Politics and Policy

Map of Nevada's U.S. Congressional District 4
U.S. Department of the Interior / Wikipedia Commons

U.S. Congressional seats are up for election this year. And in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Steven Horsford is campaigning after recently admitting to having an affair outside of his marriage with a congressional intern who did not work for him.

A graphic showing the U.S. Constitution and a Census questionnaire.
U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau had just begun field operations when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now, as the agency is preparing to restart, it’s focusing on rural and tribal communities.

The Nevada State Legislature building.
Alexa Ard / KUNR

Amid the pandemic, it’s election season. The Nevada Legislature is expected to gavel in early 2021, and right now, we are headed into the primaries. Paul Boger spoke with KUNR’s Bree Zender, to give an outlook on the June 9 primaries.

A roll of stickers with an American flag and the text "I voted / Yo Voté."
GPA Photo Archive / Flickr Creative Commons

Nevada’s June 9 primary will be a mostly mail-in election for the first time. All active registered voters should have already received an absentee ballot in the mail.  

If you haven’t received a ballot and want one or believe you should have received one, you’ll need to go online today, May 21, to register or update your registration information. Today is the last day to do so.

The Nevada Legislative building
Alexa Ard / KUNR Public Radio

Nevada is facing a budget crisis. According to estimates, sales and gaming taxes fell drastically during the state’s COVID-19 related shutdown in March and April, leaving a gaping budget hole for the current fiscal year ending June 30. So, how are lawmakers and others addressing the issue?

A U.S. navy aircraft parked on a base.
U.S. Navy

More public lands in northern Nevada could soon be under local control. But, parcels could also become part of a U.S. Navy bombing range.

A field of tall hay.
Mona / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. House of Representatives passed new COVID-19 relief legislation that drops some restrictions to receiving aid, like requiring a social security number. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano spoke to a Nevada resident who was ineligible for federal aid in the first go-around due to her husband's immigration status and is awaiting the Senate’s decision.

Two mail-in ballots laying on a wood table.
Paul Boger / KUNR

COVID-19 has changed just about every aspect of daily life over the past few months, and that includes Nevada’s June 9 primary. For the first time, the Silver State is holding a mail-in election to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. While many voters have already cast their ballot, others have questions. KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with Wayne Thorley, Nevada’s deputy secretary for elections, to learn more about the primary.

Landscape of Machu Picchu, Peru
Courtesy of Michelle Rindels

Lee en español.

Barbara Land was working in a remote community in the Amazon rainforest when President Martin Vizcarra shut down the country, prohibiting travel into or out of Peru and leaving her and a team of volunteers isolated for weeks. 

A neon open sign above a door.
Sean McMenemy / Flickr Creative Commons

This weekend some businesses and restaurants in Nevada will open for the first time since mid-March. It's welcome news for many owners that have struggled to get by in recent months, but for some Nevadans, the phased-in approach to reopening isn't moving fast enough. Some city and county leaders are making their displeasure known.

Governor Steve Sisolak is sitting at a desk with a sign language translator behind him as he addresses the state's move to phase one of reopening.
Legislative Counsel Bureau

Nearly two-months after shuttering non-essential businesses in Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak says the state will move into phase one of reopening at 12:01 am Saturday morning. That means retail establishments, restaurants, barbershops and salons across the state can reopen tomorrow, but not without some restrictions. To help us break down the governor’s order, KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with Bree Zender about the changes.

An application form
Natalie Van Hoozer / KUNR

Tens of thousands of DACA recipients are experiencing increased levels of emotional distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials with the Nevada System of Higher Education are extending their support by debunking misinformation during a time when recipients nervously await the Supreme Court’s decision on whether or not to rescind the immigration policy.

There's a woman in the forefront. In the background there's a crowd of people. Some are holding American flags.
Lucia Starbuck / This Is Reno

Across the country, groups have taken to the streets in recent weeks protesting so-called “stay-at-home” orders meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. They argue the measures that are supposed to keep people safe are actually doing more harm to the economy. KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with Lucia Starbuck who’s covered the local protests for our media partner This Is Reno.

A white wall with the "VOTE" spray painted in black.
MYKL ROVENTINE / Creative Commons

Thousands of delegates were set to participate in Nevada’s Democratic county conventions over the weekend. But like nearly every aspect of life over the past month, the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced party leaders to push the process online.

The five Washoe County Commissioners stand in front of a white fence.
Washoe County Commission

The Washoe County Commission is backing a potential lawsuit meant to overturn emergency restrictions on antimalarial drugs used to treat COVID-19.

A man is sitting down at a table. There is an American flag and Nevada
Screenshot / Governor Sisolak via YouTube

When will Nevada reopen its economy? That's on all of our minds right now. On April 21, Gov. Steve Sisolak discussed what criteria must be met for that to happen, but he didn't give a set timeline and there's still a lot left up in the air. KUNR's Michelle Billman and Bree Zender discussed what the benchmarks to reopen look like.

An image of a firefighter standing outside of a truck, spraying water, and wearing a facemask.
Bureau of Land Management

How are wildland firefighters expected to battle blazes during a pandemic? That's not entirely clear, but a bipartisan bill proposed by Mountain West lawmakers aims to help ensure firefighters' safety.

A voter placing a ballot into a box.
Daniel Clark / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

Although state and local officials are preparing to conduct the June 9 primary election almost entirely through mail ballots, election officials say they plan to have some form of limited early voting available.

A two-way road in the middle of a small town.
Farmation / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Congress is putting together another stimulus package — its fourth — in an effort to lighten the heavy effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Catherine Cortez Masto is one of Nevada’s senators. She spoke with KUNR’s Bree Zender about what’s in the works.

Screenshot of Nevada lawmakers meeting virtually for the first time.
Screenshot / Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau

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