Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 8, 2020
COVID-19 Daily Update
April 8, 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
Governor Sisolak’s Newest Directive – Governor Sisolak held a press conference this evening to announce and provide insight on directive 013, signed today, that enforces stricter social distancing guidelines, additional closures and guidance on in-person gatherings. All are in effect until April 30, unless extended by a subsequent order. The new directive enforces the following:
- Recreation venues that encourage social congregation including but not limited to golf courses and athletic courts are ordered to close.
- Showrooms used to display goods for service including but not limited to car dealerships, appliance showrooms and furniture showrooms are ordered to be closed to the public. Purchase from businesses with showrooms are still allowed with curbside pick-up, home delivery or shipment options.
- Places of worship are ordered not to hold in-person worship services where ten or more people may gather.
- Open house showings and showings of residences with current occupants are prohibited.
- Barbers and hair stylists are prohibited from performing in-home beauty services to persons outside of their household.
- Grocery stores are prohibited from offering self-serve food stations such as salad bars and unpackaged bulk dry goods. Additionally, the directive requires compliance with the Nevada Health Response Guidance on Protecting Grocery Store Personnel.
- Essential businesses must implement measures to control in-store traffic that is in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
Proposed State Agency Budget Cuts – Last Friday, Governor Sisolak asked state agencies to review their budgets for the current biennium and identify potential areas for reductions to reflect the new prioritization of state resources amid the COVID-19 outbreak. With an anticipated drop in revenue in 2020, Governor Sisolak stressed the importance of conserving resources while ensuring critical components of agency budgets remain intact. A document from the Governor’s Finance Office provides some insight into what the proposed budget cuts will look like, showing a preliminary total of approximately $689 million in savings. The full document can be found here: Nevada Budget Reserve Targets
NSHE Board of Regents Implements New Policies – On Tuesday, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents announced two new policies aimed at providing struggling students with much-needed support. The first policy allows students to utilize a pass/fail system in replacement of the traditional grading system through the end of the spring semester. The second policy suspends provisions relating to student accounts with overdue fees or a delinquent status to allow students to register for courses and access academic records through the summer and fall terms. The NSHE Board of Regents statement references the financial hardships and mental and emotional strain that many will face during this pandemic as its reason for these unprecedented changes to education policy.
Reno City Council – During today’s meeting, the Reno City Council discussed several provisions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and unanimously approved an order to provide additional relief to Reno’s small business community. The order defers business license fees for affected businesses for up to 90 days after they re-open and, in some cases, reduces the fees.
North Las Vegas Imposes Penalties for Violating Governor’s Directives – As local municipalities continue to navigate enforcement of the Governor’s emergency directives, the City of North Las Vegas passed an ordinance outlining penalties for violators. The ordinance most notably targets the Governor’s eighth emergency directive that imposes a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent for both residential and commercial properties. Violators are subject to revocation of permit or license, a $1,000 administrative fine per day and/or a misdemeanor charge equivalent to up six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Councilman Isaac Barron said the goal of the ordinance is to limit the ability for bad-actor landlords and property managers from taking advantage of unknowing tenants.
NGC Chairman Exits Early to Assist in COVID-19 Fight – Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo has decided to not run for a fourth term, instead planning to devote his time to confronting the COVID-19 crisis. A longtime physician, in his role as Chief Medical Director of the Alamo Medical Clinic, he plans to direct his energy toward addressing the crisis, stating that “it’s time for me to be a doctor”. Alamo has served on the Commission for the last 12 years, previously being appointed and reappointed by the last three Nevada Governors. He plans to serve the last few weeks of his term ending April 27, after which Governor Sisolak will be responsible for appointing a new chair and member of the Commission.
Federal Government Developments
Big Banks Dealing with Federal Loan Programs – In a recorded webinar Monday, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Nevada district director Joseph Amato called out big banking institutions in their slow reaction helping small businesses receive loans, citing the hefty taxpayer bailouts they received during the Great Recession a decade ago. The interaction revealed clear frustration between big banking institutions and the federal government as the demand for relief continues to grow. The launch of the Small Business Administration’s loan program has hit roadblocks in its rollout, given the lack of precedent and urgent necessity. The logistics and rules for the Paycheck Protection Program were not finalized until just hours prior to the program’s release, leading several big banks to delay implementation. Bank of America was one of the few large banking institutions to begin taking loan applications immediately and has reported approximately $40 billion in preliminary loan applicants. Meanwhile, other banks such as Citibank and Capital One have yet to begin accepting applications. The Federal Reserve announced today it is lifting its asset cap imposed on Wells Fargo to allow for an increase in loan capacity after the bank announced it had already reached its lending capacity ($10 billion) Sunday evening. While most big banks continue to approach with caution, Amato said the SBA is looking to fill the gaps with other nontraditional lenders and smaller banking establishments to provide more immediate relief to small businesses.
Democrats Call for More Funding – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are pushing for an additional $500 billion in spending for coronavirus relief. The duo released a joint statement Wednesday morning, saying they would support Senator Mitch McConnell’s push for an additional $250 billion in small business loans while also calling for $100 billion to bolster hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments. A vote on the matter is expected by the end of the week, though it is unclear whether the final legislation will include the provisions requested by Pelosi and Schumer.
COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada
These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 8.
- There are 2,318 positive cases in Nevada.
- Clark County has 1,878 confirmed cases. Of those, 497 are hospitalized and the number recovered is unknown.
- Washoe County has 326 confirmed cases. Of those, 27 are hospitalized and 35 have recovered.
- Carson City has 13 confirmed cases. Of those, four (4) have recovered.
- Douglas County has eight (8) confirmed cases. Of those four (4) have recovered.
- Elko County has nine (9) 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 81 fatalities from the coronavirus.
- Over 25,000 people have been tested.
- Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada
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