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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – June 17, 2020

Government Affairs Daily Update

June 17, 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 Latest Primary Numbers – The Nevada Secretary of State’s office reported Wednesday that an additional 2,808 ballots have been counted, bringing the statewide total to 491,569. Of that total, 43-percent were Democrat, 40-percent were Republican, and 16-percent were “other.” While the vast majority of the ballots came via mail (or 98.4-percent), 8,051 people voted in person. Of those in-person voters, 12-percent were Democrat, 35-percent were Republican, and 7-percent were “other.”
As the trickle of ballots begins to slow down, the Secretary of State still anticipates final Primary results to be released Friday.

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

State and Local COVID-19 Developments

GOED Looks Ahead – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) met Tuesday for the first time this year, as GOED staff operations return to normal after shifting in March to help the state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Nevada moves ahead in a time of coronavirus, GOED Director Michael Brown said the state needs to look towards stronger workforce development for sustained economic recovery in order to speed up Nevada’s economy. GOED voted to allocate $2-million to the College of Southern Nevada for a workforce program in conjunction with Haas Automation. More workforce programs that pair companies with colleges is an expected trend with the new GOED administration. GOED had to abruptly switch gears when the pandemic hit. Instead of moving forward with the intended five-year plan before COVID-19, GOED plans to turn instead to an 18-month recovery plan, which will include a focus on advanced manufacturing, clean energy sectors, and workforce development.

Reno-Tahoe Airport Names New CEO – The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) announced Wednesday the selection of the new CEO to represent the Reno-Tahoe airport and Reno-Stead airport. Daren Griffin from Portland, Oregon has been selected to serve as the next CEO, following a four month nationwide search that included local names on the short list. Griffin has been with the Portland airport for 16 years, serving as the Interim Director of Business Properties, the Director of Operations and the General Aviation Manager for the Port of Portland over that time span. Griffin will fill the shoes of outgoing CEO Marily Mora, who is retiring from her position after serving the airport for nearly 20 years.

UNLV Removes “Hey Reb” Statue – UNLV Officials removed the Hey Reb! statue from campus Tuesday evening, and UNLV interim President Marta Meana hinted that changes might be coming to the university’s mascot in the wake of nationwide social justice protests around the country. Nationwide, statues with Confederate connections or racist histories have been removed or defaced by protestors. The Hey Reb! statue stood in front of the Tam Alumni Center. The Rebel replaced a previous mascot named Beauregard, a cartoon wolf with a Confederate uniform said to “rebel against Nevada-Reno and its wolf-pack mascot.” Students voted in 1976 to abolish Beauregard and replace with Hey Reb! A recent online student petition prompted the removal, citing the name and uniform change not enough stating Hey Reb! is “rooted in a Confederate mythology which has no place on our campus.”

Higher Education Still Formulating Plans – Faculty members at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) are voicing opposition to a proposed plan that would alternate which students attend large lecture classes in person this fall due to COVID-19. The current plans, yet to be approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education, call for classes with more than 200 students to be taught online, and those with less students to be taught in a “HyFlex” mode. “HyFlex” is where half of the students would participate in person one day, while the other half would participate via Zoom. The two groups would then alternate attending lectures in person. Faculty at the University, which has about 21,000 enrolled students, argue that the plan would create more work for staff, while still putting them at exposure for COVID-19.

Temporary Las Vegas Homeless Center to Close – The isolation facility opened in Las Vegas to treat homeless individuals infected with COVID-19 will discharge its last patient at the end of June and officially close July 31. Announced at the Clark County Commission meeting Tuesday, officials will now invest millions of dollars into social services related to COVID-19. The isolation facility which opened in mid-April has cost more than $13-million to operate. The building at Cashman Center, erected in just two and a half weeks, was built to serve as many as 500 homeless individuals but only served 234. Currently only 18 people remain at the facility. The County now looks ahead at how to spend federal funds through social services by proposing the following:

  • $30-million in financial assistance services for rent and utility assistance and food and emergency expenses
  • $33-million for emergency housing and shelter
  • $45-million for basic need assistance
  • $21.3-million dedicated to coordinated COVID-19 testing sites for the homeless

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday , June 17

  • There are 11,852 positive cases in Nevada
    • This number is up 181 cases from Tuesday
  • Nevada has reported 473 fatalities from the coronavirus
    • This number is up six (6) cases from Tuesday
  • 260,801 people have been tested
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

National COVID-19 Developments

PPP Loans Available for Individuals with Criminal Convictions – The Trump administration has revised rules for individuals with criminal convictions to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, allowing those with a conviction over a year old to participate, as long as the conviction was unrelated to money. For those with convictions related to fraud, bribery, embezzlement or making a false statement on an application for a loan or federal financial assistance, eligibility will only apply to those who have convictions for felonies five or more years old. The new ruling also eliminates participation in a diversion program as a barrier to receive the loans. Roughly one in three American adults have criminal records.

Malaria Drug Again Proves Ineffective – The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Wednesday that it is halting its major trial of hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump as a possible treatment for COVID-19. According to the organization, there has been no evidence that the drug was effective against COVID-19 and that it “does not result in the reduction of the mortality of those patients.” The decision comes two days after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine and related drug chloroquine after determining that both were ineffective. The abrupt decision by the FDA has left 66 million doses of the drugs sitting in the federal stockpile, with no plan of what to do with them.


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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