Gov. Sisolak requests ‘Major Disaster Declaration’ for Nevada

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Governor Steve Sisolak is formally requesting that President Donald Trump give Nevada a “Major Disaster Declaration” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If approved, it would provide additional federal assistance including funds.

(Governor Sisolak will hold a news conference at 5 p.m. 8 News Now will live stream that conference)

Sisolak wrote about the losses Nevada is facing including a loss of $39 million to the tourism industry due to the closure of hotel-casinos.

The loss of that tourism money will have a direct impact on the state and local budgets, Sisolak wrote. The estimated impact to the Clark County budget is expected to be a lost of $1.128 billion.

His letter points out that Clark County’s emergency response costs to COVID-19 have already exceeded $27 million which is above the threshold to request a Major Disaster Declaration.

Sisolak also addressed unemployment which saw claims jump from around 2,500 at the beginning of March to 95,000 last week.

“Unemployment insurance operations have been impacted to a degree never seen in the 80-year history of the program.”

It’s estimated around 300,000 of the 650,000 small business jobs in the state are considered non-essential. 

“The COVID-19 public health crisis in Nevada is of such severity and scale that the effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state, local and tribal governments, and supplementary federal assistance is needed to save lives, protect public health, and help Nevada recover from the incomprehensible economic impacts that have resulted from this global pandemic,” said Governor Sisolak. “I am asking the President and federal government to help Nevada respond and recover effectively and efficiently by providing federal assistance.”

The disaster declaration request includes requests for public assistance funding and individual assistance programs that would include Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Legal Services, Crisis Counseling and Training Programs, and Mass Care and Emergency Assistance to help support residents in need during this unprecedented crisis.

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