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The Nevada Independent

Sisolak Promise Tracker: How many campaign, State of the State promises were kept?

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
GovernmentState Government

Nearly three years ago, Gov. Steve Sisolak stood on a stage at Caesars Palace and made a promise to voters watching the first Democrat win control of the governor’s office in 20 years.

“It’s time to deliver,” he said. “And that’s what I’m going to do.”

Sisolak made dozens of promises in interviews, forums and television ads during the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, and made even more promises in his State of the State addresses delivered before the 2019 and 2021 legislative sessions. Heading into the 2022 midterms, Sisolak is likely to lean heavily on his first-term accomplishments — telling reporters last month that he was “damn proud” of the 2021 Legislature.

But just how closely did Sisolak stick to promises he made on the campaign trail and during his first three years in office?

The Nevada Independent has tracked the status of more than 50 promises made by Sisolak through the Sisolak Promise Tracker, a feature launched before the 2019 Legislature and one that has been regularly updated through the governor’s first term.

Thanks in large part to Democratic majorities in the Legislature, Sisolak was able to fulfill more than two-thirds of the promises included in the Sisolak Promise Tracker during his time in office. Those included many big-ticket items — finally updating the decades-old K-12 funding formula, giving state workers the right to collectively bargain, raising the minimum wage and boosting Medicaid reimbursement rates, among many others.

But not everything promised by Sisolak has come to fruition — we tracked 11 promises that ultimately failed, with another five compromised and two considered “in progress.” Categories of failed promises ran the gamut — including four campaign-finance-related pledges stemming from a 2018 fight with Democratic primary rival Chris Giunchigliani, creation of a pilot “baby box” program and a pledge to continue reducing class sizes.

If you have questions, see something that doesn’t look right or want to know more about why a promise is rated a certain way, reach out by emailing [email protected] or dropping a message on our contact page.

Gov. Steve Sisolak records his State of the State address inside the Assembly chamber at the Legislature on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

2021 State of the State

Small business assistance

Promise: Adding “$50 million in my budget” for an expansion of the small business assistance program.

Status: The governor’s proposed budget includes a $50 million “one-shot” appropriation for funds providing “targeted assistance for eligible businesses, nonprofits and other entities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Lawmakers unanimously approved a bill implementing that spending, AB106, which was signed into law by Sisolak on Feb. 12, 2021. According to the state treasurer’s office, the vast majority of those funds have been expended to more than 9,300 businesses as of late June.


Small Business Advocacy Center

Promise: Create a Small Business Advocacy Center to “be a one-stop location to help small businesses take advantage of the resources that exist and help them cut through the red tape.”

Status: Legislators voted in 2021 to approve AB184, a bill that temporarily creates an Office of Small Business Advocacy within the lieutenant governor’s office. It creates an office aimed at serving as the first point of contact for small business requests, questions and complaints, but is set to expire by July 2023.


New Clean Energy investments

Promise: To “pass a bold energy bill establishing our commitment to increased transmission, storage, and distribution of all forms of clean energy.”

Status: Legislators in the 2021 session approved SB448, a broad clean energy bill that aims to help NV Energy complete a planned major electric transmission upgrade, require the utility to spend $100 million over the next three years on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and a host of other changes including expanding an existing renewable energy tax credit to also cover energy storage projects. 


Innovation Zones

Promise: To create “Innovation Zones” that attract “new companies creating groundbreaking technologies,” with no “tax abatements or public financing.”

Status: After a draft version of the legislation was published in February, the concept received substantial pushback from tribal groups, rural governments and others concerned about the plan to create a semi-autonomous county at the behest of Blockchains LLC. Sisolak and Democratic lawmakers abandoned the concept in the 2021 session, instead passing an interim study dedicated to exploring the concept further.


Nevada Job Force

Promise: Create a job training entity called the Nevada Job Force, which will involve some of “Nevada’s leading companies to fund, design, and implement training programs to prepare and qualify employees for these new jobs.”

Status: No bill creating the Nevada Job Force was introduced in the 2021 Legislature.


