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Lawmakers Approve Cash To Purchase Emergency Supplies, Fund Some Rental Relief

Screenshot of Nevada lawmakers meeting virtually for the first time.
Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau
Lawmakers on the Nevada's Interim Finance Committee have approved emergency funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevada lawmakers have approved a plan to spend $8.2 million in state money to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its first meeting since February, the Interim Finance Committee unanimously approved a plan to disburse a little more than $6.2 million out of the state's Disaster Relief Account. That will provide funding for the Division of Emergency Management to purchase supplies and draw down federal aid. 

Lawmakers also voted to send $2 million from a legal settlement with Wells Fargo to the United Way of Southern Nevada to help families struggling with their rent or mortgage.

While the measure passed, it did face opposition from some Republican lawmakers.

“Now is not a good time for us to be using these state resources for something that is not a state program,” said Senator Ben Kieckhefer of Reno.

Other Republicans voiced concerns over how the money is to be dispersed. Final numbers are not set, but the vast majority of the money will likely remain in Southern Nevada with roughly 20 percent being sent to the rest of the state.

Backers argued more money should flow to Clark County because it’s dealing with a larger percentage of the state's COVID-19 cases.

“I think that we should make sure, as shepherds of the state’s dollars, that we send the money where the problems are and where the cases are,” said Speaker of the Assembly Jason Frierson of Las Vegas. “I don’t know if an artificial designation of region really serves to address the problems.”

Projections suggest the funds may assist as many as one thousand households across the state.

Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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