Incline Elementary School bill goes down, but not out; revote likely next week
Although a U.S. House bill that could ease the crowding at Incline Elementary School was defeated in a so-called “fast track” vote last week, supporters are seeking to have it reconsidered under normal rules.
However, the reconsideration is not likely to happen until next week, according to David Lemmon, press secretary for Senator Richard Bryan, D-Nevada.
“It wasn’t on the House calendar as of (Thursday).,” he said. “Since the legislators want to leave Friday to do campaigning, I assume it will be pushed to next week.”
Amy Spanhauser, press secretary for Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nevada, sponsor of the bill, said that if it is delayed, it could come up for a vote as early as Monday.
“We’re conferring with the leadership to see if we can make that happen,” she added. “For now they need to focus on the big appropriations bills.”
The legislation directs the U.S. Forest Service to sell 8.7 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Incline Village to the Washoe County School District. The proceeds from the sell would be used to buy other sensitive land in the Tahoe Basin.
The district wants to put half the elementary grades in a satellite campus built on the site, which is uphill from Raley’s Incline Center.
In a fast-track vote, where normal rules are suspended, a super-majority of two-thirds is required for passage. The procedure is usually applied to non-controversial items, where passage is all but certain. But in this case, the Democrats were sending a message to the Republican majority.
“They were apparently expressing their frustration over not getting what they felt was a fair share of their bills on the fast-track calendar,” said Lemmon.
The bill failed by 24 votes despite 41 Democrats, including Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nevada, joining all but one of the Republicans to vote in favor. A
lthough a relatively slim margin, it was more than enough for the simple majority required under normal rules. Spanhauser expects to have much the same tally when it is reconsidered.
“I talked to a staffer of a Democrat who supported the bill, and was told the Representative had no reason to change his vote,” she said.
Lemmon said that if it succeeds in the House, Bryan’s Senate version, which has been stuck in committee since June, would probably be bundled along with other bills into a package voted on by unanimous consent. He foresaw no complications once there. “But you never know.”
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