Understanding and responding to the business and legal impacts of COVID-19

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – June 15, 2020

Government Affairs Daily Update

June 15, 2020

Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Team is dedicated to keeping you informed as we continue facing the novel coronavirus. We will provide daily updates, with additional resources available on our website.

Additionally, we will keep you informed of Nevada primary election results and updates as they become available on our website and through additional e-mail correspondence. Please stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.

Nevada Primary Election Updates

Nevada’s Primary Numbers, So Far – With just four days until final Primary Day results are announced on Friday, ballots continued to arrive over the weekend, with a few races, mostly in southern Nevada, still too close to call:

Senate District 7

In the race for Senate District 7, Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel continues to hold a narrow lead over opponent former Democratic Party chair and Democratic caucus endorsed Roberta Lange, by just 91 votes. The hotly contested seat looks like it will remain too close to call until Friday. Assemblyman Richard Carrillo currently trails both opponents.

Assembly District 4

In the race for Assembly District 4, former Assemblyman Richard McArthur’s lead over contractor Donnie Gibson narrowed over the weekend to 178 votes. The winner of the Primary will face Democrat incumbent Assemblywoman Connie Munk in the November General Election. Assemblywoman Munk pulled out a tight victory in 2018 against McArthur, winning by just 120-votes.

Assembly District 19

The race for Assembly District 19 is another race that is too close to call, as Republican incumbent Assemblyman Chris Edwards is currently losing to Mesquite City Councilwoman Ann “Annie” Black. Black is ahead by 1,116 as of Monday, which is significant as incumbents rarely lose in the primaries. The winner will be the sole name for AD 19 on the general election ballot in November.

Assembly District 20

In the race for Assembly District 20, Democratic caucus endorsed candidate David Orentlicher widened his percentage by a little more than 5-percent, or 203 votes, over the weekend against his closest contender, Emily Smith. Both Orentlicher and Smith have traded positions in the lead at different times over the last week. The seat is being vacated by Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel who is running for Senate District 7.

For more election results, visit the McDonald Carano election page.

State and Local COVID-19 Developments

Gov. Sisolak: Phase 2 Extended & Special Session Is Coming – Governor Steve Sisolak extended Phase 2 during a press conference Monday evening, updating Nevadans on Phase 2 of the Governor’s “Roadmap to Recovery Plan.” The Governor stated the COVID-19 virus and the case statistics, which increased by 421 cases in southern Nevada over the weekend, is driving the timeline for when Nevada will move to Phase 3. The Governor Sisolak also extended Phase 2 for another two weeks – to June 30 – in order to give the state enough time to assess the data coming in, which indicated a rise in case trends over the last three weeks and a consistent increase in hospitalizations since June 5. While the Governor did not put in place any further restrictions, such as mandating mask wearing, he did remind local government leaders of their ability to implement stricter standards in their jurisdictions if they feel such measures are in the best interest of their respective localities.

In response to questions from the media, Governor Sisolak confirmed that he will call a special session of the Nevada Legislature before June 30 in order to address the significant budget shortfall. When asked if tax increases will be on the agenda for the special session, the Governor suggested that the Legislature will have discretion to consider tax increases. The special session will be held in Carson City and legislators will be required to attend in person.

In response to another media question, Governor Sisolak stated that he will make an announcement before June 30 with respect to the standing moratorium on commercial and residential evictions. The current moratorium expires on June 30.

As Cases Surge, Health Officials Plead for Face Masks– In a statement released by the Southern Nevada Health District Monday, officials implored Nevadans to wear face masks in public, despite it not being mandatory. The announcement comes as case numbers and hospitalizations around the state continue to spike with the reopening of many businesses and more Nevadans returning to their regular activities. The letter, which cites “normal activities” resuming, acknowledges it is easy for people to forget that the pandemic is still a threat, but that precautions still need to be taken. The call to wear face masks from the district comes as an additional 421 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in southern Nevada alone over the weekend.

Las Vegas Casinos Get Creative – With social distancing requirements still in force, Las Vegas casinos are finding creative ways to bring normalcy back to the Strip while still following social distancing directives. The Buffet at the Wynn Las Vegas is set to reopen this week with an all-you-can-eat concept, with servers bringing the buffet to guests, offering unlimited servings of 90 portioned dishes to diners. Customers can reorder as many times as they want within a two-hour period. Under previous COVID-19 shutdown orders, buffets were forced to close due to the potential of the virus spreading to patrons through standing food. Additionally, the Venetian Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget, The Orleans Hotel & Casino and the South Point now have the only poker rooms operating in Las Vegas since the COVID-19 shutdown lifted, bringing back multi-table games with five players limited per table.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 6:00 p.m. Monday, June 15

  • There are 11,308 positive cases in Nevada
    • This number is up 629 cases from Friday
  • Nevada has reported 465 fatalities from the coronavirus
    • This number is up three (3) cases from Friday
  • 248,498 people have been tested
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

National COVID-19 Developments

Oversight of Small Business Loans Questioned – Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced an investigation into how President Donald Trump’s administration has allocated nearly $660-billion in small business loans as part of the stimulus package enacted to help cushion the economic blow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats on the special oversight committee created to scrutinize the handling of the spending sent letters to the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration, along with eight large banks, asking for documents and information as to how the funds were distributed and which businesses received them. House Democrats have announced that they are concerned that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds may have been diverted from vulnerable small business owners in underserved and rural communities.

CDC Issues Gathering Guidance – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new guidance document Friday, defining large gatherings “high risk,” as people across the country continue to participated in protests, political rallies, and even backyard events where six foot social distancing is difficult to observe. The new recommendation, titled “Considerations for Events and Gatherings,” strongly encourages face coverings to be worn by all, frequent hand washing, and continuing social distancing, as the country begins to reopen and seems to be relaxing these suggestions. You can find the full guidance here.


About McDonald Carano

McDonald Carano has helped to shape the Nevada business and legal landscape for 70 years. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals in our offices in Las Vegas and Reno, we are Nevada's law firm for business. We proudly represent Fortune 500 companies, financial and governmental institutions, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs, start-up ventures, non-profit organizations and individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, commercial law and government affairs counsel. Our dedication to clients, innovative thinking and practical solutions based in sound business and legal judgments are at the heart of our practice. For more information, visit mcdonaldcarano.com, call 775.788.2000 (Reno office), or 702.873.4100 (Las Vegas office) or reach us by email at info@mcdonaldcarano.com.

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