Nevada Political Roundup May 25

Welcome to the Tom Clark Solutions weekly roundup!
Here is where we'll keep you informed on what is happening in Nevada politics.

Opening remarks

Welcome to our Roundup. Prior to scrolling down to read this week’s update, we ask that you take a moment to say a prayer, a moment of reflection to remember the victims, their families, friends and a community and nation that was rocked by this needless act of madness.

Important Dates

Primary Early VotingMay 28 – June 10
Primary ElectionTuesday June 14, 2022
General Early VotingOctober 22 – November 4
General ElectionTuesday November 8, 2022

ICYMI

Scheible is Leaving DA Office

State Sen. Melanie Scheible, D-Las Vegas, is voluntarily leaving her job with the Clark County district attorney’s office, the senator told the Review-Journal during a short phone conversation last week. Scheible’s decision to leave her position at the Clark County DA’s office was announced shortly after two Nevada Supreme Court Justices joined in a dissent opinion stating that the Nevada Constitution’s separation of powers clause prohibits Senator Scheible from “serving as a legislator, passing laws and at the same time working as a prosecutor, in the executive branch, enforcing those laws.”

This dissent has no effect on the state of the law as only two of the seven justices joined in the dissent but this marks the first time the Supreme Court has opined directly on the state constitution’s separation of powers clause as it pertains to members of the Nevada Legislature.

Oops! Faulty instructions on Washoe mail-in ballot envelopes – instead, just lick them
A miscommunication with the envelope vendor led to inaccurate mail-in ballot instructions to be printed. To seal their envelopes, Washoe County residents can choose to lick their envelope, place Scotch tape to seal it, or use a glue stick. It is not recommended to use liquid glue or any kind of tape that would cover their signature on the other side of the flap.

Reminder on voting dates: You can mail in your Washoe County primary ballot now. If you’d rather vote on a machine in person, early voting starts May 28 and runs through June 10. Primary election day is June 14.

NV Gov GOP Primary Debate Tonight. Buckle Up.

Channel 8 News Now is hosting a 1-hour live telecast of a debate between the candidates for the Republican Party’s nomination for Governor of Nevada. The candidates who have committed to attending are Former U.S. Senator Dean Heller, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, venture capitalist Guy Nohra, and businessman and attorney Joey Gilbert.

The debate will be moderated by Denise Valdez, 8 News Now anchor, Steve Sebelius, Las Vegas Review-Journal Politics and Government editor, and Vanessa Murphy, 8 News Now Investigative Reporter. They will pose questions to the candidates focused on current local and regional issues impacting communities across the state.

When: Wednesday, May 25, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm PDT

Where to Watch: KLAS-TV CBS Las Vegas, 8NewsNow.com or KTVN-TV CBS Reno, 2news.com

 Nevada Independent/OH Predictive Insights polls:

  • Lombardo still holds sizable lead over GOP governor opponents Gilbert, Heller
    • According to a poll conducted a little over one month before early voting for the primary elections is set to being, “Lombardo holds a commanding 20-point lead over his closest competitor, Reno attorney and former boxer Joey Gilbert (35% to 15%), and a 24-point lead over former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (35% to 11%).
    • That lead places Lombardo as the “clear favorite” in the primary race, said Mike Noble, chief of research and managing partner of OH Predictive Insights.
    • Crosstabs
  • Laxalt has 15 point lead over Brown ahead of upcoming GOP Senate primary
    • “The poll of 500 likely GOP primary voters, conducted between May 10th and May 12th, showed Laxalt winning 45 percent of voters with Brown taking 30 percent. The poll had a 4.4 percent margin of error.”
    • Laxalt took the lion’s share of votes in Clark County, the state’s most populous, 46%to Brown’s 29%. He also beat Brown in Washoe County, 44% to 31%, and the remaining parts of the state, including the ruby-red conservative rural counties, 44% to 34%.
    • Crosstabs

Economic News

Private sector employment surpasses pre-pandemic peak; Unemployment rate remains unchanged in April

According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s (DETR) April 2022 economic report,

  • the Nevada labor market continued to improve, with private sector employment fully recovering, led by Nevada’s businesses,
  • total statewide employment continues to close in on its pre-pandemic peak as the public sector is yet to see a full recovery,
  • Las Vegas saw the fastest job growth in the state over the year, and all three metro areas added jobs over the month, and
  • the unemployment rate, while higher than other states, is relatively low and is trending down. Employment remains below typical levels but is up by 8% since April of last year.

Education News

Washoe County School District approves $1 billion budget, addresses driver shortage
This week, Washoe County School District’s Board of Trustees voted to approved $1.02 billion dollars for their 2023 operating budget this week, which addresses the ongoing bus driver shortage and zoning proposals. According to WCSD’s Chief Financial Officer, the approved budget increases salaries, now includes bus drivers (though still subject to labor negotiations) and includes funding for an increase in a bus driver’s hourly rate. The CFO also stated the district intends to make the bus driver position with the county a year-round job as well by continuing the role into summertime as well.


Healthcare News

Rosen bill targets doctor shortages in Nevada, Las Vegas

Nevada’s junior Senator introduced The Physicians for Underserved Areas Act last week, a bill that would send more federally-funded medical residency slots to areas where doctors are most needed. “This bipartisan legislation will help add to the number of medical residency slots available for Nevada hospitals and encourage more doctors to come practice in our state, including in communities which previously have been underserved,” Rosen said in a written statement.


Infrastructure News

Governor Sisolak to launch High Speed Nevada Initiative
Tomorrow, Thurs May 26, Governor Sisolak will formally launch the “High Speed NV” initiative at the Southern Nevada Traffic Management Center. According to the press release from the Governor’s Office, this initiative will be funded through “a combination of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” and “the plan will focus on infrastructure to close the digital divide to unserved and underserved rural and urban areas” as well as be “jobs-focused and provide workforce training opportunities.”

In April, the Interim Finance Committee approved more than $200 million of American Rescue Plan dollars to invest  in expanding the state’s fiber infrastructure. In total, Nevada plans to invest half a billion dollars of ARPA funds toward high-speed internet initiatives. And at the beginning of May, the Biden Administration launched a federal program aimed at connecting Americans to low-cost, high-speed internet.

Nevada's first Kimpton hotel breaks ground in Reno; eyes 2025 opening
Las Vegas-based developer CAI Investments broke ground Friday the 13th for Nevada’s first Kimpton boutique hotel — in Reno. Kimpton says downtown Reno hotel, the first Kimpton property in the Silver State, will be "transformative" for downtown. “I mean, Las Vegas doesn’t have a Kimpton,” CAI's CEO Chris Beavor noted. “This project makes a statement to business and leisure travelers and at a global level that Reno has matured.” In addition to the Kimpton, CAI is in the midst renovating the former Harrah’s Reno hotel-casino into a mixed-use residential and commercial project known as the Reno City Center.


What we’re doing this Interim

The 2021 Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 443, Legislation that fundamentally changed the way the Legislature operates between Sessions. The newly formed Interim Standing Committees have begun meeting, hearing overviews of their mission and setting agendas for the next eleven months.

Click here to view a list of upcoming Joint Interim Standing Committee meetings.

2021 Redistricting Maps

The new boundaries would give 14 of the 21 state Senate districts and 27 of the 42 Assembly districts a voter registration advantage for Democrats over Republicans of more than 4.5 percent.

The Nevada Independent

Please see the links below to view the new district lines for Nevada Assembly, Senate and Congressional delegation.

MapsTables
AssemblyAssembly
SenateSenate
Congressional Congressional

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