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KUNR Today: Sisolak Scales Back Innovation Zones Proposal, California Loses U.S. House Seat

An image of a sign that reads "Welcome to California"
Ken Lund
CC BY-SA 2.0
Based on the latest U.S. Census data, California will lose a U.S. House Seat for the first time.

Here are your local headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2021.

Nevada Governor Wants Lawmakers To Study 'Innovation Zones'
By The Associated Press

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak says he will scale back his proposal to let technology companies establish zones where they could exercise powers similar to those of local government. Instead of asking lawmakers to pass a resolution this session approving “Innovation Zones," he plans on introducing a measure to commission a study. The “Innovation Zones” proposal would have granted companies some governmental powers if they owned a certain amount of land and committed to invest $1.25 billion. The study will allow interested community members to discuss both their concerns and potential economic benefits of the zones.

California Recall Has Enough Signatures To Make Ballot
By The Associated Press

Organizers of the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The California secretary of state’s office announced Monday that more than 1.6 million signatures had been verified, about 100,000 more than needed to force a vote on the first-term Democrat. An election is likely in the fall when voters would face two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and who should replace him? The votes on the second question will only be counted if more than half say yes to the first. Last week, Caitlyn Jenner joined the list of candidates running to replace Newsom. In 2003, voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California Losing Congressional Seat For First Time
By The Associated Press

California is losing a U.S. House seat for the first time, dropping its delegation from 53 to 52 members. That’s according to Census Bureau population data released Monday that determines how the nation’s 435 House seats are allocated. California's population is 39.6 million, up about 2.3 million from a decade ago but nearly flat since 2017. The state's record slow population growth means a loss of clout in Congress and a drop in federal funding. The subtraction of a seat comes as rival states Texas and Florida gain seats. California still is the nation’s most populous by far and still will have more House seats than any other state.

Census Data Shows Nevada 5th Fastest Growing State
By The Associated Press

U.S. Census data released Monday showed Nevada was the fifth fastest growing state over the past decade and now boasts 3.1 million residents. Nevada’s population grew 15% from 2010 to 2020. The state added more than 400,000 people in that time. The fastest-growing state was Utah, which grew 18.4%. Nevada's increase was not enough to change the number of seats the state is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives, meaning it will still be limited to four seats for the coming decade. The state is now the 32nd most populous in the country. It climbed up three spots from 35th place.

Did The Pandemic Bring More Wealthy Out-Of-Staters To Our Region?
By Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

In 2020, the press was filled with stories about droves of wealthy out-of-staters fleeing cities and the pandemic and moving to our region. Now, new data from the U.S. Postal Service are giving us a glimpse at what really happened.

It’s true. More than a million people moved away from big cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York during the pandemic last year. That’s according to change-of-address data analysed by the real estate investment firm CBRE.

But, most of those folks moved to nearby cities like Sacramento and to sunbelt destinations like Austin, Tex. Overall there wasn’t a huge spike in new people here and the growth followed roughly the same trend as it did before the pandemic.

That’s according to housing economist Bryce Ward.

“If you were gaining population before you tend to be gaining population now. If you were losing population before you are probably losing population now though at a slightly lower rate,” Ward said.

That said, there were a handful of pandemic-related surges. Boise, Ida. for example, welcomed more than 10,000 Californians last year. That’s a 27% increase compared to 2019.

Nevada Trying To Reverse Decline In Vaccinations Statewide
By The Associated Press

Nevada health officials are redoubling efforts to make it easier to get COVID-19 shots to try to reverse a decline in vaccinations statewide. They include new drive-thru clinics in working-class neighborhoods in Las Vegas and expanded outreach to Reno’s Hispanic community. The 14-day rolling average in the number of vaccine doses administered on a daily basis in Nevada is down about 31% since April 15. It’s the lowest average rate of daily vaccinations since early March and the first time it’s dropped below 18,000 since March 10. Health officials said Monday 30% of the statewide population 16 or older is now fully vaccinated.

China Mutes Reaction To Zhao's Oscars As S. Korea Lauds Youn
By The Associated Press

Chloé Zhao’s history-making Oscars sweep, winning best director and best picture, is being met with a muted response in her country of birth, and even censorship. Zhao’s “Nomadland," filmed partially in northern Nevada, is the second film directed by a woman to win a best picture Oscar. She is the first woman of color and second woman ever to win the Oscars for best director. Yet, in China, where Zhao was born, her history-making success has not been trumpeted. State media in China remained silent with only old mentions of the Oscars themselves. In contrast, South Korea’s Youn Yuh-jung was being celebrated for her best supporting actress win.

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