Community colleges reshuffle

Promise: Develop a framework over the next two years transitioning the state’s community colleges to a “new independent authority that will focus on making Nevadans job ready.”

Status: Legislators in the 2021 session approved AB450, which requires an interim committee study on workforce development programs at the state’s community colleges, as well as a study of the role a change in governance structure could have in the way such programs — and the colleges themselves — are funded. Any large-scale change to the community college system or move to an independent authority would need to come in future legislative sessions.


Remote Work Center

Promise: Establish a “new Remote Work Resource Center to connect Nevada workers with job opportunities across the globe.”

Status: Funding for a new Remote Work Resource Center isn’t included in the governor’s proposed budget for the 2021-23 budget cycle. No bill creating such an agency has yet been introduced in the 2021 Legislature.


Fund the State Infrastructure Bank

Promise: Add $75 million in the budget to fund the established but never-funded State Infrastructure Bank, so the state can “leverage outside capital to fund important infrastructure projects like rural broadband, renewable energy, and road improvements.”

Status: $75 million in general obligation bond funding for the State Infrastructure Bank was included in the bill implementing the Capital Improvement Project budget account (AB492), which is typically used for building, repairs or maintenance of state-owned property. Legislators also advanced a bill (SB430) that changed the board makeup and expanded the types of infrastructure projects that can receive funding from the bank, which was established in 2017 but never funded.


DETR and unemployment

Promise: Will recommend to the Legislature to “modernize” computer infrastructure and “utilize private sector expertise to help Nevadans in need.”

Status: Lawmakers in the 2021 session approved legislation (AB484) that authorizes the state’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to spend up to $54 million in federal COVID relief dollars to modernize the state’s unemployment insurance program and shift to a new cloud-based system over the next two to three years.


Increase share of federal grants

Promise: Increase the state’s share of federal grants by $100 million over the next two years, and by $500 million annually by 2026.

Status: Legislators in the 2021 session approved a measure (AB445) that transfers the state’s Office of Grant Procurement to the governor’s office and makes it a Cabinet-level office. It also creates a grant matching program, starting with $1 million from the state’s abandoned property account, and appropriates more than $1 million over the two-year budget cycle to help fund expanded office activities and operations. 


Restore cuts to Medicaid budget

Promise: Restore the 6 percent cuts to Medicaid rates and reduced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit hospital service rates to “support Nevada families and providers.” 

Status: Funding for restoration of the 6 percent Medicaid rate cuts and acute care hospital rates were approved by legislative budget committees during the 2021 session. The move restores about $300 million in Medicaid funding both in the current fiscal year and in the upcoming biennium, including about $110 million in general fund spending.


Return students to in-person learning

Promise: “I will do whatever it takes to get our students back in the classroom.”

Status: Most school districts in the state offered some form of in-person instruction during the first half of 2021, and all school districts are planning to return to largely in-person instruction during the 2021-22 school year (with options for distance learning still in place).


Governor Steve Sisolak during his first State of the State address
Gov. Steve Sisolak delivers his first State of the State address in the Assembly Chambers on Jan. 16, 2019. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

2019 State of the State

School supply funding

Promise: Said he would propose additional funding for teacher supply reimbursement accounts, from $100 to $180 a year per teacher.

Status: In 2019, Sisolak signed SB324 and SB555, which raises the amount of money devoted to an account that reimburses teachers for out-of-pocket classroom expenses from $2.5 million a year to $4.5 million a year. However, lawmakers emptied the separate budget account for the program in the approved 2021-23 budget, as part of the state’s transition to a new K-12 education formula.


Gun purchase restrictions

Promise: Said "those subjected to restraining orders should not be allowed to buy a firearm."

Status: Prior to Sisolak making this statement, Nevada law already prohibited individuals who were subject to an extended restraining order from buying or acquiring new firearms while the restraining order was in effect. Individual courts are allowed to take an extra step by restricting a person subject to a restraining order from owning or possessing a firearm. Lawmakers in 2019 increased the penalties for violations of restraining orders (SB218), but otherwise did not make any changes to restrictions on firearm possession, ownership or purchasing rights for those subject to a restraining order.


