EVERY NEVADAN RECOVERY FRAMEWORK American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 –
H.R.1319 – The American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) provides nearly $1.9 Trillion dollars in aid to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic and and lift up Nevada’s economy. The comprehensive funding package allocates dollars to a wide array of programs and services, such as K-12 education, vaccine distribution, food security, consumer protection, housing assistance, direct payments to taxpayers, and additional unemployment insurance assistance. The ARP also includes direct aid to State and local governments, which should deliver approximately $2.9B to the State of Nevada, with counties and local governments expected to receive an additional $1B (collectively). These funds are to support specific Federal COVID-19 related priorities and are intended to be spent by December 31, 2024.
All ARP funds will come with a complex and defined set of rules and guidelines, developed by Federal agencies over the next few months and subject to revisions over time.The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan dedicates $350 billion in aid to states, cities, tribal governments and U.S. territories, so in addition to the resources received directly to the State, Nevada’s cities and counties are also receiving direct funding allocations from the Federal Government.
Additionally, school districts throughout Nevada will receive direct federal assistance as well. The ARP also allocates hundreds of billions in federal assistance toward rental and housing stabilization, vaccination efforts, public health programming, food security, K-12 and higher education, assistance for vulnerable populations, small business support, economic recovery, and more. Finally, the ARP includes the “Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund,” which dedicates another $10 billion for states, territories, and tribal governments to carry out critical capital projects. The“Every Nevadan Recovery Framework” will serve as the foundation to ensure the best use of funds received directly by the State of Nevada.
Throughout this process, it will be critical to account for all additional dedicated funding provided by the ARP. The State looks forward to working in a collaborative manner with local governments, school districts, and other stakeholders in an effort to coordinate plans and maximize funding by avoiding duplicative programming.
MISSION STATEMENT – Every Nevadan Recovery Framework over the last 12 months – Nevadans have found themselves in impossible situations and have been asked to make incredible sacrifices. Because of their collective efforts and the robust vaccination campaign taking place in communities across the state, we are beginning to see a bright light at the end of the tunnel. With the passage of the American Recovery Plan, Nevada now has a unique opportunity to not only begin to recover from the devastating impacts of this historic pandemic, but to build a stronger, more resilient Nevada that expands economic opportunities, puts people to work, strengthens our education system, and invests in the Nevadans who have sacrificed so much over the last year. Our State’s ability to recover from this Pandemic and build a stronger Nevada will be dependent upon the recovery of our residents first. We will focus our efforts on a comprehensive approach that puts individuals and families right at the center. The ‘Every Nevadan Recovery Framework’ will initiate a strategic planning process focused on prioritizing the expenditure of ARP funds on the direct needs of Nevadans – resulting in a successful recovery in the immediate and a stronger Nevada for future generations.
EVERY NEVADAN RECOVERY FRAMEWORK: The ARP stimulus package brings an unprecedented investment into Nevada from the federal government. As noted, with the passage of the legislation, the State is primed to receive $2.9 billion to address the effects of COVID-19. At a time when the livelihoods of Nevadans have been severely impacted by the pandemic, we have a tremendous opportunity to invest in the people and communities who have been hit the hardest.To accomplish this, Governor Sisolak along with Assembly Speaker Frierson, Senate Majority Leader Cannizzaro,and Treasurer Conine have developed the ‘Every Nevadan Recovery Framework’ which will serve as the foundation for prioritizing the expenditure of discretionary ARP funds on the direct needs of residents their families, and our communities to continue assistance with the negative impacts of the pandemic while also building a strong and stable foundation for a post-pandemic child-and-family-centered Nevada.
As guidance about the funds is made available, ideas will be optimized under the following prioritization bands, while also taking into account immediate necessary spending:
• Basic Needs: Nevadans’ health and safety, access to basic necessities, and strengthening safety nets will be at the core of recovery efforts•Community: Strengthening resources for community support and educational access will be key to aiding Nevadans
• Economy: A strong economy is essential for recovery and will include assistance for workers and small businesses
• Quality of Life: Improve the quality of life for all Nevadans, including our seniors and multi-generational families, by ensuring access to services and opportunities that build healthy, resilient communities.
EVERY NEVADAN RECOVERY FRAMEWORK These efforts will be further organized into seven prioritized categories of strategic enhancement, allowing subject-matter experts and interested stakeholders to engage and ideas to be compared more effectively. Some priorities such as funding urgent health or social-safety net items should be implemented quickly to provide immediate relief. Quick implementation should also be the goal for State-level capacity building, i.e. the securing of additional manpower to implement developed plans and the programmatic work that comes out of it.
