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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – June 22, 2020

Government Affairs
Daily Update
June 22, 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 Primary Results – After nearly two weeks calculating mail-in primary ballots, Nevada’s primary results are official.

Turnout was one of the highest primaries in state history, with more than 480,000 ballots, or around 29.5-percent of registered Nevada voters participating. Overall, 43-percent of Democrats cast their ballots, while 40-percent were Republican, and 16-percent were registered as “other”.

Voter registration in the state has shifted more Democratic during the last four primaries. In 2014, Nevada was one of several states that saw a “Red Wave,” as Republicans swept top state offices across state government. In total, 53-percent of Republicans turned out for the primary in 2014 compared to 35-percent of Democrats and 12-percent “other.” Since then, Democrats have slowly begun to take the lead over Republicans in primary turnout, with 3,032 more Democratic voters in 2018 and 15,911 Democratic voters in 2020.

Here are some final primary highlights:

U.S. House of Representatives
CD 1 – Incumbent Congresswoman Dina Titus (D), who easily secured re-nomination by receiving more than 82.6-percent of the vote, will face Republican Joyce Bentley, who previously challenged and lost to Titus in 2018.

CD 2 – Incumbent Congressman Mark Amodei (R) successfully won his district with 80.8-percent of the vote and will face Democrat Patricia Ackerman, who previously ran unsuccessfully for Nevada Assembly against Assemblyman Jim Wheeler.

CD 3 – Incumbent Congresswoman Susie Lee (D) cruised through a non-competitive primary by securing 82.7-percent of the vote and will face Republican ex-wrestler Dan Rodimer in the general election.

CD 4 – Incumbent Congressman Steven Horsford (D) will face former Republican Assemblyman Jim Marchant, who emerged from a crowded Republican primary as the victor.

Nevada Legislature

Senate District 7 – Former Nevada State Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange squeezed out a victory against Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, securing 38.3-percent of the vote compared to Spiegel’s 36.9-percent. Lange’s name will appear on the November ballot where she must receive just one vote, all but guaranteeing her a victory as she faces no other challengers in the general election.

Assembly District 2 – Former Nevada REALTORS President Heidi Kasama won the Republican primary and will face off against law school student Democrat Radhika “RPK” Kunnel in November.

Assembly District 4 – Former Republican Assemblyman Richard McArthur won the Republican primary and will face a rematch against Democratic Assemblywoman Connie Munk in November after narrowly losing to her in 2018.

Assembly District 18 – Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada attorney Venicia Considine secured the Democratic nomination by 39.4-percent and faces no additional general election contenders.

Assembly District 19 – Republican Assemblyman Chris Edwards fell to Mesquite City Councilwoman Ann “Annie” Black by 22-percent, essentially locking up to nomination for Black who will face no other contender in the November general election.

Assembly District 31- Former Assemblywoman Jill Dickman won the Republican primary by 51-percent and will face Democratic Assemblyman Skip Daly after losing the seat to him by fewer than 50 votes in 2016. Dickman previously held the seat in 2014 after beating Daly.

Assembly District 37 – Former President of the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) Andy Matthews won the Republican primary and will face off against Democratic Assemblywoman Shea Backus in the general election.

Judicial
Supreme Court Seat B – Incumbent Chief Justice Kristina Pickering held on to her seat, winning 57.40-percent of the vote over her opponents. She has been elected to serve another six years.

Supreme Court Seat D – Judge Douglas Herndon will face off against attorney Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo in the November General Election, after Herndon only received 45.03-percent of the votes, failing to cross the 51-percent threshold that would have given him an automatic primary victory.

For final election results, please visit the McDonald Carano Primary Election page.

