Governor Sisolak, Interim Finance Committee make historic investments in mental, public health

CARSON CITY, NV - August 17, 2022

Today, the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee approved significant and historic programs aimed at providing additional mental and public health resources across the State of Nevada as put forward by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, with support from State agencies. Children’s mental health provisions put forward total almost $45 million and public health programs total more than $171 million. The programs are investments from the American Rescue Plan.

“We promised Nevadans we would look to invest our federal dollars into programs that will make a difference in their lives,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “We know investing in mental and public health programs will make an immediate and long-lasting impact on those in need. I am grateful to lawmakers for approving these programs and to our partners across the State who will put these dollars to work for Nevadans.

“I am proud of the work conducted by the Legislature this afternoon to improve the standing of Nevadans today and to invest in generations to come,” said Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop. She continued, “Today’s investment of over $221 million will go to ensure more Nevadans can remain in their homes through rental assistance and eviction diversion, training the next generation of physicians at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and that more Nevadans can receive the training and education they need to be competitive in the workforce through no-cost community college.”

“Today the Interim Finance Committee approved various programs aimed to help Nevadans struggling with mental health while making vital investments in our healthcare system and support services for those who may need it,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow. She continued, “I applaud the Governor and my colleagues for their efforts to address this crisis. Nevadans can rest assured that these funds will directly impact communities devastated by the pandemic while also investing into existing services already offered by the state.”

Public health investments:

As put forward by Governor Sisolak, lawmakers at IFC approved $171 million in public health investments. This includes $75 million for a new State public health laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno; $40 million investment in the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV to provide services to the community; $30 million for a new public health lab in Southern Nevada in partnership with the Nevada Health and Bioscience Corporation, University Medical Center and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

"The students, faculty and staff of the University of Nevada, Reno extend our profound gratitude to Governor Sisolak and the members of the Interim Finance Committee for their historically significant investment in the public health future of Nevada,” said UNR President Brian Sandoval. “The State’s new public health research facility, that will be built on University of Nevada, Reno’s campus, will provide every Nevadan with a better quality of life. Nevada’s scientific and public health community will work together in this new, modern and needed facility that will provide our state with a trusted public health resource for generations to come."

“I want to thank Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Legislature for their leadership in making this earnest investment in health care in Southern Nevada,” said UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield. “This funding will help transform how UNLV provides health care for our community. It will directly help patients in need through a new ambulatory care clinic at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine and support the creation of a new pathology program at the school. It will also strengthen research and training opportunities for UNLV resident physicians in high-need specialty programs through construction of a new laboratory building on the Shadow Lane campus and bolster programing within our School of Public Health."

"This substantial investment into public health signifies the importance of delivering quality healthcare for Nevadans," said Mason Van Houweling, UMC CEO. "The last several years have proven this type of collaboration is essential at every level of our state and allows us to improve care for our entire community."

The funding also includes assistance for all health districts in the state, including support to stand up a brand new “Central Health District,” headquartered in Churchill County. Churchill, along with Mineral, Pershing and Eureka counties have come together to create the new health district, which will allow local officials on the ground the ability to better serve their community. The State will continue to support the new health district, as it also supports the Washoe County Health District and the Southern Nevada Health District.

Finally, the Southern Nevada Health District will receive $5.5 million that will allow SNHD to delay implementation of a fee increase that was set to impact small businesses.

“The Vegas Chamber supports the use of the American Rescue Plan funds to reduce the financial impact that Southern Nevada’s restaurants faced because of fee increases. Businesses in Nevada were hit hard by the pandemic, especially those in the restaurant industry. We applaud Governor Sisolak and the IFC for providing this relief for our local businesses,” said Mary Beth Sewald, President and CEO of the Vegas Chamber.

Mental health investments:

As put forward by Governor Sisolak, lawmakers approved $45 million in mental health programs – including many aimed at serving Nevada’s youth. Funding is aimed at programs that can help with early intervention efforts. This includes almost $15 million for children’s wraparound care coordination and intensive case management; $5 million to support programs that allow children and youth to safely remain in the home while being provided intensive therapeutic and behavioral support services; $3.4 million to expand the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services Mobile Crisis Response Teams to support Clark County School District, Washoe County School District, and the Nevada Department of Education during after-school hours when school district teams cannot provide deployment and intervention.

“There has never been a more acute need for these services, and this is a critical priority for my office and my administration,” said Governor Sisolak. “The pandemic has been hard for all of us, especially on our youth, and it’s my honor to invest in these programs to help our kids and our families.”

While all these efforts will contribute to improved outcomes for Nevada youth and families, a trained workforce, technical support, programming, an electronic health record system and supported functionality are needed for implementation. More than $5.8 million was approved by lawmakers for oversight and program management.

More information on all the mental health programs put forward today is available from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

Other investments:

Lawmakers approved a significant number of additional programs on Wednesday, including

  • $5 million to fund a scholarship program at Nevada’s community colleges, fulfilling the Governor’s promise to invest in programs making college free for more Nevadans.
  • $15 million in additional rental assistance funding to support the continued efforts in Clark County.
  • $10 million to support the launch of the Las Vegas Justice Court’s eviction diversion program, which is aimed at eviction prevention services.
  • $3.1 million for a water supply line for the Lake Mead Fish Hatchery run by the Nevada Department of Wildfire. This project supports efforts to provide water and energy to the Lower Colorado River Basin.
  • $12.7 million for continued investment in the implementation of a new Unemployment Insurance System to ensure workers and employers are better served in the future.
  • $8.5 million to reduce waitlists and provide services to children with autism.
  • $345,000 for a targeted education campaign on Monkeypox.

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Meghin Delaney
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