in Nevada’s success and create good-paying jobs."

The committee’s first meeting will be Aug. 12; members will meet at least once a month and will submit a report and any recommendations to Sisolak by Dec. 31.

The Innovation Zones concept was initially pushed heavily by Blockchains Inc., the massive cryptocurrency company that owns about 67,000 acres of land in Storey County, which wanted to create a new local government.

But after the concept received an icy reception from lawmakers, rural counties and progressives in his party, the Democratic governor scrapped plans in May to pass enabling legislation, instead opting to form a study committee.

"We appreciate the opportunity during this interim to reexamine how the state approaches job creation and economic development as we continue our state’s recovery,” Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, said in a statement. "The launch of this committee will allow for a thorough vetting of new ideas, including careful consideration of how those proposals will impact local communities, the environment, labor and workforce development, and our long-term economic growth.”


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