Nevada Democrats Rush to Spend Taxpayer Money on Rescuing Government First
(Carson City, NV) — As Las Vegas remains one of the nation’s highest unemployed communities and thousands of Nevadans struggle to find work and pay their bills, Nevada Democrats in the Legislature continued their quest to prioritize government above everyone else on Thursday by making state government the first recipients of funding from the American Rescue Plan.
In a special joint meeting of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees on Thursday, Democrats authorized Nevada’s first dollars from the American Rescue Plan to restore vacant state positions in Governor Sisolak’s budget. However, those funds have not yet been requested by Governor Sisolak, much less received by the state. Federal agencies have yet to establish conditions on how the funds may be spent.
The decision comes on the heels of Governor Sisolak’s emergency regulation last week directing money out of school classrooms to fund unemployment benefits for seasonal employees whose contracts expire over the summer.
“When so many Nevadans need help; the first thing they do with new funds is direct money back into government rather than their struggling constituents,” said Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville.
“During budget hearings throughout the session, we’ve seen a need for additional resources and personnel in some agencies,” said Senate Minority Co-Whip Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas. “However, making state government the top priority of federal funds that we haven’t even received yet doesn’t bode well for how the legislature will allocate these dollars in the future.”
Senate Republicans believe the legislature should strategically allocate the money received by Nevada under the ARP to support economic recovery, infrastructure, and the state’s long-term financial stability without driving up ongoing operating costs of state government.
Unfortunately, Nevada Democrats will follow the same “Government First” pay-to-play scheme they used during the 2020 Special Sessions when they chose to cut money for schools and healthcare for the poor rather than instituting furlough days for state employees.