Are privately funded toll roads coming to Nevada?

Victor Joecks

Not if Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, gets his way.

State Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said he had heard nothing but complaints from legislators in states that have allowed private companies to build roads.

Rather than "public-private partnerships," Schneider said such arrangements were becoming known as "pickpocket partnerships."

"I have heard this over and over again from legislators in every state that does toll roads," he said. "They are furious."

Overall reaction at Thursday's hearing was decidedly negative. There had been some question as to whether tolls roads were even constitutional in Nevada.

But Thursday afternoon, Legislative Counsel Brenda Erdoes said that there was nothing unconstitutional about allowing private companies to build roads for the state and then charge tolls.

She said a relatively simple change to the bill would resolve problems about the constitutionality of letting private companies charge tolls on roads that they would construct and maintain for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

In his special last week, John Stossel did a great segment on toll roads and using private money to fund road projects. Sen. Schneider, who has only heard complaints about the projects, or anyone interested in this subject can watch the video here.