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Sandoval indicates support for land grant bill with caveats, after vetoing similar measure in 2017; says health care experts should decide on mandated vaccinations

May 11th, 2021 - 2:01pm
Republican former Governor and UNR President Brian Sandoval said Tuesday that he would support a measure that would formalize UNLV and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) as land grant institutions alongside UNR if the latter’s existing land grant programs are “held harmless” by the change.

Democrat, former Athletic Commissioner Aguilar jumps in race for secretary of state

Sign in front of the Nevada State Capitol building
May 11th, 2021 - 10:14am
Aguilar, a Democrat, rolled out his campaign on Tuesday touting endorsements from a host of high-profile Democrats and education advocates, including former Secretary of State Ross Miller, Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall, philanthropist Beverly Rodgers and tennis legend Andre Agassi. (Aguilar previously worked as general counsel for Agassi’s management company, Agassi Graf.)

Legislative Coverage

Check out our comprehensive, wall-to-wall coverage of the 2021 Legislature

Opponents of the death penalty turn up the heat as abolition bill's future remains murky

Senate chambers
May 11th, 2021 - 2:00am
Friday marks the deadline for bills to pass out of their second house committee, and many criminal justice reform advocates say they are concerned that the measure abolishing capital punishment, AB395, remains in limbo with no hearing scheduled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

As the state’s economy continues its recovery, The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page, including unemployment numbers, gaming revenue and housing prices.

Nevada finally receives U.S. Treasury spending guidance for billions in coming federal aid

The Nevada Legislature Building
May 10th, 2021 - 10:19am
Nevada’s state government is poised to receive a $2.7 billion allocation, with billions more coming to municipalities and counties as part of the federal legislation signed in March. The state has generally known the expected dollar figure for several months, but the guidance released Monday finally gives Nevada and other states detailed instructions as to how the money can be used.

Lawmakers look to strengthen organ transplant anti-discrimination laws

State Senator Scott Hammond
May 10th, 2021 - 10:00am
Denying organ transplants for people with intellectual and physical disabilities is considered illegal under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but disability rights advocates say a lack of enforcement means the law isn’t being fully followed throughout the United States.

After slashing budget last year, lawmakers approve restoring funding to ‘Going Home Prepared’ recidivism program for parolees

Ely State Prison
May 10th, 2021 - 9:30am
Restoration of program funding will cost about $228,000 annually for the program housed within the Division of Parole and Probation. Though lawmakers didn’t comment on the funding restoration during their Thursday meeting, leaders of the state parole division have previously touted the program as an extremely helpful tool in reducing recidivism.

Sparks fly between lawmakers during discussion on broad housing protection measure

May 10th, 2021 - 9:00am
Every year, former prisoners participate in state-sponsored reentry programs and receive aid to help them transition into life outside of incarceration, but that help is all for naught if they cannot find housing, Sen. Dina Neal (D-Las Vegas) said.

Indy DC Download: Construction of Las Vegas to L.A. fast train expected to begin in the next 12 months

May 8th, 2021 - 2:00am
Construction on the high-speed train to connect Las Vegas with Los Angeles could begin "in the next 12 months or so," Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Phillip Washington told Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) at a congressional hearing last week.

Budget committee passes surprise ‘premium holiday’ for public employee health plans

May 7th, 2021 - 4:56pm
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton (D-Las Vegas), chair of the Ways and Means Committee, announced a plan during a Friday joint budget meeting to give participants in the Public Employees Benefits’ Program (PEBP) a one-month “premium holiday” during which enrollees don’t have to pay their share of their health insurance costs. That would apply to about 44,000 active and retired public employees, according to legislative staff.

Flood of rental assistance, eviction bans not enough to resolve some Nevada housing conundrums

May 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
In many cases, tenants approved for the program — including Catala — have found their landlords decline to accept the money, sometimes because of a condition that landlords must not immediately evict the tenant after receiving the funds.

Nevada Donor Network, under congressional scrutiny for spending, says it has complied with the law

May 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
A group of federally designated organ transplant facilitators, including the Nevada Donor Network (NDN) and the industry’s trade group, are being investigated by a U.S. House panel over poor performance and alleged wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.

Legislative panel approves higher education budget cuts with coming federal aid, additional state funds in limbo

The Legislature on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 during the third day of the 32nd Special Session in Carson City.
May 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
Despite revised state tax revenue projections amounting to more than $586 million over the biennium and expected billions in federal coronavirus relief, lawmakers nonetheless moved forward with approving $169 million in cuts to the state’s higher education system on Thursday.

Lawmakers approve doubling size of state pension plan’s investment team to two

May 6th, 2021 - 9:30am
Members of a joint budget committee on Monday approved closing the state employee pension system’s budget with the addition of a new investment officer alongside Edmundson to help manage PERS’s $54 billion in assets. The new position comes with a base annual salary of $189,222 along with benefits, paid for by PERS administration fees.

Bill would expand anti-discrimination protections to digital sphere

Assemblyman Howard Watts wearing a great sport coat and green tie while wearing an animal print face mask
May 6th, 2021 - 9:00am
But in Nevada and many other states, those protections do not explicitly extend to the digital realm. During a Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting on Monday, Assemblyman Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas) said he is looking to change that with AB207, a bill clarifying that Nevada's public accommodations law also applies to e-commerce.

Veterinary telemedicine hearing goes off the rails amid confusion, amendments

May 6th, 2021 - 2:00am
The bill’s intent is straightforward — allow licensed veterinarians to practice telemedicine only after an in-person examination of an animal. Under the proposed bill, veterinarians would not have to examine every member of a herd to consult with a veterinarian, and a doctor with access to medical records could also consult on a case via remote communication.

Sisolak: Higher tax revenue and federal dollars will help ‘transform’ state, but many details remain unclear

May 5th, 2021 - 3:30pm
Sisolak delivered prepared remarks and spoke to reporters briefly on Wednesday, just a day after the state’s Economic Forum released new revenue forecasts estimating that taxes flowing into the state’s general fund will be about $910 million more than initial forecasts in December — including a $586 million upward revision for the upcoming two-year budget.

State environmental agency defends decision to reduce the scope of tainted mine-water in cleanup report

The Anaconda Copper Mine
May 5th, 2021 - 3:01pm
The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is defending a groundwater report that reduced the extent of uranium and arsenic contamination linked to the former Anaconda Copper Mine in Yerington, an agricultural town about 70 miles from Reno.

Progressives, industry representatives debate health care affordability, access during high-profile public option hearing

Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital staff gather in the emergency room area in Elko
May 5th, 2021 - 2:00am
There is near-universal agreement that the state of health care in Nevada leaves something to be desired. Where there is less agreement, though, is what should be done about it.

With faster-than-expected recovery, Nevada projected to have $586 million more to spend in next two years

A tree in front and the Nevada Legislature building behind it
May 4th, 2021 - 4:29pm
The revised forecast is a marked improvement from the Economic Forum’s last revenue forecast from December, when the five-member panel of appointed economists and analysts projected general fund revenues of $8.5 billion over the next two years — down about half a billion dollars from the prior budget cycle. This time, the Forum projected $4.4 billion in the fiscal year that starts in July, and $4.7 billion for the following fiscal year, for a total of $9.1 billion in the next biennium — a $586 million upward revision.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page.

What Happened Here: A six-part series on COVID-19 in Nevada

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