For Immediate Release:

April 28, 2021

Senate Republicans Introduce Senate Bill 419 – Unemployment Benefit Fairness Act

(Carson City, NV) – The Senate Republican Caucus today introduced Senate Bill 419, The Unemployment Benefit Fairness Act, to overhaul the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) operations and technology to streamline payments and fix the application process for out-of-work Nevadans.

The Unemployment Benefit Fairness Act was first announced in March by Senator Keith Pickard, R-Henderson, and Senator Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas. The emergency measure focuses on four key areas to help Nevada’s unemployed:

1. Create deadlines for application processing payments.

2. Invest $40 million to upgrade DETR’s technology system to help automate applications regardless of program eligibility.

3. Create a simplified, two-step application process for determining eligibility and scheduling appeals.

4. Create an office within DETR dedicated to advocating for applicants and acting as their representatives.

“Senate Bill 419 was drafted after extensive meetings with stakeholders and thorough review of the suggestions outlined in reports from former Speaker Barbara Buckley’s strike force and court-appointed special master Jason Guinasso,” said Senator Pickard. “This legislature must fix the issues within DETR. If we leave this legislative session without a solution, we have done a disservice to hundreds of thousands of Nevadans.”

“We have heard throughout the legislative session that DETR does not have the resources needed to process claims brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Hammond said. “Senate Bill 419 will provide much-needed support to the department, and the legislature must hold a hearing on this bill before we adjourn.”

Key to the Senate Republican proposal is a $40 million investment in a desperately needed technology solution that would combine regular and emergency unemployment systems to streamline the application process.