Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 4, 2020
COVID-19 Daily Update
May 4, 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: https://www.mcdonaldcarano.com/coronavirus
State and Local News
LVGEA Business Information Network – The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), in partnership with the Nevada COVID-19 Response Relief and Recovery Task Force and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, revealed the Nevada Business Information Network on its website to serve as a one-stop resource center for the state’s business, industry, trade and economic development organizations. The website provides quick links for federal legislation, resources from state and federal agencies and a comprehensive list of recent coronavirus-related announcements from LVGEA partners. Several industries have already submitted specific reopening plans in coordination with federal and state frameworks that provide examples for individual businesses as they transition into recovery. The information for the Business Information Network can be found at www.lvgea.org/covid19.
Clark County Testing – As local governments work to expand both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing, Clark County officials announced additional drive-thru testing will be available this week at The Orleans in Las Vegas. The county is working in coordination with the University Medical Center (UMC) to launch the program and aims to offer 300 appointments per day as a part of the Governor’s efforts to gain a better understanding of the status of COVID-19 in the state. Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said that with the additional testing, reported coronavirus cases are expected to increase and the data will help guide the county’s decisions moving forward.
Mail-In Ballots Sent Out Across Nevada – Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske confirmed that officials in all 17 counties have started sending out 2020 Primary Election ballots and most voters can expect to receive their mail-in ballot within the next two weeks. All active, registered voters in the state will automatically receive a mail-in ballot with a pre-addressed and pre-paid return envelope. While limited in-person voting locations will be available, voters are encouraged to take advantage of the mail-in ballot to help prevent risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Department of Business & Industry Guidance for Businesses – In a letter released Monday, Interim Administrator of the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) Victoria Carreon provided a list of guiding principles for businesses to follow as they begin to develop COVID-19 reopening action plans. Region-specific resources are available for those requiring help in developing a plan, as well as federal OSHA guidelines, CDC resources and links to the Nevada Health Response website. The full letter can be found here: DIR Reopening Letter
Nevada Treasurer Conine Calls for ‘New Deal’ for Essential Workers – In an opinion piece submitted to the Reno Gazette Journal, Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine laid out his plan for providing additional benefits and wages to essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. In the article, Conine says he joined state treasurers from across the country to advocate on behalf of front-line workers. The proposed deal would include:
- A wage that workers can live on without public assistance
- Risk-appropriate hazard pay
- Affordable and sufficient health insurance
- Paid time off that removes the penalty for staying home if their presence on the job would be a risk to their customers, their co-workers or themselves
- Appropriate protective gear
- Disability and life insurance that provides for these workers’ dependents if their ability to earn is disrupted as a function of their work during COVID-19
The full article can be found here: Treasurer Conine –Reno Gazette-Journal
Senator Kieckhefer Calls for More Communication from Governor Sisolak – In an opinion piece submitted to the Nevada Independent, state Senator Ben Kieckhefer (R – Washoe County and Carson City) called upon Governor Sisolak and his staff to enhance communication to the people of Nevada and foster better relationships with elected officials during the COVID-19 statewide shutdown. Senator Kieckhefer identified expected revenue shortfalls in the upcoming fiscal years as areas in which coordination with the Legislature should be prioritized. He notes that while the position the Governor and his staff are in is not easy, trust between the Governor and the citizens of Nevada is a vital component in charting through the next two months and working to recover the state economy. Senator Ben Kieckhefer is an employee of McDonald Carano. The full article can be found here: Senator Keickhefer – Nevada Independent
NSHE Plans for Fall Semester – The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Chancellor Thom Reilly released a statement Monday morning saying the system has begun planning for adjustments of in-person classes for the late summer and fall semester. The plans include resuming a form of in-person instruction with smaller student capacity, on-campus housing and athletic events. The statement adds that several “hybrid” approaches are on the table that would allow a mix of an online and in-person class experience. NSHE will continue to work with the Mountain West Conference and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) to keep athletics an integral part of the institutions.
Health and Safety Policies for Gaming – Pursuant to requirements in Governor Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 016, the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued additional health and safety policies on Friday for the resumption of gaming operations in the state for both restricted and non-restricted licensees. Both versions can be found here:
Federal Government Developments
Senate Returns with Additional Precautions – United States Senators returned to work Monday with numerous safeguards in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the Capitol. Senators have been encouraged to allow only minimal staff presence in the building, as well as wear protective gear when moving around the building. Several traditions have been interrupted, including weekly Senate lunches that are often host to critical discussions. The House of Representatives was originally slated to return to Washington D.C. Monday, but reversed course at the direction of the House doctor who was concerned with the rising number of cases in the metropolitan area. There was substantial discourse among Senators on returning to work, however Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argues that the Senate will be acting on nominations to key positions that relate directly to the safety of the American people and to the oversight of coronavirus legislation.
Second Round of PPP Funding – The Small Business Administration (SBA) released a report Sunday with details about the second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Since round two of PPP loan processing began on April 27, approximately 2.2 million loans have been given nationwide, surpassing the total amount made during round one. Over $175-billion in loans were processed with the average loan size at $79,000. Since the launch of the PPP on April 3, the SBA processed over 3.8 million loans for more than half a trillion dollars in economic support.
Cruise Ship Corporation Plans Reopening – Cruise giant Carnival Corporation said Monday that it plans to reopen cruising on eight of its ships before the end of summer, with cruises resuming operations from ports in Texas and Florida as early as August 1. As the world’s largest cruise line, Carnival has been at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning after a series of major outbreaks occurred onboard its ships that potentially helped spread the disease across the world. Last week, Congress began investigating the company’s handling of the virus. In a statement, the company said they will use the time until August 1 to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders in new protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of the guests and crew.
U.S. Borrows – The U.S. Treasury Department announced Friday that the United States is expected to borrow $3-trillion to pay for COVID-19 response. The money is said to be necessary to cover increased spending on aid to individuals and businesses, and to cover the shortfall in tax revenue that has been exacerbated by the Department’s decision to delay some tax filing deadlines. However, because those taxes will eventually be paid, it’s expected that not all of the new borrowing will be added to the national debt. The Congressional Budget Office projected last month that the budget deficit would hit $3.7-trillion for fiscal year 2020.
COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada
These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, May 4.
- There are 5,491 positive cases in Nevada.
- Clark County has 4,411 confirmed cases. Of those, 3,018 have recovered.
- Washoe County has 988 confirmed cases. Of those, 55 are hospitalized and 400 have recovered.
- Carson City has 48 confirmed cases. Of those, 27 have recovered.
- Humboldt County has 50 confirmed cases. Of those, two (2) are hospitalized and ten have recovered.
- Nye County has 37 confirmed cases. Of those, 18 have recovered.
- Lyon County has 34 confirmed cases. Of those, 13 have recovered.
- Douglas County has 21 confirmed cases. Of those, 17 have recovered.
- Elko County has 15 confirmed cases. Of those, 10 have recovered.
- Lander County has 13 confirmed cases.
- Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases.
- White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases. All three (3) have recovered.
- Churchill County has three (3) confirmed cases.
- Nevada has reported 266 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 223 were in Clark County, 34 were in Washoe County, three (3) were in Humboldt County, one (1) was in Elko County and one (1) was in Carson City.
- Over 46,100 people have been tested.
- Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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