CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) — Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law Monday the final bills of the 31st Special Session of the Nevada Legislature.
Governor Sisolak signed Senate Bill 3, which temporarily accelerates the collection of a portion of the tax upon the net proceeds of minerals and Assembly Bill 3, which implements the vast majority of the budget changes.
After the Legislature adjourned Sunday evening, Gov. Sisolak issued the following statement:
I appreciate the hard work of the Nevada Legislature during the 31st special session in making the difficult decisions that were necessary to amend the state’s Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget and address the $1.2 billion shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the reductions were restored with limited one-time funding options that were identified and additional Medicaid dollars identified at the start of the session based on just released utilization rates. Yet, with a $1.2 billion shortfall, we know our state will be challenged to provide the essential services Nevadans deserve in health care, education, and so much more.
Legislation passed during the special session includes the requested flexibility to take advantage of any direct federal funding for state governments, if authorized, for this purpose, to replace lost revenue and restore reductions. Flexibility is also included to continue to take advantage of the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) if it is extended later this month, which could also reduce the impact of the related reductions during this fiscal year.
While all states are facing devastating impacts to their budgets as a result of the COVID-19 recession, Nevada once again finds itself hit the hardest due to an over reliance on an unbalanced revenue structure and the continued need to successfully diversify our economy beyond hospitality and tourism.
As Governor, I have been faced with these budget realities and difficult decisions day in and day out since this global pandemic hit Nevada a little over four months ago in March. I know our lawmakers have also seen the impacts of this virus in their districts, and in this special session they have weighed the magnitude of this situation and its impacts on our State as a whole. Now that the immediate budget crisis has been addressed, we must recommit ourselves to uniting under our shared values and goals.
When faced with these unprecedented challenges, there is an expectation that disagreement will occur. Going forward, we must not focus on what divides us, but commit ourselves to the overwhelming consensus that was expressed by both parties during this session. That there are longstanding, structural problems that must be addressed to ensure Nevada is no longer the most vulnerable state in the nation every time the economy takes a downturn. We owe it to our fellow Nevadans, most importantly our children, to seize this opportunity going forward. I look forward to partnering with legislators and community leaders on this great task ahead of us.
We are in a constantly changing, unpredictable economic environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With governors around the country and our state legislators, I will continue to work to protect lives and advocate for federal assistance for the replacement of lost revenue that none of the COVID-19 bills have provided to date. I am grateful for the flexibility under the special session legislation to restore the reductions in whole or in part from any additional revenue that may be generated in this fiscal year.