A bill to raise hotel taxes to fund an NFL stadium and a convention center expansion has crossed its first hurdle in the Nevada Legislature.
The Nevada Senate voted 16-5 Tuesday to approve the measure. Democratic opponents have said they oppose putting public funds to a project backed by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, while Republican opponents are against raising taxes.
State Sen. Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat from Las Vegas who is running for Congress, voted against the measure and spoke out against it Tuesday.
"If you think about it, we're going to build a stadium – we don't even know where a site is going to be yet. There's no site confirmed," Kihuen says. "We don't know which roads we're going to have to rebuild, or if we're going to have to build new roads."
The bill would raise hotel taxes by up to 1.4 percentage points in the Las Vegas area. It would yield $750 million for the stadium and $420 million for the convention center.
Lawmakers tweaked the bill since Monday. They added a provision to ensure small local firms get at least 15 percent of the work on the project.
The measure now heads to the Assembly for consideration. Our media partner KNPR has been covering this special session and will continue providing us with updates later in the week.