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Lawmakers move to repeal law creating antiquated metric system advisory panel

By ThisIsReno

By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: Nevadans may soon be safe from the agonies of being required to figure out how hot it is Celsius or how many kilometers per hour they are driving.

The Legislative Commission this week voted to draft a bill to repeal an old statute creating the state’s Advisory Council on the Metric System. The bill will be considered in the 2011 legislative session.

The seven-member council was created in 1981 when the federal government was moving forward with a program of getting the states to convert to the metric system. Congress in 1975 passed the Metric Conversion Act to plan for the conversion.

That effort was derailed in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan eliminated funding for the conversion effort.

Donald Williams, research director for the Legislative Counsel Bureau, recommended a bill be drafted to repeal the law.

“So since 1982 the federal government has not been actively promoting the conversion to the metric system,” Williams told the commission.

The state advisory council, placed under the authority of the Department of Agriculture, has not met since the mid-1980s.

Under a state law requiring a biennial review of state statutes to look for outdated and antiquated laws, the Agriculture Department identified the metric council as one example of such a law. The required review of statutes was approved by the Legislature in 2003.

Commission Chairman and Assemblyman John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said the recommendation “seems reasonable.”

The motion to draft the bill passed unanimously.