Politics and Policy | KUNR

Politics and 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.

A man casting a ballot at a voting site.
Daniel Clark / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

Nevada election officials are planning to effectively cancel in-person voting and move the state’s primary election on June 9 to mail ballots only in the wake of the coronavirus crisis gripping the nation, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske announced on March 24.

Updated 8:13 p.m. ET

President Trump said on Sunday that federal guidelines urging Americans to social distance to slow the spread of the coronavirus will remain in place for another month and could last until June.

Under the recommendations, the Trump administration is imploring people to avoid restaurants, bars and other situations involving more than 10 people and restrict traveling to trips deemed essential.

A microscopic picture of coronavirus
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / Flickr/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Senate is negotiating how a House novel coronavirus relief package will be distributed to the public. KUNR's Bree Zender spoke with Nevada's 2nd District Congressman Mark Amodei about this pending legislation and what economic hurdles Nevada is now facing due to the pandemic.

A microscopic picture of coronavirus
NIAID / Flickr/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

As many Nevadans face hardships ahead due to restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, some are looking to the government for relief. Nevada U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has been involved in some of the decision-making regarding these federal relief packages. She spoke Friday with KUNR's Bree Zender.

A sign with an arrow on it directs voters to the polls.
Tom Arthur / Wikimedia Commons

We’ve heard a lot about the presidential election this year, but it won’t be the only race on the ballot in November. Dozens of seats across the state are up for grabs in 2020 and as of Friday — the end of the candidate filing period — hundreds of people are vying for those positions. To help us break down that long list ahead of the June primary is KUNR’s Senior Political Reporter Paul Boger.

There are two black bears, one is cub and the other is larger and older. There is tall, green grass in the front and blurry trees in the background.
Neal Herbert / National Park Service

The Nevada Supreme Court recently overturned a lower court’s ruling on a defamation case filed by a biologist who works for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, or NDOW. The suit was filed against the manager of a Facebook page that’s critical of NDOW’s policies regarding the treatment of bears in the Eastern Sierra. The state supreme court struck down the biologist’s defamation case, so now it’s headed back to Washoe County Second Judicial District Court.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have the stage to themselves for Sunday night's Democratic primary debate.

The debate, hosted by CNN and Univision in Washington, D.C., will not have a live audience amid coronavirus concerns.

Follow NPR's live coverage of the debate.

A landscape photo with a paved road on the left side and gravel, sagebrush and hills on the right side.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

The Truckee Meadows Public Land Management Act, formerly known as the Washoe County Lands Bill, is back before Congress. It would allow federal land in Nevada to be sold to local government for development and conservation projects. The proposal has received support from the cities of Reno and Sparks, as well as Washoe County, but it has also faced public criticism.

Nevada's Last Caucus?

Mar 12, 2020
Image of a sign that reads "caucus" with an arrow pointing into a gymnasium.
Noah Glick / KUNR Public Radio

Caucus... you've probably heard that word a lot this year. For some, it's a time-honored tradition that allows communities to come together to select a political candidate that best represents them. For others, it’s an overly complicated and outdated way of voting. So now that the Nevada Caucuses are firmly behind us, KUNR's Paul Boger decided to take a look at the Silver State’s caucus system and how it may evolve ahead of the next presidential election.

Our station will increase engagement journalism efforts this year by partnering with other public radio stations and collaborating networks in a regional reporting initiative called America Amplified: Election 2020.

Updated at 1:43 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning to stay in the 2020 Democratic presidential race despite another disappointing primary night.

Two weeks ago, Sanders was the unlikely front-runner for the nomination. Now former Vice President Joe Biden has consolidated support so rapidly, and won so many states, that Sanders is facing calls to drop out of the race.

But Sanders announced his intention to press on in a statement on Wednesday.

Updated at 10:19 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that the White House is planning to ask Congress to pass a payroll tax cut and relief for hourly wage earners in order to assist workers who may be feeling the financial pinch amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump said that top administration officials will be meeting with Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday to discuss the possible payroll tax cuts and help for hourly workers.

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