Sandoval Signs, Vetoes Final Bills - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sandoval Signs, Vetoes Final Bills

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Governor Brian Sandoval is finished with this year's legislative business, signing nearly 600 bills.  The final three bills are officially law, after the governor put pen to paper at the University of Nevada.  The first is the the CIP budget, which will fund Nevada's capital projects, including a northern Nevada veterans home.  Construction will begin July 7.

"For the first time, our veterans here in northern Nevada will get the care and attention that they deserve," Sandoval said.

The law also paves the way for a new DMV in south Reno, offering three times the parking as the current DMV.  Officials say construction could begin as early as July, with an opening date of early 2019.  The worst-case scenario would be an opening date in mid 2020.

"The DMV is the place where I actually took my drivers test when I was 16 and it has not changed one bit  when I took my daughter, so it is time," Sandoval said.

The University of Nevada is getting a new engineering building, with the state paying nearly half of the $84 million project.  Construction is expected to begin in June of 2018.

"We're investing here in northern Nevada in this College of Engineering, in southern Nevada with the medical school," Sandoval said. "So, some big things are happening, gonna take our state to the next level."

Sandoval showed up at the Joe Crowley Student Union in a driverless car.  It was the first time a governor has been dropped off at the university in an autonomous vehicle.  The reason is because of another bill, now signed into law, involving autonomous systems.

"It was a blast. I mean, to think that you can ride in a car with no driver, can take you where you need to go, it's the future," Sandoval said.

The bill will allow full testing of autonomous systems in Nevada, which is already the first to adopt regulations for testing the technology.

"It'll put us that much further ahead because you'll be able to do testing here in Nevada that you couldn't do someplace else," Sandoval said.

Another bill will add $300,000 to the Nevada Teach program, which is helping graduates of science, technology, engineering and math get a teaching certificate.

"We have to make sure that all of our students that are coming through the K-12 education system are learned about science, technology, engineering and math," Sandoval said. "What this Nevada Teach program does is provide a special curriculum for our teachers, so that when they go into the classroom, they can teach these disciplines."

Earlier in the day, the governor signed two bills at his office at the state capitol.  One of them increases regulations on opioid prescriptions.  About the same amount of people die from overdoses as car crashes. 

"It really was a consensus bill that's going to save lives," Sandoval said. "We lose one Nevadan a day with regard to opioid abuse and that's one too many."

The law will not allow a patient to get more than 365 doses in one year. There are more stringent guidelines in place, requiring prescribers and patients meet more often, throughout the year to keep a safe plan in place.  And $5.6 million will be used for training, education and prevention of opioids.

"Nevada now has a law that is as strict as any state in the country with regard to the prescription drug prescribing practices," Sandoval said.

First Lady Kathleen Sandoval has worked with Nevada Supreme Court Justice Nancy Saitta, to help reform juvenile justice.

"I've been working in the criminal justice field for 17 years and have seen what it does to kids," Kathleen Sandoval said.

Nevada's state and local jurisdictions spend $95 million each year on juvenile supervision.  The governor says the law will give kids a second chance, and focus money more directly where it needs to go.

"If we don't do something at an early point in their lives, their lives will continue to spiral and we don't want them to be involved in a life of crime. We want them to succeed."

Sandoval also vetoed four other bills, including a bill that would allow Nevadans to purchase a medicaid-like insurance plan.  He says there are too many unanswered questions regarding the policy.

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