Nevada Attorney General Says Catalyst Fund To Help Economic Development Is Constitutional

CARSON CITY – Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto today issued a legal opinion concluding that a $10 million Catalyst Fund created by the Legislature to help aid in business expansion and economic development does not violate the state constitution.

“The Nevada Constitution does not prohibit the state from disbursing Catalyst Fund money to regional development authorities that by definition must be local governments, or prohibit local governments from disbursing Catalyst Fund money to companies,” the opinion released today says.

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. / Nevada News Bureau file photo

The opinion, requested by Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, was first reported by Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston.

The fund was created as part of a bipartisan plan by Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Legislature to promote economic development and job creation in Nevada.

The constitutionality of the fund has been questioned by the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

The conservative Nevada think tank cites Article 8, Section 9 of the state constitution, which says the state shall not donate or loan money to corporations except those created for educational charitable purposes.

  • Jim

    Don’t believe the AG got this one right. Since the funds are state funds, earmarked for specific companies, routing them through local development agencies is just smoke and mirrors. We need more jobs, no doubt about it. But circumventing the Nevada Constitution is probably not the correct way. It will be interesting to see how this plays out…..