LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Those behind a bill to regulate and protect street food vendors in Nevada spoke with 8 News Now Friday, after Governor Joe Lombardo signed it into law.
“My parents actually used to sell oranges,” Mauricio Garcia Lopez said, sharing how his family used to make ends meet.
“I know the feeling of humiliation they go through,” he explained. “On a day-to-day basis.”
Garcia Lopez is one of many who was happy to see Senate Bill 92 signed into law this week.
“At the bottom line, I think our street food vendors deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” Democratic State Senator Fabian Donate said during a legislative hearing in May.
Senator Donate sponsored the bill, which will allow these vendors to legally work in neighborhoods and other areas while providing them an opportunity to become legitimate businesses.
“For a lot of them,” Tony Ramirez, government affairs manager of Make the Road Nevada said of vendors. “This is their American Dream, right?”
Ramirez and Make the Road Nevada worked on the proposal as it moved its way through the 2023 Nevada Legislature.
He told 8 News Now this is a crucial step forward for those contributing to our community.
“This population of vendors are primarily immigrants, primarily Latino,” Ramirez explained. “And these folks are just trying to provide for their families.”
The law will also allow local governments, including Clark and Washoe counties, and health districts to regulate licensing.
They have the option, under SB 92, to require street food vendors to get a license or permit and maintain sanitary conditions.
They can also restrict hours under the law, as well as prohibit these vendors from operating near places like farmers markets, special events, restaurants, community centers, and entertainment districts.
“This platform,” Garcia Lopez said. “They are going to be able to hold everybody accountable.”
It’s something he calls a win for everyone, especially those he said are working hard to put their own food on the table.
“They can wake up in the morning,” Garcia Lopez concluded. “And proudly go to their jobs.”
The law will also require vendors to stay 1,500 feet away from resort hotels, stadiums that hold 20,000 or more people, and convention facilities. They are also prohibited from operating on the side of highways.
For more on SB 92 and its journey through the Legislature, click HERE