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In new phase of the immunization effort, community groups take a grassroots approach to getting out the vaccine

ByMegan Messerly

After more than a year without visitation, families remain hesitant to visit inmates because of restrictions

Inmates in the yard of a correctional facility.
May 9th, 2021 - 2:00am
The department reopened visitation for inmates on May 1, with significant safety restrictions in place, including limits on the age of visitors, number of allowed visitors per inmate and physical contact between inmates and visitors. Those restrictions have left some Nevadans feeling reluctant to visit their incarcerated loved ones.

Indy DC Download: Construction of Las Vegas to L.A. fast train expected to begin in the next 12 months

May 8th, 2021 - 2:00am
Construction on the high-speed train to connect Las Vegas with Los Angeles could begin "in the next 12 months or so," Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Phillip Washington told Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) at a congressional hearing last week.

Legislative Coverage

Check out our comprehensive, wall-to-wall coverage of the 2021 Legislature

Budget committee passes surprise ‘premium holiday’ for public employee health plans

May 7th, 2021 - 4:56pm
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton (D-Las Vegas), chair of the Ways and Means Committee, announced a plan during a Friday joint budget meeting to give participants in the Public Employees Benefits’ Program (PEBP) a one-month “premium holiday” during which enrollees don’t have to pay their share of their health insurance costs. That would apply to about 44,000 active and retired public employees, according to legislative staff.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

As the state’s economy continues its recovery, The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page, including unemployment numbers, gaming revenue and housing prices.

Nevada Donor Network, under congressional scrutiny for spending, says it has complied with the law

May 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
A group of federally designated organ transplant facilitators, including the Nevada Donor Network (NDN) and the industry’s trade group, are being investigated by a U.S. House panel over poor performance and alleged wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.

Flood of rental assistance, eviction bans not enough to resolve some Nevada housing conundrums

May 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
In many cases, tenants approved for the program — including Catala — have found their landlords decline to accept the money, sometimes because of a condition that landlords must not immediately evict the tenant after receiving the funds.

Legislative panel approves higher education budget cuts with coming federal aid, additional state funds in limbo

The Legislature on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 during the third day of the 32nd Special Session in Carson City.
May 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
Despite revised state tax revenue projections amounting to more than $586 million over the biennium and expected billions in federal coronavirus relief, lawmakers nonetheless moved forward with approving $169 million in cuts to the state’s higher education system on Thursday.

NSHE announces draft plans to mandate COVID vaccinations for students, pending federal rules change

May 6th, 2021 - 6:26pm
The Nevada System of Higher Education announced late Thursday that it was in the process of drafting a mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations for students returning to college campuses this fall “with some limited exceptions.”

Veterinary telemedicine hearing goes off the rails amid confusion, amendments

May 6th, 2021 - 2:00am
The bill’s intent is straightforward — allow licensed veterinarians to practice telemedicine only after an in-person examination of an animal. Under the proposed bill, veterinarians would not have to examine every member of a herd to consult with a veterinarian, and a doctor with access to medical records could also consult on a case via remote communication.

Bill would expand anti-discrimination protections to digital sphere

Assemblyman Howard Watts wearing a great sport coat and green tie while wearing an animal print face mask
May 6th, 2021 - 9:00am
But in Nevada and many other states, those protections do not explicitly extend to the digital realm. During a Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting on Monday, Assemblyman Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas) said he is looking to change that with AB207, a bill clarifying that Nevada's public accommodations law also applies to e-commerce.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page.

What Happened Here: A six-part series on COVID-19 in Nevada

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Lawmakers approve doubling size of state pension plan’s investment team to two

Riley Snyder
May 6th, 2021 - 9:30am

Members of a joint budget committee on Monday approved closing the state employee pension system’s budget with the addition of a new investment officer alongside Edmundson to help manage PERS’s $54 billion in assets. The new position comes with a base annual salary of $189,222 along with benefits, paid for by PERS administration fees.

Sisolak: Higher tax revenue and federal dollars will help ‘transform’ state, but many details remain unclear

Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder
May 5th, 2021 - 3:30pm

Sisolak delivered prepared remarks and spoke to reporters briefly on Wednesday, just a day after the state’s Economic Forum released new revenue forecasts estimating that taxes flowing into the state’s general fund will be about $910 million more than initial forecasts in December — including a $586 million upward revision for the upcoming two-year budget.

State environmental agency defends decision to reduce the scope of tainted mine-water in cleanup report

Daniel Rothberg
May 5th, 2021 - 3:01pm

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is defending a groundwater report that reduced the extent of uranium and arsenic contamination linked to the former Anaconda Copper Mine in Yerington, an agricultural town about 70 miles from Reno.

As universities eye a ‘new normal’ in the fall, the wait continues for many international students

Jacob Solis
May 9th, 2021 - 2:00am

Unending rules-changes, multiplying paperwork and the continuing specter of COVID-19 has meant that even as colleges and universities prepare for a “new normal” this fall, complete with increased in-person instruction, the number of international students expected to return remains far below pre-pandemic levels.

Progressives, industry representatives debate health care affordability, access during high-profile public option hearing

Megan Messerly
May 5th, 2021 - 2:00am

There is near-universal agreement that the state of health care in Nevada leaves something to be desired. Where there is less agreement, though, is what should be done about it.

As Las Vegas' rebound picks up steam, hospitality workers still waiting for callbacks push for "Right to Return" bill

Jannelle Calderon
May 5th, 2021 - 2:00am

Mario Sandoval was a waiter at Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel’s steakhouse in downtown Las Vegas for 36 years but has not worked since mid-March of 2020 — when casinos were closed because of the pandemic — along with thousands of Nevadans in the tourism and hotel industry.

With faster-than-expected recovery, Nevada projected to have $586 million more to spend in next two years

Riley Snyder and Michelle Rindels
May 4th, 2021 - 4:29pm

The revised forecast is a marked improvement from the Economic Forum’s last revenue forecast from December, when the five-member panel of appointed economists and analysts projected general fund revenues of $8.5 billion over the next two years — down about half a billion dollars from the prior budget cycle. This time, the Forum projected $4.4 billion in the fiscal year that starts in July, and $4.7 billion for the following fiscal year, for a total of $9.1 billion in the next biennium — a $586 million upward revision.

Reporting on heat and climate change. Send us your stories.

Daniel Rothberg
May 5th, 2021 - 8:00am

This week’s Indy Environment newsletter asks readers to share stories about the impact of heat. As the climate changes, temperatures are increasing across the state and the region. Yet the struggles that people face dealing with heat are often hidden, and it seems that they are rarely discussed and rarely factored into policy. We want to hear your stories.

As customer demand increases, businesses struggle to find enough workers

Jackie Valley
May 4th, 2021 - 2:00am

It’s another bump along the way for businesses during the pandemic, which brought layoffs, closures, capacity-restricted reopenings, reimagined operating models and, lately, pent-up customer demand as COVID-19 vaccines multiply and people clamor for a return to some semblance of normal.