Nevada Political Roundup
February 27

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

Opening remarks

Inclement Weather Day (AKA Snow Day for Adults)

Carson City, NV
Photograph by Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager

Northern Nevada has been facing some pretty intense weather lately; the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the area until 4pm Wednesday. Winter storms are nothing new to the region, though this most recent one has been rolling in with a vengeance. Weather conditions have been so bad that the Nevada Legislature closed the building and canceled all committee meetings last Friday and today and the Governor has announced that all state offices in Northern Nevada will be closed today.

What do these closures mean? Besides rescheduling meetings and bill hearings, the reverberations are minimal given we are still early in the Session – Legislators still have time to introduce their Bills and there are no upcoming committee deadlines. Should inclement weather continue to cause closures further in the Session… well let’s not think about that right now. 


Important Dates

Last Day for Bill IntroductionsMarch 27
First House Passage DeadlineApril 25
Second House Passage DeadlineMay 26
Last Day of the 82nd Session (sine die)June 5


Commissioner says GPS tracker placed on his car, joins Reno mayor to learn who did it

Nevada board to vote on $330M in additional Tesla tax breaks


Bid to rid state constitution of slavery moves to ballot
Nevada voters will decide whether to get rid of slavery and involuntary servitude as a form of criminal punishment from the state constitution on the 2024 ballot, part of a growing push among some states to scrub outdated, century-old language that has stayed on the books.

The Nevada Senate unanimously passed the joint resolution on Feb. 23 after the Assembly took similar steps last week. The proposed amendment first passed the Nevada Legislature in 2021, though ballot measures must survive two consecutive sessions before going to a vote of the people.

Nevada Democratic statewide officials propose bills on elections, fentanyl and ‘baby bonds’
Three statewide elected officials in Nevada are proposing bills about election workers, criminalizing opioids, and establishing financial bonds for babies. They spoke with reporters on Thursday about their goals for the 2023 Nevada Legislative Session.


‘Amsterdam of the West?’: City not budging on pot lounge regulations
A week before a possible vote on rules for upcoming cannabis consumption lounges, the city of Las Vegas had not budged on a proposed 1,000-foot separation requirement between such establishments, a regulation applicants say could hamper turning the downtown area into the “Amsterdam of the West.” 

If Las Vegas were to approve the regulations, licenses for the 15 prospective provisional Nevada license holders who intend to open a location within city limits could start being issued as early as June. Clark County, the only other area municipality that opted into allowing the lounges, already established regulations for the up to 21 lounges it could allow.


Governor Joe Lombardo Signs Senate Bill 124, Urges Support for Charter School Transportation Funding

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has signed a bill transferring money to education in the state. Senate Bill 124 ends a mining tax prepayment in the current fiscal year, rather than the first year of the next biennium.

The move will transfer roughly $70 million from the General Fund in Fiscal Year 2023 to the State Education Fund in Fiscal Year 2024.

“Due to our budgetary flexibility, it makes sense to end the mining tax prepayment in the current fiscal year,” said Governor Joe Lombardo. “This new deposit of $70 million in the State Education Fund, however, is currently unbudgeted. I believe we should follow the recommendation of the Commission on School Funding and begin offering state-supported transportation to Nevada’s charter school students. I plan to work with the Legislature to utilize a portion of these new funds to make that a reality.”


Nevada Emerges as Leader in U.S. Energy and Security
The economic strategy released today by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), Realizing Nevada’s Electric, Innovative, and Connected Future: 5-Year Comprehensive Economic Strategy, finds that the State’s quickly growing clean tech industry, innovations, and investments have positioned Nevada to lead the U.S. in strengthening critical supply chains and securing energy independence.

“Nevada’s natural resources, people, reasonable cost of living and doing business, and proximity to west coast tech-hubs have enabled innovation to flourish in the State,” said Tom Burns, GOED Executive Director. “This new strategy will be critical to the continued growth of our economy.”


US judge won’t block huge lithium mine on Nevada-Oregon line
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno denied the opponents’ request Friday for an emergency injunction to prohibit work at the largest known lithium deposit in the nation until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can hear their latest appeal. Her ruling clears the way for Lithium Nevada to begin construction as early as next week at the mine they say would speed production of raw materials for electric vehicle batteries critical to combatting climate change. 

The conflict is driven largely by what Du described Friday as “tension” between environmental and economic trade-offs associated with efforts to speed the transition from fossil fuels emitting greenhouse gases to cleaner, renewable energy sources. “And there is, if nothing else, a tension between the macro environmental benefit that could result from the project and the micro (relatively speaking) environmental harm that will likely flow from” allowing the mine to go forward, she said. “This court does not resolve that tension here.”


Nevada needs more nurses and more physicians. But what will it take to make it happen?
Since the pandemic took hold, health care professionals have said the shortage has reached dire levels. One analysis from UNR’s Nevada Health Workforce Research Center found Nevada would need more than 4,000 new registered nurses to meet the national RN-to-population average and that roughly two out of every three Nevadans live in an area with a shortage of primary health care providers. 

In addition to nursing shortages, the state has been wracked by increasingly acute shortages of physicians and specialists, especially in areas such as neurology, psychiatry and cardiology. Though Nevada has expanded its medical student capacity over the last decade, medical school administrators told The Nevada Independent that simply graduating additional students from Nevada’s medical schools widens only one end of the state’s physician pipeline, pouring yet more students toward the same bottleneck: residencies. 

Medicaid Cutoff Nears

Nearly 450,000 Nevadans could lose their no-cost Medicaid health coverage this year as pandemic emergency provisions wind down, according to state officials. Following a three-year grace period during the worst of COVID-19, Medicaid recipients will be required to reapply for benefits beginning April 1.

In Nevada, the number of Medicaid recipients swelled by 40 percent during the pandemic under federal emergency provisions that kept states from removing anyone from the rolls, increasing from 671,000 people to 938,000 over three years. Ryan High, executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, estimates that 100,000 or more Nevadans might no longer qualify for the no-cost program and that some would turn to the exchange for coverage.


FAA awards $31 million to Harry Reid International Airport to improve baggage claim
Today, Senator Jacky Rosen’s office announced that the Federal Aviation Administration will give $31 million to Harry Reid International Airport to upgrade Terminals 1 and 3. The funding is specifically targeted at upgrading the two terminals’ baggage handling system. “The travel and tourism industries are key to the success of Nevada’s economy,” Rosen said in a statement. “The improvements made possible through this funding that I secured for Harry Reid International Airport will make long-overdue improvements to modernize the airport, replace aging and outdated infrastructure, and improve traveler experience.”

2023 Legislative Session Resources

Click here to view a list of Bills of the 2023 Legislative Session.

Click here to view the list of upcoming committee meetings. 

Click here to view the 120-Day Legislative Calendar.

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