Senate committee sponsors Sisolak’s Blockchains study bill

Credit: EYRC Architects + Tom Wiscombe Architecture
The original proposal received an icy reception from legislators on both sides of the aisle and was lampooned by the public as being a tech bro dystopia. (Image dredit: EYRC Architects + Tom Wiscombe Architecture)

Painted Rock Smart City will just be Painted Rock Smart Study, for now.

A Senate committee on Thursday introduced a resolution to create a joint special committee to analyze and explore the concept of allowing private companies to establish a new form of government in undeveloped areas of Nevada.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak introduced the vague concept of “innovation zones” during his 2021 State of the State address in January. Draft legislation reported on by the Las Vegas Review Journal in February confirmed the proposal was designed around Blockchains LLC and their plans to create a “smart city” on 67,000 acres of undeveloped land in Storey County.

The proposal received an icy reception from legislators on both sides of the aisle and was lampooned by the public as being a tech bro dystopia.

Sisolak confirmed to the Reno Gazette Journal on April 26 he was backing away from the proposed legislation in favor of an interim committee to study the issue, saying it seemed clear that the Legislature would not have time to fully vet the complex issue during the ongoing session, which ends May 31.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 describes innovation zones as “a unique form of local government on private land” that would “accelerate this State’s economic diversification by attracting advanced technology industries to invest in this State.”

The proposed special joint committee that would study this concept would consist of at least three members of the Assembly (two appointed by the speaker and one by the minority leader), at least three members of the Senate (two appointed by the majority leader and one by the minority leader). The resolution calls for the committee to meet at least once a month.

SCR 11 also identifies the broad swath of issues that need to be addressed with the audacious innovation zone concept, including regional water supplies, natural resources and the environment, the impact on counties and other forms of government, and tax issues.

The proposed committee would submit a report and recommendations to the governor by Dec. 31 of this year.

April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April currently serves on the board of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, two children and three mutts.