Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – March 25, 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
Executive Directive on Public Gatherings – Governor Sisolak signed an additional emergency directive on Tuesday that prohibits gatherings of ten or more people in any indoor or outdoor public area. This does not apply to essential businesses, health care services or people living in the same household. The Governor directed local governments to limit public access to recreational equipment, playgrounds, courts and fields. The full directive is here: Declaration of Emergency Directive 007
Governor’s Regulation on Drug Distribution – Under a new emergency regulation from Governor Sisolak and the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, the prescription and issuance of two drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for out-patient treatment of COVID-19 is prohibited. In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the State Board of Pharmacy clarified that the use of the drugs for in-patient treatment is still allowed. This regulation is intended to protect access to the drugs for Nevada patients by limiting the public’s ability to hoard, stockpile and potentially misuse. These regulations are expected to remain in place while the safety and effectiveness of the two drugs is investigated. The full regulations are here: Nevada State Board of Pharmacy Emergency Regulations
Nevadans Support Sisolak in New Poll – A recent poll commissioned by the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN) shows that a majority of Nevadans are generally supportive of the Governor’s decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 64 percent saying he has performed “very well” or “well” compared to 18 percent who said he has performed “poorly” or “very poorly.” An overwhelming number of participants (82 percent) also support his closing of public spaces and events, college campuses and K-12 schools. 385 Nevada residents who are employed full or part-time participated in the poll, with the margin of error at 5 percent. A full breakdown of the results are here: RAN COVID-19 Survey
All-Mail Primary in Nevada – Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske confirmed Tuesday that Nevada will conduct an all-mail election for the June 9, 2020 primary election. All active registered voters in Nevada will receive an absentee ballot without having to request one. Voters will also be provided with prepaid postage to mail the ballot in or have the option to drop it off in person at a designated county location. In order to accommodate same-day voter registration, as well as assist voters who encounter problems, at least one in-person polling location will be available in each county.
LVMPD and Clark County D.A. Hold Press Conference – In a press conference Wednesday morning, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson provided the public with an update on steps being taken in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Lombardo confirmed there are no positive cases of COVID-19 cases within the law enforcement agency or among inmates at the Clark County Detention Center. Three inmates who were showing symptoms were released and are now being monitored by health officials. Wolfson discussed a shift in workload priorities due to courtroom closures, but assured Nevadans that there will be no lapse in ultimate criminal justice proceedings.
City of Reno Revenue Shortfall – The Reno City Council was given a budget update which provided no definite answers to revenue shortfall. Reno Finance Director Deborah Lauchner suggested worst case scenario would be a $30 million short fall in the general fund revenue. The two largest revenue sources for the city include the C-Tax and property tax, which will each take a large hit. At this time, the city has implemented a hiring freeze which is expected to save around $6 million. Layoffs are a last resort. All local governments are set to submit their budgets to the state by June 1, 2020. Lauchner strongly recommended the city submit a flat budget which can be adjusted once more accurate data becomes available in late August or early September. It was repeated by Councilman Devon Reese that the city must remain “aggressively conservative” in their budget. Under the federal relief package, local jurisdictions with a population under 500k will not receive relief, but the Nevada delegation is working to remedy this.
Senator Cortez Masto Addresses Rural Communities – In a post on Medium, Senator Cortez Masto outlined the work she is doing to protect rural Nevada communities during the coronavirus pandemic. She assured Nevadans that she will continue to fight to ensure rural health care providers have the necessary resources and support, as well as support protections for small businesses and workers in the agriculture industry. Her full statement is here: Senator Cortez Masto Message to Rural Nevada
Federal Government Developments
Today marks day ten of the White House’s 15-day plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Senate Reaches Historic Deal on Coronavirus Stimulus Bill – The Senate is expected to vote on a $2 trillion stimulus package after reaching a breakthrough in negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other Trump administration officials early Wednesday morning. Many core elements of the bill remain, including emergency relief to many Americans in the form of $1,200 checks, a $300 billion loan program for small businesses and a $500 billion lending fund for hard-hit industries like the airlines. The bill also expands unemployment benefits, allocates $130 billion for hospitals and includes $400 million for states to address COVID-19 effects on the 2020 election. While the bill is expected to pass in the Senate, logistics of its passage – and potential changes – in the House are unclear.
Stock Market Trends Upwards – After weeks of historic lows, the stock market continued to trend upward for the second day in a row Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 2.4% and S&P 500 closed up 1.2%. These increases can be attributed to the approaching finish line for Senate’s coronavirus stimulus package, which largely eased investors’ fears.
COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada
These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 25
- There are 321 positive cases in Nevada:
- Clark County has 249 confirmed cases. Of those, 65 are hospitalized.
- Washoe County has 50 confirmed cases. Two (2) are hospitalized and four (4) have recovered.
- Carson City has two (2) confirmed cases.
- Elko County has two (2) confirmed cases.
- Douglas County has three (3) confirmed cases.
- Lyon County has one (1) confirmed case.
- Nye County had one (1) confirmed case. The patient has recovered and been cleared from self-isolation by state health officials.
- Nevada has reported six (6) fatalities from the coronavirus, all located in Southern Nevada.
- Over 4,500 people have been tested.
Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada
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