Battle Born Progress Reacts to Governor Sisolak’s 2021 State of the State Address - Battle Born Progress
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Battle Born Progress Reacts to Governor Sisolak’s 2021 State of the State Address

Contact: Will Pregman,, 702.752.0656

LAS VEGAS, NV – Tonight, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak gave his second State of the State Address before the 2021 Legislative Session.

Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress, said:

“2020 was an incredibly challenging year for everyone, and Nevada was no exception. In fact, our state is among those at the top of the list of hardest-hit areas of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. We credit and thank Governor Sisolak for continuing to do all he can to put Nevadans’ public health and safety first and summoning every state resource available to support testing and contact tracing, keeping families in their homes, and distributing the vaccines to frontline workers and high-risk populations first. While tonight’s State of the State rightfully focused on COVID-19 response, jobs, and our economy there were also some glaring omissions that must be addressed during the 2021 Legislative Session.”

“Looking forward to the Legislative Session, we realize the extremely difficult position in which the Governor and the Legislature find themselves. Due to soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to pass aid for state and local governments, Nevada has been forced to make difficult cuts to many critical services like education, health care, and others. Luckily, revenue projections turned out to be better than expected. And, fortunately, new leaders will soon be sworn in at the federal level who understand the need for state government relief. We look forward to working with the Governor, Speaker Jason Frierson, and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, to pass a budget that sustains Nevada and its diverse communities and provides adequately for public education, health care, unemployment, and other essential services.”

“Raising revenue is an absolute necessity if Nevada is going to be able to recover and build a state that retains and attracts businesses and new residents. The old days of scraping by on fumes need to come to an end, especially as this pandemic has exposed how overly reliant our state revenue is on tourism industries. During the Special Session, several proposals to have the mining industry pay their fair share were passed. We are looking forward to a robust debate in both houses to put a new revenue option on the ballot that will end the mining industry’s avoidance of paying their fair share and fund our schools, our healthcare, and our communities. The Governor said that when a crisis hits, it hits our state harder. That’s exactly why we need a thorough conversation about diversifying our state’s economy and raising revenue so that we do not find ourselves in this situation again like we have over the past decade. It is time to stop kicking the can down the road and have the hard conversation about raising revenue in this state.”

“We’re encouraged to see that student welfare and outcomes continue to be a priority for the Governor. However, educators and school support staff are not being listened to when it comes to changes to our state’s education policy to cope with the pandemic. We hope that their voice will be incorporated into any discussions about changes or the implementation of the new funding formula and decisions about distance learning. We cannot continue to balance the budget on the backs of Nevada’s students and educators as we have done for generations in this state. Now is a time for a real conversation, and action, on diversifying our economy and listening to our educators on what works best for them in the classroom.”

“We applaud Governor Sisolak for keeping climate action at the top of his priorities. Even with so many issues in play, having a state with cleaner air, a more sustainable infrastructure, and new clean energy job opportunities is critical to Nevada’s recovery and long-term growth and success. It’s important for Nevada to stay on track with the goals set by the 2019 Legislature by working to decarbonize our transportation sector and provide access to renewable energy for consumers.” 

“Protecting Nevadans’ access to healthcare is a bigger priority than ever and it is encouraging to hear from Governor Sisolak on his plans to ensure our state system is funded and has what it needs to keep us safe through the pandemic. Restoring the Medicaid reimbursement rates that were cut during the Special Session is a positive step. Thankfully, with more sober leadership at the federal level, we hope that the Governor will have the support he needs to ensure Nevadans are getting treated.”

“While great strides have been made, Nevadans still face significant barriers to the unemployment system with people unable to access the benefits they are entitled to receive. We thank Barbara Buckley and Elisa Cafferata for their tremendous effort to clear out the claim backlog by 95%. We look forward to steps the Legislature can take to modernize our system and fix this ongoing problem so that folks in our community can be made whole.” 

“Unfortunately, while the speech covered jobs, the economy, and education, large pieces of the agenda were notably missing from this address.”

“Violence committed by police against Black Americans and other communities of color has still not been addressed in a substantial way in Nevada. Comparing the law enforcement response to the storming of the U.S. Capitol with Black Lives Matter demonstrations over the summer should be an eye-opener for the degree to which systemic racism in policing exists. We must hold the Nevada Legislature to their promises they made during the Special Sessions this past summer to address criminal justice reform during the 2021 Session in a real way. Systemic racism was deemed as a public health crisis during the last Special Session and now must be treated as such with action.”

“Governor Sisolak has been consistent about extending the eviction moratorium in order to keep people in their homes during this period in which so many people have lost jobs and income. Nevada’s housing crisis is far from over, we must see proposals to build on Sisolak’s moratorium, empowering tenants and punishing predatory landlords or weekly motels who seek to exploit their tenants and kick them out on the streets during the 2021 Session.”

“We look forward to working with the Governor and our legislators to protect and build upon the voting rights reforms passed during previous Sessions. The 2020 election proved that making it easier and more accessible for people to vote leads to more participation, which makes our democratic system healthier.”

“While mass shootings have lessened since the start of the pandemic, gun violence continues to be an epidemic for Nevada. With a rise in shooting incidents on the Las Vegas Strip, firearms being purchased illegally on the internet that are not traceable, racially motivated hate crimes on the rise due to COVID-19, and the increasingly alarming threat of far-right extremist gun violence, we need to see Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Legislature continue to make gun violence prevention policy a priority during the 2021 Session.”