State worker pay increase

Promise: Said he's "recommending a 3 percent pay increase for our state employees."

Status: Sisolak included 3 percent pay raises in his 2019-21 budget. AB542, a bill to implement the increases, was signed by the governor in 2019. State workers also received a 1 percent cost of living adjustment pay increase in the governor’s 2021-23 budget.


Expand voting access

Promise: Said he would work with legislators to "expand early voting and to implement same-day voter registration."

Status: Lawmakers in the 2019 session approved Democratic Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson’s AB345 on largely party lines, which sets forth a process for same-day voter registration during elections and during the early voting period. While the bill allows county clerks to extend early voting hours if they wish, lawmakers did not end up passing any legislation extending the normal two-week early voting period. AB345 does allow county election officials to extend early voting hours after the initial set of hours have been published. The bill was signed into law by Sisolak in June 2019.


Cannabis Board

Promise: Promised to create a Cannabis Compliance Board to review state and local regulations on marijuana sales and licensing

Status: Sisolak signed an executive order creating an advisory council to create the Cannabis Compliance Board in January 2019, charged with studying issues related to marijuana banking, public consumption lounges and state marijuana regulations within the Nevada Department of Taxation. A bill creating a Cannabis Advisory Commission and a separate compliance board, AB533, passed the Legislature and was signed by Sisolak in June 2019. The board officially launched and began regulating the state’s cannabis industry in July 2020.


Increase funding for foster parents needing child care

Promise: In the State of the State, Sisolak said “for the over 2,000 foster family homes across our state, we’re going to increase funding to help foster parents cover the cost of child care.

Status: The funding was included in the governor’s 2019-21 budget but was removed by legislative budget committees. It was not included in the governor’s proposed 2021-23 budget.


Prevailing wage

Promise: Said he will "work to return prevailing wage to public construction projects—as it was before the 2015 session—including, and most importantly, for our children’s schools."

Status: Sisolak signed three bills (AB136, AB190 and SB231) submitted by lawmakers in the 2019 Legislature that will reverse the requirement that construction projects on public schools and colleges pay 90 percent of the prevailing wage.


Minimum wage

Promise: Said "I am committed to working with the Legislature — and the business and labor communities — to raise the minimum wage in our state."

Status: Lawmakers in 2019 approved AB456, which gradually raises the minimum wage to a bifurcated $12 or $11 minimum — depending on whether an employer offers health insurance — by 2023. It was signed by Sisolak in June 2019. A proposed constitutional amendment raising the wage — AJR10 — was also approved by lawmakers in 2019 and 2021. It would not create a higher wage than the $12 minimum target by 2023, but would eliminate the bifurcated wage scale based on health insurance.


Paid leave

Promise: Said the state needs to "ensure equal pay for equal work and to find a consensus on paid leave for Nevada’s workers."

Status: Lawmakers approved SB312 in the 2019 Legislature, a bill that allows employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid leave per year if they work for an employer with more than 50 employees. It was signed by Sisolak in June 2019.


Streamlining for small businesses

Promise: Said he would make things easier for small businesses by "streamlining complicated processes, eliminating red tape and needless regulations, and putting a Small Business Advocate in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor."

Status: A bill creating an Office of Small Business Advocate (SB495) passed the Senate but died in the Assembly. Sisolak did sign a bill, SB497, ending the requirement that businesses with revenues under $4 million not have to file a Commerce Tax return with the state. Lawmakers in the 2021 Legislature approved a bill (AB184) temporarily creating an Office of Small Business Advocacy under the Lieutenant Governor. 


Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak speaks during an election night party at Aria after winning the Democratic gubernatorial primary election on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Campaign 2018

Medicaid reimbursements

Promise: Said that the state needs "to reform Medicaid reimbursements to ensure that doctors, especially primary care physicians who treat families and seniors, can afford to continue practicing in Nevada."

