Nevada Political Roundup June 2

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

Lots of news, not that much early voting. For those that want the nitty gritty commentary on early voting for this year's primary, check out Jon Ralston's early voting blog. 

Also, I was on Nevada Newsmakers last week with the Nevada Department of Outdoor Recreation's first administrator Colin Robertson, where we discussed the importance of outdoor recreation and why Nevada is an outdoor state. The TCS team is made up of proud native Nevadans and/or graduates from University of Nevada, Reno. We love supporting the great outdoor opportunities the Battle Born State has to offer, like hunting, camping, exploring, or simply celebrating our wide-open spaces. Colin and the Division are doing great work and the State of Nevada is lucky to have him. You can find a replay of the episode here.  

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

State Senator Chris Brooks (D – District 3) announces his resignation from Legislature

State Sen. Chris Brooks (D-Las Vegas) is planning to resign from the Legislature later this year, ending a six-year legislative career distinguished by efforts to substantially boost renewable energy and combat climate change in the Silver State.

Legislative ‘brain drain’: Two centuries of experience out the door

Steve Sebelius from the LVRJ crunched the numbers and the Legislature is going to lose between 184 and 186 years of experience as members depart for various reasons.  

  • The state Senate will lose 96 years of experience as eight members leave, four due to term limits.
  • In the Assembly, 112 years of experience will be lost as 14 members exit the chamber. Three members are leaving because of term limits.

Secretary Cegavske Announces a Slight Increase in Active Registered Voters in May

At the end of each month, the Secretary of State releases an the latest data about voter registration in the state. In May 2022, Nevada saw an increase of 15,403 active registered voters as compared to April of 2022. The total number of active registered voters in Nevada is 1,821,058, an increase of 0.85%.

Democratic Party active registered voters statewide increased by 3,587 (0.60%), while Republican Party active registered voters statewide increased by 6,982 (1.30%). Nonpartisan active registered voters increased by 5,257 (1.01%),

To see the latest voter registration breakdown by party for each state senate and assembly district (and more), check out our 2022 Election page.


Nevada 2022 Ratings Roundup

Cook Political House Rating Changes for NV-01 from Lean D to Toss Up

David Wasserman writes a succinct and apt overview of the race for Nevada’s first congressional district. After this House Rating change, the Cook Political Report has now rated all three House seats in Southern Nevada (NV-01, NV-03, NV-04), all held by Democrats, as a Toss Up. Congressman Mark Amodei’s seat, NV-02, is rated as Solid R.

NV-01: Dina Titus (D) - Parts of Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City

Toss Up.

“…private polling now shows Titus tied against virtually unknown GOP challengers in this reconfigured Biden +8 seat (down from Biden +25 under the old lines).

The biggest question here is the June 14 GOP primary, which looks like a genuine three-way fight between retired Army colonel and financial planner Mark Robertson, former Nevada Latinos for Trump head Carolina Serrano and pro-Israel/MAGA activist David Brog, who's aligned with the Adelson family (former GOP Rep. Cresent Hardy is less of a factor). DC GOP strategists increasingly believe Robertson could be Titus's toughest foe.”

[insert link to CD1 race preview on NV Indy]

The Cook Political Report has rated several other races in Nevada as Toss ups:

  • U.S. Senate - Nevada. The race for which incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is seeking re-election is labeled as one of the most competitive in the country, with some pundits remarking how Nevadans vote this November will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate in 2022.
  • Nevada Governor: Governor Steve Sisolak’s re-election campaign team is paying close attention to June 14- not because he thinks he will lose his primary, but because they want to know who he will be facing in the general election. “Republican insiders are very bullish on Lombardo, and that would be their strongest matchup. If another candidate gets through, we'll re-evaluate our rating. At least for now, Nevada shifts from Lean Democrat to Toss Up.”

Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates Nevada State Senate as one of the most competitive in the country

Reality: there is a chance Republicans could take the State Senate but unlikely they will win the majority of both state houses.

NEVADA

Senate: Lean D

Assembly: Likely D

Democrats have built majorities in both chambers in Nevada, but 2022 will put them to the test. Nevada is a presidential battleground state, and various factors in 2022 — including an erosion of Democratic support among Hispanics, the death of political godfather Harry Reid, and the general churn of the state’s population — could make it hard for Democrats this cycle. Republicans consider Nevada one of their top pickup opportunities. However, the main challenge for the GOP will be the state’s new legislative lines, which were drawn by the Democratic legislature and are slightly more favorable to Democrats in both chambers than the existing maps.

Like The Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball has rated the Nevada Senate, Governor, and House District 3 races as a Toss up. Other races in Nevada that are on Sabato’s radar include:

  • Attorney General: Nevada is among the six states that are expected to have one of the most competitive races for Attorney General in 2022.
  • Secretary of State: In Nevada, the general election for SOS is “likely to be competitive regardless of who the Republican nominee is.”

Economic News

Clark County sees largest over-the-year increase in employment in the country
From December 2020 to December 2021, employment increased in 334 of the 343 largest U.S. counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Clark County, had the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment (+13.3 percent). Within Clark, the largest employment increase occurred in leisure and hospitality, which gained 65,045 jobs over the year (+33.1 percent).

Nevada casino regulators call cryptocurrency a ‘complex’ topic
The Gaming Control Board has asked the gaming industry to bring them proposals on cryptocurrency. “We will vet (the proposals) and if there's something that looks viable, we will move in that direction,” Chair J. Brin Gibson said.