State and Local COVID-19 Developments

Special Session Delayed – Nevada legislative leaders announced Monday that a request to extend the date of the impending special session has been granted. With rumors swirling that a special session would be called June 29, Democrats confirmed Governor Steve Sisolak’s office will allow for the legislature to convene at a new date anticipated in early July, in order to give the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) ample time to develop appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols and prepare the legislative building for all 63 legislators to return in-person. While an agenda for the special session has not been released, the Governor’s office has indicated that fiscal year 2021’s budget will be of great importance to address the financial impacts of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Face Mask Consideration Continues – Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Twitter Friday that he is asking his medical advisory team to evaluate potential options for requiring face coverings to be worn by all members of the public, after COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Nevada continue to increase. While currently only employees who interact with the public are required to wear face coverings, an evaluation could lead to requiring face masks for all individuals who are put in situations where social distancing is not possible. Governor Sisolak’s announcement comes not long after California Governor Gavin Newsom mandated facial coverings in public or high-risk settings. Additionally, Nevada’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226, one of the largest unions in the state representing 60,000 employees, urged Nevada to follow California’s lead by enacting a policy that requires people to wear face masks in all public areas. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), masks can limit the outward transmission of COVID-19 from an infected or asymptomatic individual, as well as protect individuals when surrounded by potential carriers of the virus. At the time of this writing, an official decision on the adoption of face mask requirements in Nevada has not been made.

New Leader for DETR – Heather Korbulic, Nevada’s interim director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced Friday that she will be stepping down from the job she has held for seven weeks after stepping in on an emergency basis. Korbulic took over the department from previous director Tiffany Tyler-Garner after she stepped down in April amidst the beginning stages of Nevada’s unemployment crisis. Citing concern for her personal safety after becoming the target of online anger over the delays in the payment of unemployment benefits, Korbulic will move back to her former role as Nevada’s executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. Unemployment in Nevada declined to 25.3-percent for the month of May, after skyrocketing to over 28-percent in April, holding the highest rate in the nation. A new DETR director is anticipated to be named sometime this week.

Would You Wear a Mask for Money? – Caesars Entertainment, the operator of five reopened hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, has launched a new promotion to encourage guests to wear face masks by offering money to gamble. Caesars Rewards members who wore masks while gambling or walking through their casinos over the weekend were offered $20, rewarding 375 guests for a total of $7,500. The free-play giveaway comes just days after an employee at Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Kitchen Bar located inside Caesars’ owned Linq Hotel tested positive for COVID-19, closing the restaurant for the foreseeable future.

Nevada Delegation Calls for Statue Replacement – Nevada’s democratic congressional leaders sent a letter Friday to Governor Steve Sisolak, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro urging them to take action to remove the statue of former U.S. Senator Pat McCarran from the U.S. Capitol, citing his legacy of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Additionally, the leaders of Nevada’s legislative houses announced their support of a local effort to rename McCarran International Airport. Each state gets two statutes placed in the U.S. Capitol, determined by the Nevada legislature, and the legislative body also has the authority to replace a statue. Currently, Senator McCarran’s statue sits in the Hall of Commons and Nevada’s second statue dedicated to Sarah Winnemucca is located in the Capitol Visitor Center.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, June 22

  • There are 13,559 positive cases in Nevada
  • This number is up 1,073 cases from Friday
  • Nevada has reported 490 fatalities from the coronavirus
  • This number is up twelve case from Friday
  • 280,618 people have been tested in Nevada

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

National COVID-19 Developments

New Infrastructure Bill – The U.S. House of Representatives returned to full legislative session this week by starting the debate on House Resolution 2, an infrastructure package aimed to help stimulate the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed the “Moving Forward Act”, the plan would invest over $1.5-trillion to rebuild American infrastructure, as well as schools, housing, broadband access, and more. The package includes the following highlights:

  • $300-billion in roads and bridges
  • $100-billion in zero-emission transit
  • $29-billion in Amtrak
  • $100-billion in high-poverty schools
  • $10-billion in addressing structural challenges at child care facilities
  • $100-billion into affordable housing infrastructure
  • $100-billion to promote competition for broadband internet in underserved and impoverished communities
  • $75-billion in clean energy
  • $40-billion in wastewater
  • $25-billion in drinking water
  • $30-billion to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen care
  • $25-billion to modernize U.S. Postal Service infrastructure and operations

U.S. Numbers Continue to Grow – As of Sunday, the United States accounted for 20-percent of all new infections worldwide, despite the country’s making up just 4.3-percent of the world’s population. New cases continued to surge over the weekend in 22 states, especially in the West and the South. Florida surpassed 100,000 cases, and in Washington’s Yakima County, the number of cases has more than doubled in the past month, with Governor Jay Inslee saying that the county was at a “breaking point” due to the shortage of hospital beds. While testing has been said to be responsible for the uptick, World Health Organization (WHO) officials argue that is not the case due to the rising number of hospital admissions and fatalities.


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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