Status: A bill that would have created an actuarial study studying certain Medicaid reimbursement rates, AB116, failed to advance out of the 2019 Legislature. But lawmakers approved boosting neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit rates, as well as appropriations to Nevada Medicaid and Check Up programs to increase per diem reimbursements. State lawmakers in the 2020 budget-focused special session cut Medicaid reimbursement rates by 6 percent, but Sisolak & lawmakers restored those cuts for the 2021-23 budget cycle.


Mental health services

Promise: Said he wants to "invest in mental health services and addiction treatment programs so that all Nevadans can get the comprehensive care they need."

Status: Sisolak's 2019-21 budget allocated about $360,000 to the Las Vegas Mobile Crisis Units, which respond to calls to assist homeless people or those struggling with mental health issues, to allow them to operate 24 hours a day. Lawmakers approved the appropriations as part of the state’s budget. Legislators also approved Sisolak’s budget request for roughly $40 million, including $8 million in general fund dollars, to add an additional seven Community-Based Behavioral Health Clinics through the two-year budget cycle. The 2021-23 budget kept the same funding levels for the mobile crisis units.


Silver State Scripts

Promise: Said that he would "leverage the purchasing power of Nevada’s public health plans to bring down pharmaceutical prices" by establishing Silver State Scripts, "a consortium of private and public health plans that will negotiate for lower drug prices."

Status: Approved by lawmakers in the 2019 Legislature, SB378 establishes the Silver State Scripts Board, a retooling of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee within the Department of Health and Human Services responsible for identifying drugs to place on the preferred prescription drug list for Medicaid. The bill allows publicly funded and nonprofit health plans to use that preferred drug list as the formulary for their plan. It also carves out pharmacy benefit manager benefits from Medicaid for the state to negotiate directly.


Patient Protection Commission

Promise: Said he would establish a Patient Protection Commission to "provide a framework for making advances in telehealth available to all Nevadans."

Status: A bill creating the Patient Protection Commission, SB544, was signed into law by Sisolak in 2019. It creates an 11-member panel appointed by the governor charged with studying various health-care issues and can submit three bill draft requests per legislative session.


Surprise emergency room bills

Promise: Said he would instruct the Patient Protection Commission to recommend how to help patients avoid surprise emergency room bills and how to prevent them from getting caught in the middle when insurance companies and providers disagree over medical service payments. Also said he would sign emergency room billing legislation into law.

Status: Sisolak included about $500,000 in his 2019-21 budget for two state-level positions to help Nevadans resolve out-of-network emergency room billing disputes. He also signed a bill, AB469, into law in 2019 that prohibits out-of-network providers from charging patients with insurance an amount that exceeds the copayment, coinsurance or deductible required by their health insurance policy for emergency care services.


Maternal death review panel

Promise: Said "Nevada should create a review panel to investigate cases of maternal deaths. The panel would look at each case of death closely and make recommendations for best practices in order to prevent tragedies during and after childbirth."

Status: Sisolak signed a bill, AB169, in 2019 that creates a Maternal Mortality Review Program. It created a panel charged with reviewing incidents of maternal mortality and releasing the findings to the health care community and general public. The committee began meeting in 2020.


Stand up to Trump on ACA

Promise: Said he would "stand up to the Trump Administration’s efforts to reverse pre-existing conditions protections, which threaten the care and coverage of over 400,000 Nevadans."

Status: At the direction of Attorney General Aaron Ford and with Sisolak’s support, Nevada joined an appeal of a federal court judge's decision in Texas v. Azar that the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for pre-existing conditions, was unconstitutional. In a 7-2 ruling issued in June 2021, the Supreme Court dismissed the case over lack of standing.


Drug transparency legislation

Promise: Said he wants to expand SB539, a landmark diabetes drug transparency bill passed during the 2017 session, to drugs that treat cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.

