PROMO 64J1 Food - Vegetable TexMex Jalapeno Tomato Lime Cillantro Avacado Onion - flickrcc - Jonathan Cutrer - public domain

Nevada street food vendors protected under new law 

© flickrcc - Jonathan Cutrer
Alex Gonzalez

(Nevada News Service) Nevada street food vendors will now be protected, as Governor Joe Lombardo signed Senate Bill 92 into law - which allows vendors to obtain the necessary licensing to operate without fear of criminalization. 

State Senator and leader of the Nevada Latino Legislative Caucus Fabian Donate - D-Las Vegas - said when he was campaigning door-to-door last year with his mom, he became aware of the need for the initiative - especially in Nevada's Latino community.

"We know that street food vendors deserve the opportunity to exist," said Donate, "and thanks to Senate Bill 92 and the efforts of our governor, together we will now pave the way for street food vendors to operate legally."

Donate said SB 92 also means fewer regulations for small businesses across Nevada. Donate called the bill's passage "historic." 

It will provide a path to legalizing street food vending - but will still prohibit anyone from selling food on a sidewalk within 1,500 feet of a hotel, sporting facilities with a capacity of at least 20,000, conventions, and state historical markers.

Lombardo said the passage of SB 92 proves the state of Nevada "is open for business," a message he highlighted during his State of the State address earlier this year. 

He acknowledged that for many communities of color there is a fear of law enforcement, and added that "fear needs to be taken away." 

"Especially when you obtain a permit and you pay your taxes and you're achieving the American dream by opening your own business and feeling safe in opening your own business," said Lombardo, "without the fear of reprisal, without the fear of authorities coming down on you and removing your ability to make money."

Lombardo said Nevada police want to partner with the Latino community and embrace the new law.

Lawmakers are now working to streamline the process for vendors to get licenses, insurance and health department certifications.