A proposed Las Vegas stadium for the Oakland Raiders cleared a major hurdle on Tuesday, when it was approved by the Nevada state senate.
The bill approved by the senate authorizes the 0.88% tax increase in Clark County that will help fund a public contribution to the stadium of $750 million. One of the results of the vote–which also authorized a separate tax increase for a Las Vegas Convention Center–is two new provisions. At least 15% of subcontracts relating to the project must go to small businesses, and a community oversight committee could be created to review workforce diversity plans from the developers and stadium operators.
In order to pass the senate, the Las Vegas stadium project needed at least 14 votes. The final margin of approval was 16-5; however, it did not come without some debate over the project’s merits and Nevada’s current budget situation. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Critics also said Nevada, facing a potential $400 million budget shortfall in the next budget cycle, has more pressing needs for its tax dollars, such as education and human services.
“This is a decision we have to make knowing that somebody’s going to be mad,” Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said as he spoke in favor of the bill.
He said he was moved by the testimony from laborers and construction workers who’ve struggled to find employment since the Great Recession crippled Nevada’s construction industry.
State Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, said multiple concerns with the bill prompted his no vote.
“It was bad public policy overall,” he said. “We’ve seen in many, many studies that stadiums are not good public policy.”
The next vote on the stadium will be by the General Assembly. Raiders owner Mark Davis has said that he will seek the NFL’s permission to relocate to Las Vegas if the stadium is approved.