Status: In May 2019, Sisolak signed into law SB262, which expands a diabetes drug transparency bill to also apply to asthma drugs. Sisolak also signed a bill, SB276, that requires an interim study on the cost of prescription drugs in the state. In the 2021 session, lawmakers advanced (and Sisolak signed) several other bills aimed at expanding drug pricing transparency, including SB40, which created an all-payer claims database, and SB380, which expands the transparency provisions for any prescription drugs with a list price that is more than $40 for a course of therapy that has undergone a 10 percent price increase in the preceding year or a 20 percent increase in the two prior years.


Baby Box program

Promise: Said Nevada should create a "baby box” program to "provide low-cost items and educational materials to new parents, an approach that has been shown to reduce infant mortality."

Status: Sisolak did not mention the proposal in either his 2019 or 2021 State of the State addresses. No bill creating such a pilot program was introduced during the 2019 or 2021 legislative sessions.


Climate pledges

Promise: Said he would "sign a pledge to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Clean Power Plan."

Status: Sisolak announced in 2019 that he was signing Nevada on to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of governors committing to uphold the greenhouse gas-reducing objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. Lawmakers in 2019 also approved a bill (SB254) increasing the frequency of a carbon emissions report from every four years to annually and sets emission reduction targets over the coming decades.


Renewable portfolio standard

Promise: Said he would raise the state's renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030 and "get on the road to 100 percent."

Status: In April 2019, Sisolak signed into law SB358, a bill by Democratic Sen. Chris Brooks that gradually raises the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent by 2030. NV Energy is on track to meet all of the RPS thresholds over the coming decade.


Community solar

Promise: Said he would support “community solar” projects.

Status: Sisolak in 2019 signed a bill, AB465, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe Moreno that would create an “expanded solar access program” which could include community-based solar programs. But the program has been criticized by advocates as not creating a ‘true’ community solar program in the state.


Oppose SNWA pipeline

Promise: Said he would oppose the Southern Nevada Water Authority pipeline, which would pipe rural groundwater about 250 miles to Las Vegas.

Status: Sisolak said maintained opposition to the pipeline since being elected. His office in the 2019 Legislature sponsored but ultimately pulled a bill that would allow new and existing water users to settle conflicts through so-called Monitoring, Management and Mitigation Plan that opponents fear could be used to bolster the pipeline. The Southern Nevada Water Authority ultimately shelved the decades-long effort to construct the pipeline in April 2020.


Raises for teachers

Promise: Said he would "raise educator salaries so we can attract and retain the best and the brightest to teach our children."

Status: Sisolak’s 2019-21 budget called for a 3 percent raise for K-12 staff in the first year of the biennium, plus 2 percent merit increases in each of the two years of the budget cycle. Lawmakers added additional funding to the Distributive School Account and passed SB551 in the 2019 Legislature adding dollars to increase teacher salaries. The 2021-23 budget includes funding for a 2 percent merit increase, but did not include any new specifically earmarked funding for teacher salary raises.


Career and technical education

Promise: Said he would "support more professional technical training programs so that students have the opportunity to come out of high school career-ready."

Status: Lawmakers approved Sisolak’s 2019-21 budget recommendation for an additional million dollars in each year of the budget in funding for career and technical education serving an additional 2,000 additional students, bringing total funding for the program up to $25.1 million over the two-year budget. They also added an additional $1 million per year to Adult Education services, for a total of $19.3 million annually. Career and Technical program completions have increased in each year of Sisolak’s term, going from 9,329 in the 2018 fiscal year to 11,425 in the 2019 fiscal year and 13,247 in the 2020 fiscal year. The 2021-23 proposed budget contains no significant changes to funding for Career and Technical programs. Sisolak also called for lawmakers to study on better connecting the state’s community college system with workforce development and training.


No salary

Promise: Said he wouldn't take a salary "until our schools are back on track." He promised to donate his salary to nonprofits that "help support educators and students in and out of the classrooms. "Mark my words, we will get this problem solved," he said.

