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Sisolak Signs COVID-19 Liability Bill Granting Protections For Many Nevada Businesses

Governor Steve Sisolak is holding a signed bill in front of a web camera so viewers can see it.
The Nevada Independent
Gov. Steve Sisolak holds up newly-signed SB4 over Zoom on Aug. 11, 2020.

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Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill on August 11 that shields most Nevada businesses from “frivolous lawsuits” related to COVID-19 — a measure backed by some of the state’s most influential political voices including the tourism and gaming industry and the Culinary Union, but opposed by progressive groups and the entities that were left out.

Although it has been lauded by gaming and business interests, SB4 has been criticized for its exclusion of schools, hospitals and other health services from the same liability protections granted to casinos, non-profits, and other government entities. Sisolak on August 11 said the “first in the nation” legislation was the “result of literally months of compromise” between labor groups and the hospitality industry.

“This bill isn’t about economic expansion, it’s about our state’s economic survival. It’s about acknowledging that Nevada relies heavily on a single industry- the hospitality industry,” Sisolak said. “But it’s not just about protecting the businesses, it’s also about protecting the workers that keep this industry, and our economy, running.”

Businesses, nonprofits and other organizations must adhere to government-imposed health and safety standards meant to prevent the spread of the virus in order to qualify for the protections granted by the bill. Enforcement of these regulations is meant to prevent “bad actors” from avoiding legal consequences.

“This legislation does not create an impenetrable shield for businesses who fail to protect their employees, their customers and their visitors,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak signed the bill on a live Zoom broadcast after delivering his remarks. Representatives of the Culinary Union and MGM also spoke during the press conference.

Visit The Nevada Independent for the complete story.

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