Tahoe ultimatum

Ultimatums have long been used as last-ditch attempts to salvage rocky relationships. That’s the tactic, intentional or not, underway with Senate Bill 271, which initially called for Nevada to pull out of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and has since been amended basically to say, in the words of Hank Williams, “You’re gonna change, or I’m gonna leave.” (Or try to, anyway.)

The 42-year-old compact between Nevada and California governs management of Lake Tahoe’s manmade and natural environments. Now, rather than pull out of the compact, the amended bill calls for changes in how the TRPA operates, and potential withdrawal if those changes don’t occur.

Changes to the bill, which the Senate passed last week, include eliminating a supermajority rule that bill supporters say California has used to block changes and developments in the Tahoe basin. It would also require people who want to sue over the regional plan to first show how the plan violates the compact. And it would require the governing board to consider the economy in its decisions.

Nevada has attempted to withdraw from the TRPA seven times before.

The bill was in the Assembly at press time. Even if it passes, it still has to be approved by California legislators and by Congress.