Status: Sisolak's office said in February 2019 that the governor set up a separate bank account for his salary, and in April 2019 announced that he would begin depositing his full net salary to the state Department of Education's gift fund every quarter, askinged that the funds be evenly distributed in $1,000 one-time donations to the more than 400 Title 1 schools in the state with any remaining funds split equally between all Title 1 schools. As of June 2021, Sisolak has contributed more than $241,000 in salary to more than 100 Title 1 schools in the state.


Modernize education funding formula

Promise: Said he would "modernize the 50-year-old funding formula so that it addresses the needs of students, educators, and parents."

Status: Lawmakers in 2019 passed SB543, which creates an overhauled school funding program with extra dollars following students who are learning English as a second language, living in low-income households, have special-education needs or are gifted and talented. It also created a funding commission tasked with running side-by-side projections of the existing funding formula compared to the new one over the next two years. Though Sisolak initially called for a delayed implementation of the new funding formula in his 2021 State of the State, lawmakers decided to move forward with implementation of the new Pupil-Centered Funding Plan and approved a bill (SB439) implementing the new funding structure ahead of the coming school year.


Reduce class sizes

Promise: Said he would "reduce classroom sizes so that every student gets the attention he or she needs to succeed."

Status: Sisolak’s 2019 budget continued an existing class-size reduction program, but did not include spending to expand the initiative. Sisolak’s 2021-23 budget proposed cutting $77 million a year from the dedicated Class Size Reduction budget to help boost the per-pupil spending — lawmakers approved the education budget with the dollars previously earmarked for the program rolled into the new Pupil-Centered Funding Plan. 


Gun background checks

Promise: Promised to "enact commonsense reforms like enforcing background checks."

Status: Shortly after the start of the 2019 Legislature, Sisolak signed SB143, which requires background checks for nearly all private gun sales and transfers. The bill is almost identical to the one approved by the voters in 2016, but requires the state and not the FBI to conduct the background checks. More than 2,400 background checks on private party sales or transfers of firearms were conducted within the first nine months of 2020.


Ban bump stocks, silencers and assault rifles

Promise: Said in a campaign commercial, "When I’m governor, we’re going to ban assault rifles, bump stocks, silencers."

Status: Sisolak signed a bill banning bump stocks sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Sandra Jaruegui, AB291 into law at the close of the 2019 Legislature, but took no additional action to ban assault weapons or silencers in the state in either the 2019 or 2021 legislative sessions.


Payday lending database

Promise: Said during a candidate forum hosted by Nevadans for the Common Good that the state needs to have "a tracking system" for high-interest, short-term loans.

Status: In 2019, Sisolak signed Democratic Sen. Yvanna Cancela’s SB201, which requires the state to create a database that would track all data on all loans with a 40 percent or higher annual percentage rate interest, including loan amounts, fees assessed on borrowers, default rates and the interest charged on loans. Final regulations for the payday loan database were adopted by state lawmakers in late December 2020.


State worker collective bargaining

Promise: Said "I believe in collective bargaining for state employees. It will take a strong leader to bring all the players together to address any issues whether jurisdictional or otherwise, so that bill will be successfully passed.”

Status: A bill allowing for state workers to collectively bargain, SB135, passed in 2019 Legislature and was approved by the governor. While allowing state workers to bargain and seek salary and other negotiations, the bill grants the governor authority to set the budget at levels of his or her choosing, regardless of what the unions seek on salary, retirement, health benefits or staffing levels. Labor organizations representing six of the 11 state employee groups granted collective bargaining rights approved contracts with the state that will take effect during the 2021-23 budget.


No campaign payments to family members

Promise: Sisolak announced a series of "transparency and ethics reforms" during the 2018 primary election that included prohibitions on candidates paying family members or their businesses for political work.

Status: No bill addressing campaign payments to family members was introduced in the 2019 or 2021 Legislature.


Real time campaign finance reporting

Promise: During the primary campaign, Sisolak released a set of proposed "transparency and ethics reforms" that included "real-time reporting of donations larger than $1,000 two weeks prior to elections."

Status: No bill requiring real-time campaign finance reporting was introduced in the 2019 OR 2021 Legislature.


