(Carson City, NV) – The Senate Republican Caucus today proposed emergency legislation, 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

Under the leadership of 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, and 4) Create an office within DETR dedicated to advocating for applicants and acting as their representatives.

“This bill takes the lessons learned over the past year, many of which are outlined in reports from former Speaker Barbara Buckley’s strike force and court-appointed special master Jason Guinasso,” said Senator Pickard. “While we cannot fix the errors of the past, these reforms will help expedite current applications and ease the burden of Nevadans during the next spike in unemployment, whenever that may be.”

“During the COVID-19 shutdown, we all watched as our friends, neighbors, and constituents struggle to receive the payments they were rightfully due from the state’s unemployment system,” Senator Hammond said. “While the good people at DETR worked hard to get payments out and fight fraud, it’s time for the Legislature to finally get the agency the resources they need to create a permanent fix to these issues.”

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.