Nevada voters approve measures on gun sales, marijuana, electric market and medical tax relief

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) Voters have approved an initiative to tighten gun background checks in Nevada.

Backers of the initiative, Question 1 on the ballot, said they wanted to close what they called a loophole in current law by requiring background checks through a licensed gun dealer when most firearms change hands - including personal and online sales.

They had support from the national advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which is supported by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The governor, state attorney general and 16 of the state's 17 county sheriffs joined opponents of the measure, backed by the National Rifle Association.

They called the initiative a threat to Second Amendment gun rights that would cost law-abiding gun owners time and money.

They argued that criminals just don't get background checks.

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Nevadans have voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Passage of Ballot Question 2 means Nevadans can possess up to an ounce of pot beginning Jan. 1. A 15 percent excise tax will be levied on the sales, with revenue going to regulate the substance and support education.

Local governments will be allowed to make rules on where marijuana businesses can be located, but won't be allowed to impose blanket bans on the substance.

Nevada voters legalized medical marijuana on the ballot in 2000, but it wasn't until 2013 that the state Legislature passed a law allowing for dispensaries.

Under the new law, only business that have medical pot certificates will be allowed to apply for recreational licenses for the first 18 months.

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Nevada voters have approved a measure that aims to break up NV Energy's monopoly and open the electricity market to more competitors.

Voters gave the greenlight to the Energy Choice Initiative, which is also called Question 3. It must pass a second consecutive vote in 2018 before it can become a constitutional amendment.

The measure calls on lawmakers to create a framework for deregulating the state's electrical market and ending the utility company's legal monopoly. It came as large companies including casinos sought to leave NV Energy and find their own providers, but chafed at high exit fees imposed by regulators.

Data center company Switch and the Las Vegas Sands casino company were the primary financial backers.

Opponents included the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Nevada State AFL-CIO.

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Nevadans have passed a measure that will exempt medical equipment such as oxygen tanks and hospital beds from the state's sales tax.

Voters gave their blessing to the Medical Patient Tax Relief Act, which is also called Question 4. It must pass a second statewide vote in 2018 before it can become a constitutional amendment.

Supporters say sales tax on the equipment is unnecessary and hits people who are sick or dying, either directly or through indirect, higher insurance premiums.

Opponents argue the proposal is just another giveaway to a special interest group and say public services will take a hit from the lost tax revenue.

The measure was financially backed almost entirely by Bennett Medical Services, a Reno company whose products the measure would exempt from the tax.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
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