Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 15, 2020
COVID-19 Daily Update
April 15, 2020
Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Team is dedicated to keeping you informed of pertinent information as we continue facing the novel coronavirus. We will be providing daily updates on the matter over the course of the next few weeks.
Please continue to refer to our Firm website for resources and information:
State and Local News
New Governor Sisolak Directive 014 – Governor Sisolak issued Nevada’s fourteenth emergency directive late Tuesday in coordination with the Nevada Department of Education to alleviate the unintended burdens of distance education on high school students, parents and teachers. The directive authorizes State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jhone Ebert, to waive or suspend rules that would hinder the ability for high school students to graduate on time. It also allows the State Board of Education to approve amendments to school districts’ work-based learning plans, which will be addressed at the Board’s April 30 meeting.
Voter Mail-In Concerns – Earlier this week, attorneys for the Nevada State Democratic Party sent a letter to Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske threatening litigation over the state’s plan for a mail-in primary election, stating that it could violate constitutional protections and election procedures. The Secretary of State announced an all-mail primary election due to concerns over coronavirus. The letter argues that the Secretary of State’s office must:
- Send ballots to all registered voters, including voters who have had previous election correspondence returned by the post office as undeliverable;
- Disregard procedures to check signatures on returned ballots against signatures on voter registrations;
- Allow third parties to assist voters with their mail in ballots; and
- Expand the number of “well-organized and hygienic” primary election polling places in each county, beyond the Secretary’s announcement that each county will have at least one polling location open to the public.
In response to the letter, Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley issued a response Tuesday, clarifying aspects of the request, highlighting his office’s duty to respect provisions set forth in Nevada Revised Statute and underscore the importance of public health during the pandemic. Primaries in the country historically garner little public turnout, and in 2018 only 22-percent of registered voters turned out. Democrats around the state, including former U.S. Senator for Nevada Harry Reid, have expressed their support for a reversal of the Secretary of State’s plan.
Pressure to Reopen Nevada – During Las Vegas City Council meeting Wednesday, Mayor Carolyn Goodman implored Governor Steve Sisolak to allow businesses to reopen amid coronavirus uncertainty, stating the shutdown is “killing” the economy. While she acknowledged the coronavirus-related deaths of the 130 individuals in the state, she expressed a belief that the potential for loss of lives did not warrant the drastic measures put in place by the Governor to curb the pandemic. This is not the first time Mayor Goodman has criticized Governor Sisolak. Last month, less than a week after the shutdown began, Mayor Goodman likened the COVID-19 outbreak to the common flu.
New Unemployment Vendor – The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced Wednesday a new vendor will add an additional phone line with about 100 new workers to help speed up the unemployment insurance claims process. The announcement of the new U.S. based vendor, Alorica, comes one day after Governor Sisolak announced that Nevada’s unemployment system has stagger under 300,000 claims filed in the last 30 days. Alorica has more than 100,000 employees in 14 countries and will use work-at-home representatives to provide a “full-service, scalable customer experience.” DETR also highlighted the new filing method aimed to help provide faster results without inundating the system:
- Those with last names beginning with the letters A through K are asked to file on Sundays
- Those with last names beginning with the letters L through R are asked to file on Mondays
- Those with last names beginning with the letters S through Z are asked to file on Tuesday
- Wednesdays through Sundays are open for anyone to initiate or renew claims online
The new system goes into effect this Sunday, April 19.
Small Business Administration Loans – Nevada businesses are set to receive more than $1.3-billion in loans after more than 4,200 loans were approved in the first seven days of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Nationwide, more than 4,600 lenders have participated in the program and provided 1,035,086 loans, totaling $247.5-billion. While an original $350-billion was allocated, that money could potentially run out by close of business Wednesday, as Republicans and the White House continue to push for an additional $250-billion to fund the program.
Nevada Airports to Receive Funding – 30 airports in Nevada will receive more than $231-million in federal aid, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The money is intended to support airport operations and help with the drop in revenue due to the halt in travel around the U.S. In Southern Nevada, McCarran International Airport is poised to receive the vast majority of the funding – more than $195-million – and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport is expected to receive $31-million. The funds can be used for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments. For a full list of the Nevada airports allocated to receive funding, click here.
Federal Government Developments
President Trump Announces Economic Working Group – On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the formation of multiple Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, comprised of executives, economists, scholars and leaders in individual industry sectors tasked with charting a path forward for economic revitalization. Each group will work in close coordination with the White House and cabinet officials to map out industry-specific plans for the re-opening of the American economy. The industries included in the plan are:
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Real Estate
- Thought Leaders
COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada
These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 15.
- There are 3,211 positive cases in Nevada.
- Clark County has 2,559 confirmed cases. Of those, 683 are hospitalized and 1,281 have recovered.
- Washoe County has 549 confirmed cases. Of those, 32 are hospitalized and 103 have recovered.
- Carson City has 25 confirmed cases. Of those, six (6) have recovered.
- Douglas County has 13 confirmed cases. Of those four (4) have recovered.
- Elko County has 11 confirmed cases. Of those, three (3) have recovered.
- Lyon County has 11 confirmed case. Of those, one (1) has recovered.
- Humboldt County has 20 confirmed case. Of those, four (4) are hospitalized.
- White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases.
- Nye County has 19 confirmed case. Of those, two (2) have recovered.
- Churchill County has one (1) confirmed case.
- Nevada has reported 131 fatalities from the coronavirus.
- Over 26,900 people have been tested.
- Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada
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