Upgrade old campaign finance data

Promise: During the 2018 primary campaign, Sisolak released a set of "transparency and ethics reforms" that included upgrading the Secretary of State's data and searchability for old campaign finance reports filed prior to 2012.

Status: No bill was introduced in the 2019 or 2021 Legislature addressing any issue of digitization of old campaign finance records.


Constitutional amendment on campaign finance

Promise: Sisolak announced a series of "transparency and ethics reforms" during the 2018 primary election that included supporting a federal constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. F.E.C. which "opened the door for dark money to flood into our elections without accountability. "

Status: A proposed letter to Congress calling for a special Article V constitutional convention to address the Court’s decision Citizens United v. F.E.C (AJR5) was proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Steve Yeager in the 2019 Legislature, but died without ever receiving a hearing. No similar measure was introduced in the 2021 Legislature.


Help veterans financially

Promise: Said he would help veterans gain a foothold in the Nevada economy by combatting predatory lending, advancing laws that protect entrepreneurial veterans, and supporting vocational training and financial education.

Status: Sisolak's 2019 budget called for adding three new veterans service officers, including one in Pahrump, one in Fallon and one focused on female veterans, to help them access benefits they may be foregoing. He also signed bills in 2019 allocating $500,000 for the Adopt a Vet Dental Program (AB487), waiving college registration fees for veterans awarded the Purple Heart (AB427) and authorizing the Board of Regents to waive fees for veterans enrolled in graduate STEM courses (AB429), as well as expediting teacher license processing for spouses of military members (SB100).


Grants for small businesses

Promise: Said he would support small businesses with incentives and grants so not only big companies benefit.

Status: Sisolak signed several bills during the 2019 Legislature continuing or expanding funding for programs aimed at assisting small businesses, including:

  • AB446, which revises the 2013 Nevada New Markets Jobs Act (tax credits for insurance companies to invest in community development entities) by extending authorizing up to $200 million in investments, worth up to $116 million in tax credits, beginning in 2022.
  • AB224, which appropriates $425,000 to the NV Grow Program, which is designed to help small businesses expand.
  • AB104, which appropriates $350,000 to the Nevada Main Street Program, which provides funds for communities to update and revitalize historic commerce centers. The governor’s proposed budget for the 2021-23 budget cycle includes a $50 million appropriation for small business grants. However, leadership at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development say they don’t plan to bring any large-scale changes to the state’s current suite of tax abatement programs, beyond raising the minimum median wage levels for businesses to qualify for the abatements. 


Expand affordable housing

Promise: Promised to "assemble an affordable housing task force" and look into incentives to spur developers to pursue affordable housing projects.

Status: Sisolak's 2019-21 budget called for creating $10 million in transferable tax credits for affordable housing development. A bill creating the tax credits, SB448, was signed by Sisolak on June 12., 2019. An extension of the tax credits (which cannot be extended after the start of the 2023 fiscal year) was approved by lawmakers in the form of SB284 by lawmakers in the 2021 Legislature.


End cash bail

Promise: Said in a gubernatorial primary debate that he would support ending the policy of cash bail for pretrial release.

Status: Two bills ending or severely curtailing cash bail were introduced but died in the 2019 Legislature. In April 2020, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a ruling placing more restrictions on use of cash bail for pretrial release. Lawmakers approved SB369 in the 2021 Legislature, which implements parts of the Supreme Court order in state law.


GOED ambassadors

Promise: Promised to "appoint experienced leaders from the private sector" to serve as economic development "ambassadors" for industries such as renewable energy, technology, manufacturing, logistics, mining and rural economic development.

Status: No private-sector ambassadors for the Governor's Office of Economic Development have been appointed since Sisolak took office in 2019.


Expand state venture capital fund

Promise: Promised to expand the state's Battle Born Venture Program, which helps "crowd-in private funding for new businesses."

Status: Sisolak has not addressed the issue since the election. Funding for the program — which is hosted under the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a federal program — remained flat at around $471,000 a year in the 2019-21 budget, with the same amount recommended in Sisolak's 2021-23 budget.


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