Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is withdrawing from plans to introduce legislation that would have enabled tech companies to form local governments within the state. Through The Nevada Independent, the governor is now considering creating a bipartisan committee made up of members of the Senate and the Assembly to study the idea. At the end of 2021, the group will present recommendations to Sisolak, with one possible outcome being that they suggest he abandons the proposal.
“Innovation Zones are a bold proposition for our state that deserves additional attention and discussion – and not under the pressure of less than 40 days remaining in the current legislative session,” Governor Sisolak said said in a press release. “I know lawmakers, stakeholders and Nevadans still have questions, and I want those questions discussed and answered. I want people to be excited about this opportunity, not skeptical of a bill. accelerated.”
Governor Sisolak first pitched the idea during one of his state-of-state speeches earlier this year. He positioned Innovation Zones as a way for Nevada to attract tech companies without the need for measures like corporate tax breaks. Bill obtained by the Las Vegas Journal-Review put in place a system in which companies in verticals like cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence and renewables would have had the opportunity to form local governments with the same powers and responsibilities as counties. This means that these companies should have been doing things like collecting taxes and running school systems.
Although Governor Sisolak never presented a formal bill, the proposal was controversial from the start. In addition to the concerns of tribal communities and environmental groups, there were questions about the organizations supporting the idea, particularly around a company called Blockchains LLC. According to The Nevada Independent, the company had both aired television commercials in support of the proposal and lobbied the government. He had also contributed $ 10,000 to Sisolak’s election campaign in 2018 and $ 50,000 to a PAC affiliated with the governor in 2019.
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