Green jobs initiative advances

NEVADA - A "green jobs" initiative sought by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford moved to the full Nevada Senate following approval of amendments by a key legislative committee.

The Senate Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee voted unanimously for SB152, which uses federal stimulus funds to train about 3,200 people for the renewable energy industry, fund weatherization of about 6,500 homes and upgrade government buildings and schools to make them more efficient.

The funds would be used by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation and the state Housing Division, which would contract with qualified nonprofit groups to create or enhance job-training programs statewide.

Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, has said legislators must still determine how much of the nearly $1.

5 billion in federal stimulus money allocated to Nevada can be spent on the initiative, intended to cut greenhouse emissions, lower energy costs and create job opportunities.

He also said the initiative would immediately give newly trained workers jobs through a list of prioritized projects from the state Public Works Board, county school districts and state university-college regents.

As amended, the bill says the state labor commissioner must determine the prevailing wage for the workers, and the program ends once federal stimulus money is gone. Those changes had been proposed by Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas.

Horsford, responding in an earlier hearing to questions from Cegavske and others, said the purpose of the program is job creation and economic recovery, and the initiative is grant-funded and not meant to be permanent.

Other amendments deal with state Housing Division contracts and adding waste heat to definitions of renewable energy under the bill's provisions.



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