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Nevada Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – July 16, 2020

Government Affairs

Daily Update

July 16, 2020

Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Team is dedicated to keeping you informed throughout the 31st special session of the Nevada Legislature.

Special Session Day 8

Status of Legislation (As of 4:45 p.m. July 16) –

Passed:

SB 1– Senate Bill 1 cancelled various capital improvement projects. A list of projects being cut can be found here. Status: Passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously.
• SB 2– Senate Bill 2 authorizes the Nevada Board of Regents to temporarily change eligibility requirements for the Millennium Scholarship. Status: Passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously.
• SB 3– This legislation would mandate advanced payment of net proceeds on mineral taxes, reallocate future funds from the highway fund to the general fund, and implement a tax amnesty program. Status: Passed 19-2 in the Senate and 32-10 in the Assembly.
• SB 4– Senate Bill 4 authorizes the State Board of Finance to take out a temporary line of credit. Status: Passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously.
• AJR 1– The Assembly introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 1 on the floor Tuesday, which urges the President and Congress of the United States to provide flexible funding for state, local and tribal governments to account for anticipated public budget shortfalls as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Status: Passed the unanimously in the Assembly and 20-1 in the Senate.
In-progress:

• AB 1– This bill provides for certain changes in state worker contracts, requiring one-per-month furloughs and putting a freeze on merit-based pay increases. Status: Heard and awaiting a vote on the Assembly Floor.
• AB 2– This would allow unused dollars from individual schools to be redistributed to the Clark County School District. AB 2 has been the source of friction between the Legislature, the Clark County School District and the Governor: Status: On hold on the chief clerk’s desk in the Assembly and not expected to move.
• AB 3– The bill provides a look at the state’s proposed department budget cuts for Fiscal Year 2021. Status: Heard and awaiting a vote on the Assembly Floor.

Hearing on Net Proceeds of Minerals (Mining) Tax Bill – Senate Bill 3, which mandates advanced payments of 50-percent of net proceeds on mineral taxes for the state’s General Fund and implements a tax amnesty program, was heard and voted on in both houses Wednesday evening. An amendment to the bill allowed for only the portion going directly to the General Fund to be paid in advance; the portion allocated to schools and local governments remain on the same payment schedule. An additional change diverts 100-percent of the vehicle registration tax, 50-percent of which normally goes to the State Highway Fund, to the General Fund. The provisions in the bill are estimated to generate an additional $58.6-million for the state. The bill passed in the Senate with 19 in favor and two (2) against before being heard in the Assembly around 9:00 p.m. The bill subsequently passed in the Assembly on a 32-10 bipartisan vote.

Letter to CCSD Superintendent Jara – The Clark County Association of School Administrations and Professional-Technical Employees released a letter directed at Clark County Superintendent Jesus Jara Thursday morning. The letter detailed Jara’s mishandling of Assembly Bill 2, which aimed to redirect unused funds from individual schools to the school district and was the source of friction among legislators and education representatives during the special session. During the bill’s hearing on July 11, Jara stated the request from the bill originated from the Department of Education, rather than Clark County School District. Governor Sisolak and State Superintendent Jhone Ebert responded to the claim in a joint statement Tuesday, reasserting the request did originate from Jara. The union letter highlighted Jara’s missteps and called for the superintendent’s resignation.

COVID-19 Status Report

Nevada In the Red on New Federal COVID-19 Scale – A new report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force shows Nevada and 17 other states in the “red zone” for coronavirus positivity rate, having 5,239 new cases recorded in the last seven days. Per the report, Nevada is in the green for total diagnostic tests performed, with nearly 50,000 tests conducted in the last week. The data indicates that while Nevada is strong on testing, the high positivity rates are alarming. The report also details which specific localities in Nevada fall in the “red zone,” which include only Las Vegas, Henderson and Paradise. Reno, Elko, Pahrump, Carson City, Fernley and Fallon are in the “yellow zone.” The document lays out recommendations for areas in the “red zone,” which include limiting public gatherings to 10 or fewer people, closing gyms, and limiting restaurant dining to outdoor only. These are in addition to measures the state has already taken such as closing bars and implementing face covering requirements.

UNR Submits Reopening Plans to NSHE – The University of Nevada, Reno submitted plans to reopen campus for the fall semester to the Nevada System of Higher Education on Thursday. The proposed plan outlines an in-person and virtual hybrid model that limits classroom capacity to less than 50-percent by fire code and provides for six feet of social distancing. The model additionally requires face coverings to be worn in all university public spaces, provides for Plexiglas barriers in areas of significant interaction, and requires dining staff to perform health and temperature checks prior to work. The plan suggests all classes that can operate in a virtual-only setting do so and laboratory and studio classes be significantly restructured. The plans will be discussed at the Nevada System of Higher Education special meeting on July 23 and will need approval from the Nevada Board of Regents.

Numbers in Nevada – Daily COVID-19 positivity rate in Nevada rose to 24.32-percent on Wednesday, bringing the cumulative test positivity rate up to 8.64-percent. Hospitalization trends are also going up with 1,033 confirmed/suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. This week has seen the highest hospitalization numbers in the state since the coronavirus outbreak began in March.

  • New Cases: 1,447 (1,315 in Clark County)
  • Current Hospitalizations: 1,033 (-18 from Wednesday)
  • Total Recoveries: 21,732 (+1,021 from Wednesday)
  • Total Tests Performed: 465,682

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