With the legislation session over it was a sigh of relief when Governor Brain Sandoval vetoed legislative bill AB 407. AB 407 was an act relating to cooperative extension programs; establishing geographical regions of the State for the purpose of such programs; placing the operation of the programs in the respective regions under the control of the Presidents of the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, or their designees; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Prior to the legislative session ending AB 407 passed in both the Assembly with a 30-12 vote and in the Senate with a 15-6 vote. The Nevada Farm Bureau was against this bill and reached out to Governor Brain Sandoval in a letter addressing members concerns. Nevada Farm Bureau President Hank Combs wrote, “Given the nature of the Desert Research Institute not being an educational entity and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas not having any form of agricultural program, we do not consider either to be qualified to meet the obligation of a Land Grant institution.”
AB 407 had been amended throughout the legislative process, but concerns over a funding shortfall for the Nevada Agricultural Experiment system and Nevada Cooperative extension could have had devastating effects on the state.
“The bill would unnecessarily risk splitting federal funding currently directed to UNR in three ways, crippling existing programs at UNR and not providing enough funding to restart them at other colleges or research institutions,” said Governor Brain Sandoval. “It is unclear what AB 407 would achieve other than a diversion of scarce federal funding”
Ultimately the Nevada Farm Bureau is pleased with Governor Sandoval’s choice to veto AB 407. We would also like to thank our members who participated in reaching out to congress on action request throughout the legislative session.