Governor Sisolak, Interim Finance Committee create $100 million water infrastructure program, focus on improving quality of life for Nevadans

CARSON CITY, NV – October 21, 2022

Today, lawmakers approved a slew of programs put forward by Governor Steve Sisolak aimed at fortifying Nevada’s water infrastructure, improving the quality of life for Nevadans and modernizing State systems to better serve residents.

“We promised Nevadans that we wouldn’t simply spend the federal dollars coming into the State – we would invest them to make lasting, generational change for our residents. I am proud of all the work we have done to accomplish that,” said Governor Sisolak. “Today, we made good on my promise to shore up Nevada’s water infrastructure, invest in improving the health of Nevadans, and modernizing State systems so we can focus on service.”

"Putting tax dollars to work for the people of Nevada is our top priority," said Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop. She continued, "These investments will help make housing more affordable, improve health care systems across the state, and ensure more seniors are taken care of."

"Today's meeting was the culmination of our nearly two year mission to put Nevada's share of federal dollars to their highest and best use, including addressing the state's water issues head on, modernizing government to dramatically improve customer experience, and making significant investments in affordable housing, critical services for seniors, and mental health care. These investments are the very foundation for the Nevada of the future,” said Assemblyman Steve Yeager.

Today’s meeting was the last hearing for a number of legislators, including three who have reached the end of their term limits: Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson and Senator Mo Denis. The Governor honored the three lawmakers at the start of the meeting with proclamations to recognize their service.

Water conservation and infrastructure
In August, while touring Lake Mead and discussing water conservation, Governor Sisolak pledged to bring forward a water conservation and infrastructure package with American Rescue Plan dollars to ensure State and local governments have the tools they need in the face of ongoing droughts and the effects of climate change. Today, lawmakers approved a $100 million grant program based off that pledge.

This program will support investments to reduce water demand by residential, commercial, and agricultural sectors, while supporting investments to repair and replace aging, leaking infrastructure and simultaneously investing in workforce. The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will help lead this effort, and is working to launch an application process for grant funding in coordination with a broadly based advisory committee. These grants will be available to local, regional, and other entities to help fund crucial water projects across the state.

Quality of life
A significant number of programs approved today will help Nevada residents access more resources and services. That includes more than $250 million to complete the funding for the Home Means Nevada affordable housing program, more than $20 million in funding for Nevada seniors and more than $75 million to help expand access to mental and behavioral health resources.

State officials expect to finalize awards for the Home Means Nevada program shortly, to get shovels in the ground and projects underway. The $500 million program is broken up into four components to ensure a maximum investment of funds.

The State’s commitment to seniors includes:

  • $15 million to fund a nursing and assisted living facility workforce initiative,
  • $2.9 million to provide home delivered meal services to homebound adults age 60 and older, and
  • $2 million for critical in-home services such as assistive technology, home modifications and repairs to support independent living for targeted populations.

Thursday’s agenda also included the approval of investments into the State’s physical and mental health systems, including:

  • $55 million to increase forensic psychiatric beds in Las Vegas,
  • $15 million to support the creation of the Nevada Transplant Institute (NTI), which will collaborate with Nevada Donor Network and other related organizations to create a singular, dedicated network to expand transplantation programs and services throughout Nevada.
  • $14.5 million to develop services for individuals with dual diagnoses of intellectual development disabilities and behavioral health disorders,
  • $10 million to help fund the expansion of the Recuperative Care Center in Las Vegas,
  • $6 million to support comprehensive and accessible reproductive health programs,
  • $3.9 million to fund expanded access to prenatal services in rural communities, and
  • $2.6 million to provide access to community based, youth-focused behavioral health care services statewide.
These investments in mental health systems build upon programs funded in recent Interim Finance Committee meetings.

Government modernization
Lawmakers approved more than $140 million to modernize government systems so State employees can better serve Nevadans in an efficient and effective manner. These investments will help replace outdated and antiquated systems, ensuring Nevadans can access State resources when they need to.

Investments in modernizing State government include:

  • $48.5 million to update the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services system,
  • $42 million to implement and replace the Unified Tax System,
  • $18 million to replace the Unified Nevada Information Technology for Youth (UNITY) child welfare case management system at the Division of Child and Family Services, and
  • $425,000 to support an e-filing system for worker’s compensation appeals, among other programs.

“Together, we’ve leveraged these federal dollars to make transformational change in the State. This is only possible because of the dedicated work and good ideas brought forward by stakeholders and State employees who are committed to improving our State and providing better service to Nevadans. I am deeply grateful for all their work,” said Governor Sisolak.

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Contact

Meghin Delaney
Communications Director