No action taken on preferred jobs bill

(AP) - A Senate committee has delayed action on a bill that would give preference to contractors who hire Nevada workers on public works projects.

Pushed by Assembly Democrats, AB144 sailed through the lower chamber. Called the Nevada Jobs First Initiative, it would give preference on public works projects to contractors who hire at least 50 percent of Nevada workers, buy 25 percent of their materials in-state and register their vehicles in Nevada.

Some critics say it amounts to protectionism and could hurt Nevada companies bidding on out-of-state jobs.

Speaker John Oceguera counters other states are taking similar actions to try to spur job growth in their own recession-ravaged areas.

The Senate Select Committee on Economic and Employment heard testimony on the bill Friday, but no vote was taken.


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