CARSON CITY, NV – April 07, 2022
Today, the Interim Finance Committee approved a significant number of work programs and projects put forward by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Executive Branch agencies aimed at revitalizing the State’s economy and helping Nevada continue its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including moving forward the first $250 million in federal funds as part of the Governor’s “Home Means Nevada” housing initiative.
"Affordable housing is a critical priority for Nevadans, and for my administration. I am grateful to members of the Interim Finance Committee for approving all the funding programs brought forward today so we can move quickly to make a difference for Nevadans,” said Gov. Sisolak. “Today’s meeting marked a big step forward for the Silver State as we funded programs for housing, broadband, food security and mental health services.”
“We know that families across Nevada continue to struggle in securing housing that is safe and affordable,” said Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro. She continued, “Today, the legislature worked to address this crisis by investing $250 million in the Home Means Nevada initiative. These dollars will increase the supply of affordable housing across our state and ensure more families have a place they can call home.”
"I was proud to support the single largest investment in affordable housing in the state's history," Speaker Pro Tem Steve Yeager said. "The Home Means Nevada housing initiative and the other programs passed during today's Interim Finance Committee meeting will make our state a great place to live and ensure that home can continue to mean Nevada for families across the state."
Home Means Nevada funding
- Lawmakers approved $250 million in federal funds, representing half of the money the State plans to put toward the “Home Means Nevada” housing initiative put forward by Governor Sisolak.
- The plan is aimed at helping to lower the cost of housing, help people stay in their homes, and create good-paying jobs. The plan will boost housing construction and homeownership opportunities. It will help seniors retrofit their homes, to lower their costs, improve their property, and stay where they want to be.
- This is the single largest investment in housing in state history and complements other measures taken across State government in line with this vision, including that the Nevada Housing Division (NHD) recently earmarked $300.7 million - or 87% - of Nevada's 2021 tax-exempt bonding authority has been set aside for development of affordable housing projects throughout the state.
Universal high-speed internet
- IFC approved more than $200 million for the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology to pursue universal access to high-speed internet for all Nevadans.
- Funds will help build fiber into nearly every community throughout the state, including tribal communities. Funds will help build fiber to community anchor institutions and residences in nearly every community throughout the state.
- OSIT calculated that there are over 450,000 households in Nevada that are either unserved or underserved, meaning they lack a future-proof broadband connection that will scale to speeds that will meet the needs of Nevadans now and in the future.
Community recovery grants
- Carson City Senior Center and Helping Hands of Vegas Valley. The $652,618 grant will allow the Carson City Senior Center to continue the Senior Nutrition Program while the kitchen is closed for critical repairs and Helping Hands of Vegas Valley to continue their Rural Home Delivered Meals Program.
- Safe Nest, serving Southern Nevada. The $100,000 grant will help in providing mental health services to victims of domestic violence.
- Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. The $2.6 million grant will help to provide legal advocacy to address pandemic educational deficiencies for vulnerable youth with disabilities.
- Moxy Up, in Minden. The $169,565 grant will help to serve middle and high school youth in Minden who need a safe space to complete distance learning and receive mentoring in Douglas and Mineral counties.
Victims of Crime Program
- Today, IFC approved $1.6 million in federal funding to continue operations and payments to assist victims through the Victims of Crime Program.
- Through the Division of Child and Family Services, the Victims of Crime Program (VOCP) provides financial assistance directly to eligible victims who sustain injuries in a violent crime. The VOCP pays hospital bills, medical and dental treatment, mental health counseling, lost wages, funeral costs, and other crime-related expenses.
- Visit voc.nv.gov for more information.
Small business support
- IFC approved $284,218 for the Office of Small Business Advocacy, located within the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
- The Office is designed as a one-stop shop for small businesses to take advantage of resources available in state government and reports to the Lieutenant Governor. The office was created by Assembly Bill 184 and signed into law by Governor Sisolak on May 31, 2021.
- Lieutenant Governor Lisa Cano Burkhead hired a Director, Sonny Vinuya, earlier this year, and is in the final stages of hiring a Program Director, to better serve the needs of the state.
- To strengthen Nevada’s food systems and connect producers to local supply chains, the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) received $55,123 for this fiscal year to develop a State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program to support local meat processing.
- The NDA also received $2,000,000 for Home Feeds Nevada to address food insecurity and create additional economic opportunities for Nevada producers by directly purchasing Nevada grown and produced foods for distribution at Nevada’s food banks.
- To address food insecurity directly in Nevada, the NDA received over $9 million to invest in the needs of nonprofit entities by supporting their infrastructure needs and to make additional food purchases for organizations that provide food to underserved Nevada populations.
- In addition, the NDA received $400,050 for the Senior Nutrition and Wellness Program to increase food access and purchase fresh produce and other perishables for Nevada’s food-insecure senior populations.
Mental Health Supports
- Today, $3.5 million in funding to support critical components of Nevada’s Crisis Response System (CRS) was approved. These funds will be used to stand up the 988 Crisis Call Center and Care Traffic Control Hub.
- For many Nevadans experiencing a crisis, seeking support begins with a call to either 911 or Crisis Support Services of Nevada, the state supported Lifeline Center.
- The goal of the 988 line is to enable a seamless experience to meet the behavioral health needs of Nevada's communities. The federal requirement to direct calls and texts to 988 as part of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline will take effect on July 16, 2022.
- In 2021, Nevada’s Lifeline Center received 30,909 contacts from Nevadans age 18 and older experiencing a behavioral health or suicidality crisis. This represented an increase of 42% over the previous year. Contacts received from Nevadans under age 18 had an increase of 51.4% over the prior year.
- The Crisis Response Account that is being established from Senate Bill 390, signed by the Governor in 2021, will provide sustainability for the Crisis Call Center and Traffic Control Hub.
- Fully funding the 988 Crisis Call Center and Care Traffic Control Hub simultaneously, along with the other components of a CRS, will create a fully functional system that can deploy resources to Nevadans in crisis, mitigating serious consequences that result in negative, sometimes fatal outcomes.
Nevada National Guard Purple Reserve
- IFC approved $300,000 for the Nevada National Guard’s Purple Resolve program.
- Purple Resolve brings stakeholders to the table for a two-day open dialogue about dignity, respect, resiliency, courage and culture, and how it applies to the capacity of the National Guard. The program also focuses on removing stigmas surrounding mental health.
- Nearly a year into developing its Purple Resolve curriculum, the Nevada National Guard is set to take the course to other states and the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. throughout the month of April.
- The course, titled “Purple Resolve: The Heart and Mind of the Warrior,” is a military adaptation of Blue Courage, a program aimed at enhancing leadership and learning strategies for law enforcement. The courses in April at Arizona, Nebraska and the National Guard Bureau will exclusively include Nevada National Guardsmen and women as instructors.
- With the approval of $3.96 million, the Department of Health and Human Services will be able to streamline the Medicaid renewal process with Ex Parte, or automatic renewals, based on available information for Medicaid members.
- This will reduce the need for members to send follow-up information to complete the renewal process, reduce workload for State eligibility staff, and minimize risk of individuals enrolled in Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) losing coverage unnecessarily.
- Through the pandemic Medicaid renewals have been suspended and are anticipated to resume later in the year for more than 870,000 members and this funding will help ensure those eligible do not lose coverage unnecessarily.