Governor vetoes medicaid, energy bills ahead of deadline

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) -- The state's business is done and it ends with four bills being vetoed by Governor Brian Sandoval shortly before the midnight deadline the night of June 16, 2017. But it's two bills in particular that are attracting the most attention.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval

Governor Sandoval nixed Assembly Bill 374, the ‘Medicaid for All’ bill that would have given every resident access to a program similar to Medicaid. The bill was sponsored by Sparks Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle.

"We are all familiar with the concerns coming out of our federal government lately. We don't know where Medicaid will be in the future. This is a very subtle way of refocusing what we want to do for all Nevadans," said Sprinkle (D) May 12, 2017.

Sprinkle said in a statement he is disappointed by the Governor's veto, but vows to bring this legislation back in 2019.

In his veto, Sandoval applauded Sprinkle's creativity, but he said the bill raises more questions than answers.

"You don't want to disrupt a medical situation or a health care situation any more than it's already being done," said Governor Sandoval.

Supporters of the bill will now turn their attention to the national debate on health care.

"To continue to put the pressure on Senator Heller to not support the AHCA (American Health Care Act) and continue on with the ACA (Affordable Care Act)," said Autumn Zemke, Nevada Working Families Party Co-Chair.

The other big veto was to Assembly Bill 206; that bill would have changed the state's renewable energy policy by raising the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 25% by 2025 to 40% by 2030.

Governor Sandoval says this bill must be considered through the lens of recent changes to Nevada energy policy and those likely adopted in the near future.

“The voters here in Nevada that adopted an energy choice, which is a massive change in energy policy. I have to make sure doing those at the same time won't do harm to the rate payers," said Gov. Sandoval.

The sponsor of AB 206, Las Vegas Assemblyman Chris Brooks (D), said in a statement, he is disappointed in the Governor's decision, but also vows to bring the legislation back next session.

This session alone, Governor Sandoval vetoed 41 bills, and that is the most ever in his four sessions as Governor.