Native power may grow

At the Nevada Legislature, a measure intended to beef up the political power of Nevada tribes appears likely to pass. Assembly Bill 264 has been amended twice and is in its third version, but it is still alive and has just gotten out of the Assembly on a 40 to 0 vote.

Patterned after a 10-year-old New Mexico law, A.B. 264 directs state agencies to include Nevada’s four tribes in planning and implementation of state programs. Though Pyramid Paiutes have been relatively well connected as a result of former U.S. senator Harry Reid’s Truckee River Water Settlement, other groups have been left out of issues—particularly environmental planning—that had direct effects on them.

The measure empowers the Nevada Indian Commission to promote—one might say police—the implementation of the proposed law, if it passes the Senate in the remaining days of the 120-day legislature.