Nevada federal delegation signs letter to President Biden urging him to support the travel and tourism economy by suspending the COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated inbound international travelers.
Both Senators and all four House Representatives sent a letter to President Biden asking his administration to consider additional ways to enhance and support the recovery of some of Nevada's key industries: travel, hospitality, and events. International travelers are a key demographic for the state's tourism economy, as these travelers tend to stay longer and spend more. 

Las Vegas most booked summer 2022 destination
Where are Americans heading this summer? According to internal data from the travel booking app Hopper, Las Vegas is the most booked domestic destination of Summer 2022 and not surprisingly, also the most booked hotel city for summer 2022.


Education News

State’s mine tax sweep rattles rural school districts

Elko County School District reduced the final 2022-2023 budget by $4.1 million because of a loss of net proceeds of mines revenue that was swept up by the state, and Lander County’s school budget also is out a big chunk of money - $6.5 million, along with Eureka, out over $8 million, and Humboldt losing nearly $5 million from their school district budgets.

The Humboldt School District Superintendent said the rural districts are looking at potential litigation, with Eureka County as the primary catalyst.

Nevada Supreme Court upholds dismissal of education funding lawsuit

The Nevada Supreme Court has sided with a lower court judge in dismissing a parent-led lawsuit, originally filed in March 2020, that argued the state wasn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to provide sufficient education resources, inhibiting student learning in the process. The Supreme Court opinion essentially says it has no place in making determinations about school funding, noting that issues raised by the lawsuit are “more properly resolved in the Legislature or by initiative petition.”

Las Vegas public schools raise teacher pay, offer new bonuses for support staff

The Clark County School District is raising starting teacher pay from $43,000 to more than $50,115, implementing the first entry-level pay hike since 2015 as the district faces a high vacancy rate and educators struggle with meeting expenses amid rapid inflation. This move will cost the district about $165 million be supported through federal COVID relief funds and operating dollars. Additionally, support staff will be getting one-time retention bonuses of $4,500, and administrators and teachers who are not getting a base salary increase will get bonuses of $5,000.

Board of Regents set to vote on former K-12 chief as acting chancellor after long delay
Eight weeks after former Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Melody Rose resigned amid a months-long dispute with top regents, the Board of Regents is set to vote on the appointment of former State Superintendent Dale Erquiaga as acting chancellor next week, according to an agenda posted online Wednesday. 


Environment News

Reno's Desert Research Institute, Storey County looking for public input on wildfire smoke
In collaboration with Storey County Emergency Management, the Desert Research Institute (Reno) is conducting a Wildfire Smoke Risk Questionnaire. The purpose of the questionnaire is to learn what people think and know about wildfire smoke risk so that fire officials understand what information will be most helpful to provide.
 
This survey is one of numerous efforts in the state to emphasize the importance of wildfire preparedness, as every year, wildfires continue to pose a large threat to the state. Governor Sisolak proclaimed May – October the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Campaign, Senator Cortez Masto announced earlier this month that NSHE is receiving more than $20 million for fire research in Nevada.

Fire officials ban open burning across entire Tahoe basin, declare 2022 fire season
As of June 1, open and recreational burning will be banned in the entire Lake Tahoe Basin region as officials prepare for an early and hot fire season. Reno had its first completely dry January on record this year. Only natural gas and propane outdoor firepits, barbecues, and pellet grills or smokers will be allowed year-round, except during Red Flag and critical fire condition days.


Housing News

Las Vegas housing market looks ‘unusual’ as sales fall, prices rise
Frank Nothaft, chief economist with housing tracker CoreLogic, said his team has noticed the same factors that Las Vegas is seeing in “so many other places around the country.” The flow of new listings is down, and availability remains “quite lean,” yet there is still plenty of demand for houses.

Nothaft figures the tally of new listings is down in part because existing homeowners, when they think about selling, might have to take out a mortgage at a higher rate for a new place, prompting them to shelve plans to move. He also said that some people who could afford to buy a place when rates were lower are now “stretched” to qualify for a mortgage or might balk at the monthly payments. “For someone who’s a local, they see their affordability really eroding.”


Infrastructure News

Governor Sisolak, Secretary Buttigieg, NV Federal Delegation Announce I-15 Interchange Improvement Project
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was in Las Vegas on Tuesday to tout the multimillion-dollar project to replace the interchange at I-15 and Tropicana Avenue, praising Gov. Steve Sisolak and Nevada’s federal delegation for laying groundwork to make quick use of funds provided in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Most of the construction should be concluded by 2024, officials said Tuesday, but close-out work and cleanup will last into 2025. The $305 million project comes with a slew of improvements to the busy interchange and will add lanes, expand sidewalks and add carpool lanes and LED traffic management signs over select stretches of I-15.

Governor Sisolak announces plans for Phase 1 of High Speed NV Initiative
Governor Sisolak announces the launch of Phase 1 of the “High-Speed NV” initiative at the Southern Nevada Traffic Management Center. The first phase will invest $200 million through state and federal funds from the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The plan focuses on infrastructure to close the digital divide to unserved and underserved rural and urban areas, with a goal of creating universal, scalable and affordable internet access for all Nevadans by 2029.

Douglas kicks tires on microtransit system
Microtransit is required to be operational by summer 2023 but will be piloted in summer 2022. In the beginning, it will mostly service the city of South Lake Tahoe but the line will also service portions of the Lake Tahoe region of Douglas County, mainly the casino corridor.

Douglas County is required to spend at least 1 percent of the transient occupancy tax revenue in the Tahoe Township and is also required to fund up to one-half of 1 percent towards the microtransit line. While commissioners understand the requirement to allocate dollars toward transit, they have not yet agreed on how much to spend.


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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