Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 7, 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

Interim Finance Committee Approves Funds to Fight Coronavirus – The Interim Finance Committee (“IFC”), chaired by Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, held a virtual meeting Tuesday morning to discuss and vote on agenda items related to emergency funds to aid Nevada in its response to COVID-19. IFC unanimously approved two grants totaling $6.25-million to the Division of Emergency Management from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”). These funds will allow the state to purchase additional personal protection equipment and other necessary, scarce resources. Additionally, IFC members approved a request from Attorney General Aaron Ford’s office to transfer $2-million in settlement funds to the United Way of Southern Nevada. This assistance is aimed toward individuals and families struggling to feel secure in housing, despite the state’s current moratorium on evictions, by providing temporary rental and mortgage assistance.

Washoe County COVID-19 Preparations – In a press conference held yesterday, Washoe County officials announced they anticipate the regional COVID-19 case count to peak sometime between late April and late May. The Washoe County Health District is using multiple models to predict the peak, with one model anticipating April 20, another May 20 and another May 23. Officials are hopeful that the stay-at-home efforts Nevadans are taking will begin to flatten the curve. In the meantime, health district officials continue to build medical capacity units, including a new alternative care site at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The district is working with the Army Corps of Engineers on the logistics for the center and to identify the specific population that will use the make-shift facility. Renown Regional Medical Center has also begun working to turn its parking structure into an additional acute care bed center, and an extra hospital tent may be added to a park across the street.

Free Internet for Low-Income CCSD Students – A partnership between the Clark County School District (“CCSD”) and Cox Communication was expanded to help offer free internet service to those without access. Connect2Compete, Cox’s program providing internet access to low-income families, was first established in 2012 and has been increased in the past few weeks to offer two months of free internet service. Previously, families had to meet a multitude of conditions to qualify for the program, including having at least one K-12 student in the household, receive government benefits and not have any debt with Cox or been a Cox customer 90-days before applying. Cox has waived the debt and customer requirement and now allows for any low-income household with a student to enroll. After the initial 60-days of free internet, the service will cost $9.95-per-month. In addition to helping CCSD students, Cox has opened more than 3,000 public WiFi hotspots in southern Nevada. In the north, Washoe County has recommended that families in need of internet contact Charter or AT&T, both of which are providing low-income households with unlimited access for $10 a month.

Additional Testing Kits – Late last night, the UNLV School of Medicine announced it received 250 additional coronavirus test kits which will allow medical students and staff to continue curbside testing through Thursday. Testing kits were originally expected to run out by today. Since March 23, the medical school has tested more than 2,000 southern Nevadans by appointment only, with testing being conducted in the parking area outside of UNLV Medicine. The school continues to seek additional kits.

Alcohol Delivery – The Clark County Commission agreed this morning to temporarily allow for liquor stores to deliver alcohol to homes amid the state’s stay-at-home mandate. The delivery service is set to expire on April 30 but could be extended if Governor Sisolak lengthens the statewide shutdown. The County followed the lead of the City of Las Vegas after it approved alcohol delivery last week. The temporary arrangement allows only home delivery and no curbside pickup, and third-party companies such as Uber and Doordash will not be able to deliver alcohol. The County is hopeful that allowing for delivery will help liquor stores recoup some of the revenue they have lost since being shut down for the last three weeks.

Gubernatorial Approval Ratings – A new poll from Microsoft News shows that Governors across the United States average 27-percentage points higher in approval ratings than President Trump. On average, Governors received favorable ratings of 72-percent, compared to President Donald Trump’s 45-percent approval rating. In Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak received a 73-percent approval rating, compared to President Trump’s 42-percent rating. You can find the full list of ratings here.
Reno City Council Meeting Tomorrow – The Reno City Council will be holding it’s first meeting in almost two weeks online tomorrow. The agenda is extensive, with items particularly related to the City’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The full agenda can be found here.


Federal Government Developments

“Heroes Fund” – On Tuesday, Senate Democrats unveiled a new proposal that would boost the pay of essential workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic by potentially tens of thousands of dollars. As much as $25,000 in hazard pay, equating to an extra $13 an hour, would be designated to essential employees, including grocery and drug store workers, truck drivers, and federal employees with essential positions, such as Postal Service workers. Health care workers and first responders could also receive a one-time premium of up to $15,000 in an effort to recruit additional personnel that will be needed over the coming months. All benefits would be applied retroactively from the start of the crisis and will run through December 31, 2020, and families of workers who lost their lives as a result of the virus would receive their benefits. The proposal, dubbed the “Heroes Fund,” is being led by Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and a slew of additional Democrats. A total price tag for the package is not yet known.


COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 7.

  • There are 2,098 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 1,608 confirmed cases. Of those, 371 are hospitalized and the number recovered is unknown.
    • Washoe County has 309 confirmed cases. Of those, 28 are hospitalized and 31 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 11 confirmed cases. Of those, four (4) have recovered.
    • Douglas County has seven (7) confirmed cases. Of those (1) has recovered.
    • Elko County has eight (8) confirmed cases. Of those, three (3) have recovered
    • Lyon County has four (4) confirmed case.
    • Humboldt County has 14 confirmed case.
    • White Pine County has one (1) confirmed case.
    • Nye County has ten confirmed case. Of those, two (2) have recovered.
  • Nevada has reported 60 fatalities from the coronavirus, 54 of which occurred in Clark County, five (5) occurred in Washoe County, and one (1) occurred in Elko County.
  • Over 18,000 people have been tested.

Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

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