Politics and Policy | KUNR

Politics and Policy

A woman speaking into a microphone
Noah Taborda / KCUR

Nearly 100 years after J.C. (Jesse Clyde) Nichols built Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza — an outdoor shopping center modeled after Spanish architecture — his name has been stripped from one of its streets and an iconic fountain.

A woman holds a red, white and blue sign that says, “Save Our Mail Save Our Vote,” with a stamp of an American flag in the middle.
Trevor Bexon

The United States Postal Service recently underwent operational changes that have caused mail delays across the country, worrying voters. But, the Postmaster General said it was not his intention to suppress votes.

A group of women hold signs that read, “Don’t let Trump steal the election again!,” “Trump/DeJoy do not sabotage our right to vote by mail," and “Save the USPS!”
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Structural changes within the United States Postal Service have caused concern across the country, and locally. On Saturday, people rallied in front of the post offices in Reno, Sparks and Carson City to support the Postal Service, including its role in the upcoming election, and the delivery of essential services. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck covered the rally in Carson City.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his leadership of the Postal Service on Friday and sought to reassure senators that his agency would be able to deliver the nation's election mail "securely and on time," calling it a "sacred duty."

"There has been no changes in any policies with regard to the election mail for the 2020 election," he said.

Governor Steve Sisolak is holding a signed bill in front of a web camera so viewers can see it.
Screenshot / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

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.

A truck driving along the side of a tall fence.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Lee en español.

When it comes to immigration, Americans have a lot of misconceptions about immigrants.  That’s one of the findings from a new national survey released Thursday from Public Agenda, USA Today and Ipsos Hidden Common Ground.

A man sitting on a couch in the Carson City Capitol. He is facing two reporters.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

A bill passed by Nevada lawmakers during a special session that calls for mail-in ballots to be sent to all active registered voters when an election comes in the wake of a statewide emergency or disaster declaration has stirred a flurry of reaction, all the way up to President Donald Trump.

Teresa Benitez-Thompson and Robin Titus are standing in an auditorium. They are looking at printed documents together.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

The 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature is over. Lawmakers adjourned sine die early Thursday morning after spending a week passing several resolutions and pieces of legislation meant to address a litany of policy issues. Noah Glick spoke with KUNR’s Paul Boger and Lucia Starbuck, who were in Carson City and covered the session in its entirety.

From left, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, Senate Democrats executive director Cheryl Bruce, and Senators Chris Brooks and Yvanna Cancela walk toward the Governor’s office during the sixth day of the 32nd Special Session of the Legislature.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

A contentious bill meant to provide businesses and some government agencies immunity from COVID-19-related death and injury suits is now on it’s way to Governor Steve Sisolak.


The 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature adjourned sine die early Thursday, August 6, after lawmakers spent a week passing several resolutions and pieces of legislation addressing policy issues.

A man holds a sign that says, "Blue Lives Matter."
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Lawmakers in Nevada are rolling back protections granted to law enforcement officers under investigation. The protections were just put into place last year. Law enforcement agencies and progressive groups both denounced the bill. 

A sign on the ground that says, "Ban Chokeholds," covered in spotted shade from a tree.
Ty C. O’Neil / This Is Reno / Nevada News

Black Lives Matter protests have erupted across the country, and in Nevada, and with them, demands for police reform. In response, lawmakers in Nevada have approved a bill meant to change how law enforcement officers in the state handle arrests, but activists say there’s more to be done.

The exterior of the Nevada State Legislature building, surrounded by leafy green and orange trees.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Lawmakers have spent the three days in Carson City debating a host of issues as part of the 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature. KUNR News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Senior Reporter Paul Boger to help break it all down.

An auditorium with lawmakers sitting at desks and chairs, facing toward the front of the room. A projector is set up toward the corner of the room.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Voters in Nevada will likely have the option of, once again, voting by mail in this upcoming general election. That’s after lawmakers approved a measure requiring election officials to send a ballot to all active voters during times of emergency.


For updates on the 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature, visit our live blog.

Governor Steve Sisolak has called for the 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature to begin on Friday, July 31 at 9 a.m.   

Nevada's governor speaks into a microphone during a press conference.
Screenshot / Nevada State Press Conference Via YouTube

During Monday's press conference, Governor Steve Sisolak lifted bar restrictions for three Nevada counties but said he's shifting from educating Nevadans about COVID-19 protocols to enforcing them.

A picture of a census form
Enayet Raheem / Unsplash

The U.S. Census is underway, and many communities of color across the nation are vulnerable to being undercounted this year.

According to a new analysis from Headwaters Economics, more than 700,000 people of color are at risk of being undercounted in the Mountain West alone.

The president’s controversial nominee to head the Bureau of Land Management is facing renewed pushback from Western lawmakers.

Two rows of long, curved tables with people in professional attire, wearing masks, sitting in front of them. The point of view is from above and to the side.
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Lawmakers in Nevada ended their special session to address the state's massive budget shortfall over the weekend, passing just five bills in 12 days. To help us break down that legislation, and what it means for the state, we turn now to KUNR's Paul Boger and Lucia Starbuck, who covered the session in its entirety.


3:19 p.m. | July 20, 2020

Lawmakers Approve Hundreds Of Millions In Cuts To Address Massive Budget Hole
By Paul Boger

After 12 days of budget presentations, partisan debate, and emotional pleas from residents, lawmakers in Nevada finally ended the 31st Special Session late Sunday evening.

As part of their final act, lawmakers approved a massive budget bill known as AB3. The omnibus bill formally reduces the state budget of nearly every state agency.