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July 31, 2014

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House votes to give loose change left at airport to USO

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Courtesy Henri Sagalow Photography

The Transportation Security Authority has OK’d the use of automatic exit lane corridors by Switzerland-based Kaba Group to prevent people from entering secured areas at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

McCarran International Airport may soon be making a generous donation to the United Service Organizations, collected from change that could have come from your pocket.

The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would direct the Transportation Security Administration to donate the loose change left behind at security checkpoints and donate it to charities like the USO, which operates airport lounges for service members and their families.

The loose change left at the metal detectors could make a significant clink in the military’s cup.

The TSA collected over half a million dollars in abandoned money in fiscal 2012, most of it in the form of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

And travelers going through Las Vegas inadvertently contributed the second-largest amount — $26,900 — of any American airport. No. 1 was Miami, where travelers left behind $39,613.

All four members of the Nevada delegation in the House voted in favor of the bill, which passed almost unanimously by a vote of 411 to 3.

The bill also included an amendment first presented by Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., requiring the TSA to consult with local stakeholders before making any changes to security policies at any airport — as the cost of accommodating changes often falls to the local airport authority or surrounding municipality.

“Particularly at airports with high traffic, changing and improving security policy must be a collaborative process,” Horsford said in a statement. “Airport operators and local community members must be a part of any conversation regarding changes to security operations in our commercial airports.”

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