A PROCLAMATION BY GOVERNOR STEVE SISOLAK
TO CONVENE A SPECIAL SESSION OF THE NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE
WHEREAS, Section 9 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of Nevada provides that, "[T]he Governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature by Proclamation and shall state to both houses, when organized, the business for which they have been specially convened;" and
WHEREAS, an extraordinary occasion exists, resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic consequences, requiring immediate action by the Nevada State Legislature; and
WHEREAS, in late 2019, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus; and
WHEREAS, on February 11, 2020, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named this novel coronavirus "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Co V-2);" and
WHEREAS, on February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, "COVID-19;" and
WHEREAS, on March 5, 2020, Clark County and Washoe County both reported the first known cases of COVID-19 in the State of Nevada; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, I, Steve Sisolak, Governor of the State of Nevada, issued a Declaration of Emergency to facilitate the State's response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States declared a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the "Stafford Act''); and
WHEREAS, since the March 12, 2020 Declaration of Emergency, I have issued 26 Directives, with associated guidance documents, pursuant to that order to provide for the safety, wellbeing, and public health of Nevadans and the administration of the State of Nevada; and
WHEREAS, on May 10, 2020, I issued a Declaration of Fiscal Emergency, citing the global economic decline from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted commerce and has negatively impacted the amount of revenue received by the State of Nevada and school districts in the State; and
WHEREAS, the Declaration of Fiscal Emergency noted that the "amount of money in the Account to Stabilize the Operation of the State Government, commonly known as the 'Rainy Day Fund,' combined with the other financial resources available to the State of Nevada to offset a revenue shortfall is insufficient to offset a revenue shortfall and increase in State General Fund appropriations of this magnitude for the fiscal years ending on June 30, 2020 and June 30, 2021;" and
WHEREAS, the May 10, 2020 Declaration of Fiscal Emergency also provides that the "State of Nevada must act quickly to reduce expenditures and to ensure that the expenditures of the State for the fiscal years ending on June 30, 2020 and June 30, 2021, do not exceed the revenue collected by the State for the fiscal years;" and
WHEREAS, on May 13, 2020, the Interim Finance Committee of the Nevada Legislature issued and approved a Declaration of Fiscal Emergency, citing authority provided to the Legislature in NRS 353.288(5)(b), upon a Governor's declaration of the existence of a fiscal emergency, to transfer money from the "Rainy Day Fund" to the State General Fund; and
WHEREAS, the fund transfer authorized during the May 13, 2020 meeting of the Interim Finance Committee amounted to approximately $400 million; and
WHEREAS, Article 5, Section 1 of the Nevada Constitution provides: "The supreme executive power of this State, shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate who shall be Governor of the State of Nevada;" and
WHEREAS, as presaged in the Declaration of Fiscal Emergency of May 10, 2020, I believe that an extraordinary occasion now exists, as contemplated by Section 9 of Article V of the Constitution, in which the financial resources available to the State of Nevada are insufficient to cover the projected revenue shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, requiring timely action by the Nevada State Legislature; and
WHEREAS, as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting economic crisis, school districts throughout the State of Nevada are challenged with budget uncertainties and dramatic changes in student needs and coordinate obligations on the districts and their respective schools to provide educational, emotional, and sustenance-related support to students; and
WHEREAS, as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, some students awarded the Millennium Scholarship experienced inordinate tumult and difficult and uneven transitions to remote learning environments, resulting in diminished academic performance which may jeopardize the students' continued qualification to access Millennium Scholarship funds; and
WHEREAS, under such an extraordinary set of circumstances, the Nevada Constitution provides authority for the Governor to convene the Legislature by Proclamation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, STEVE SISOLAK, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEVADA, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Nevada, do hereby convene the Nevada State Legislature into a special session to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, to consider the following solutions to the deleterious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the substantial general fund shortfall for the current biennium among other items noted below:
- Reducing, reserving, or cancelling certain general fund appropriations made during the 80th Session of the Nevada Legislature to fund operating budgets.
- Amendments to Nevada Revised Statutes § 362.100 et seq. to accelerate and advance the payment schedule of the tax on the net proceeds of minerals.
- Transfers to the State General Fund certain amounts from certain funds and accounts including, but not limited to, the Healthy Nevada Fund.
- Providing flexibility for the Department of Health and Human Services to transfer funds among various accounts in the same manner and limits as allowed for work programs under NRS 353.220.
- Providing flexibility for restoration of programs, services and any other reductions approved in the special session in the event Nevada receives federal funding to assist with the impact on the state budget caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Any other actions directly related to solutions for the projected general fund revenue shortfall for the current biennium.
- Amendments to Chapter 388G to allow local school districts to carry forward year-end balances to the following school year.
- Amendments to Chapter 396 of Nevada Revised Statutes governing the Millennium Scholarship to authorize the Nevada Board of Regents to implement temporary waivers or modifications of the continuing eligibility requirements for recipients of the Millennium Scholarship during the period of the COVID-19 emergency. Require the submission of a report to the Governor and the Director of the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau no later than February 1, 2021, setting forth in detail any temporary actions taken by the Board of Regents and the impact of such actions on Millennium Scholarship recipients.