Athletics Las Vegas Ballpark

Nevada Speaker criticizes surprise A's bill special session

Nevada Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager is criticizing the timing of a special session called to discuss the Athletics' ballpark bill.

NBC Universal, Inc.

As the Athletics enjoy their longest win streak since 2021, the franchise's efforts to move from Oakland to Las Vegas currently are at a standstill.

The proposed move largely hinges on the status of Nevada Senate Bill 1, a copy of the A's original ballpark bill, SB 509, that didn't pass before the state's regular legislative session adjourned last Monday night. If approved, the bill would provide up to $380 million in public funding for a new MLB stadium along The Strip.

The bill was heard again Wednesday in a special session called by Gov. Joe Lombardo and has yet to be voted on after Senate Democrats requested changes to the legislation. Now, Nevada Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager has criticized the timing of Lombardo's call for a special session to discuss the bill in a lengthy Twitter thread posted Saturday.

After the legislature's regular session ended, Yeager said he spoke with Lombardo and the governor noted he would be calling a special session the following day, June 6, to try and pass the state budget bill that previously had failed. Twice, Yeager asked Lombardo what the special session would entail, and the A's bill wasn't mentioned.

Then, after the special session adjourned and the legislature passed a budget, Lombardo issued a proclamation late Tuesday night calling on the legislature to convene Wednesday morning for a second straight special session -- this time, to discuss the A's public funding proposal.

"We advised [Lombardo] that it would be better to have a special session on the A's later in the summer, which would give legislators and staff time to recover from the end of session and get back to their jobs/families and allow the A's bill to be further refined," Yeager tweeted. "The sudden sense of urgency was surprising because there seemed to be no sense of urgency about this during the regular session. Indeed, the original A's legislation, #AB509, wasn't introduced until May 26th, with just 10 days left in the 120 day session."

Yeager described the Memorial Day hearing, during which a joint committee of Nevada assembly members and senators heard the A's pitch for the first time, as an "end-of-session sprint" that didn't allow for a thorough vetting by lawmakers.

Additionally, Yeager argued that Lombardo vetoed a budget bill shortly before the end of the regular session despite legislators letting him know they wouldn't be able to consider the A's ballpark bill until a budget was passed.

"So let's be clear why we are now in yet another special session to consider #SB1," Yeager tweeted. "The original legislation was introduced very late in the regular session, and the Governor chose to veto a critical budget bill in the waning days of the regular session.

"Disregarding our advice to wait on calling a special session, the Governor called it anyway. Normally special sessions for policy issues are coordinated in terms of scheduling & there is a general consensus that folks are likely to be supportive of the contemplated legislation.

"Neither happened here. But, because we are legislators committed to serve, we will and are vetting #SB1 to decide whether it makes sense for Nevada. Despite what some (surprisingly) thought, this was never going to be a quick 'ram and jam' session, nor is this 'juiced in.' "

Yeager added legislators are trying to do what's best for their constituents "despite all the noise," which includes input from A's fans in Oakland along with Nevada residents. And after his Twitter thread caught fire, Yeager on Sunday clarified a few things -- mainly that, of course, he would prioritize the concerns of Nevada residents over outside voices.

RELATED: Where A's ballpark bill stands after one day of special session

The Speaker said "tough issues cannot and should not be decided by non-scientific and non-representative polls with relatively little (voluntary) participation," and he also noted kindness seems to be in short supply these days.

Nevada lawmakers took the weekend to reset and will reconvene at 9 a.m. Monday to continue the bill consideration process.

Contact Us