NEVADA PRIORITIES: Strategic Enhancements Increasing Access to Health Care and Community-based Services The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt in every facet our lives—how we work, educate, practice our faith, and support ourselves, our seniors, and our multi-generational families, all while dealing with financial instability, job loss, housing and food insecurity, social isolation, managing working from home and schooling children.
Funding should be targeted toward providing Nevadans with access to resources to achieve health and resiliency in the immediate and long-term, including but not limited to efforts that will:
•Make sure Nevadans are fed by addressing immediate and long-term food insecurity.
•Address immediate and long-term housing insecurity.
•Strengthen local and state public health coordination and capacity.
•Restore and strengthen investments in mental and behavioral health resources.
•Improve availability and access to quality health care services, including through the expansion of telehealth and by simplifying access to all healthcare and community-based services (e.g., Nevada 211).
Strengthening Public Education The pandemic exposed existing inequities in Nevada’s public education system. Our recovery efforts must focus on re-imagining education in Nevada, including how we bridge the digital divide, train and equip our educators for success, and rethink curricula to provide students with the knowledge and skills to adapt and succeed. The American Rescue Plan includes over $1 billion in direct relief for K-12 schools in Nevada. The State will work with districts, local leaders and education stakeholders on efforts such as: •Supporting efforts to return to, expand, and maintain safe in-person learning.
•Supporting strategies for academic recovery, including addressing learning loss due to the effects of COVID-19 and remote learning.
•Addressing student mental and behavioral health impacts, including the social and emotional needs of students disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, such as students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities.•Supporting initiatives that will modernize public education systems to adapt to Nevada’s economic and workforce needs.
EVERY NEVADAN RECOVERY FRAMEWORK
Supporting Disadvantaged Communities
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened existing health disparities and underscored the need to better support diverse and under-served communities. Ensuring our recovery targets those who are economically vulnerable throughout Nevada will make the difference in the lives of those most at risk of being left behind. Funding should be prioritized on efforts including but not limited to:
•Eliminating historical and structural barriers, which were further exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19.
•Providing support and resources to the hardest hit communities.
•Long-term support and job protection for frontline workers.
•Programs aimed at impacting generational poverty.
•Eliminating the digital divide.
Strengthening Nevada’s Workforce, Supporting Small Businesses and Revitalizing the State’s Economy Prolonged periods of high unemployment and low labor force participation will have scarring effects on Nevada’s labor market and on working people. Nevada’s recovery must focus on protecting small businesses, maintaining the jobs we have, developing new workforce opportunities and creating good-paying jobs.
Nevada’s economic recovery must be equitable and prioritize diversification. Funding should be prioritized on existing and new efforts, including but not limited to:
•Invest in current job training programs and develop new retraining programs for Nevada’s displaced workers, including targeted retraining programs for hospitality workers who were hardest hit by the pandemic.
•Supporting displaced workers by investing in programs that provide childcare for individuals undergoing retraining. •Increasing investment into apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs and on-the-job learning for high school students.
•Investing in hard-hit small businesses so they can rehire and retain workers.
•Fortifying our economy and existing workforce by supporting the hospitality and tourism industries.
Investing in Infrastructure throughout the pandemic.
Nevada’s critical infrastructure has been essential to providing services, keeping workers on the job, and supporting local economies. This underscores the importance of investing in our State’s infrastructure as we work to recover and strengthen our economy. Nevada must use this opportunity to build a future that protects our natural environment while expanding clean, safe, and modern infrastructure throughout the state – all while creating jobs. Funding should be prioritized on efforts including but not limited to:
•The acceleration of capital projects throughout Nevada that will result in the creation of high-paying construction and development jobs now. These infrastructure improvements will serve as the building blocks for our State’s economic expansion for decades to come.
•Eliminating the digital divide by investing in broadband infrastructure projects. •Investing in clean energy projects and other infrastructure opportunities to ensure our State is modernized to adapt to changing conditions.
EVERY NEVADAN RECOVERY FRAMEWORK
•Investing in water, sewer, and other necessary infrastructure projects.Modernizing and Enhancing State Government Services While public employees at every level of government worked around the clock to deal with the impact of the pandemic, we found that many of our government systems were out-of-date and overwhelmed. That’s why we must tear down historic barriers to improvement and systematically identify and fix outdated systems to better serve Nevadans during the pandemic and into the future. Funding should be prioritized on efforts including but not limited to:
•Modernizing and/or upgrading DETR Unemployment Insurance and other back-of-house systems.
•Creating a centralized tracking system for federal grants to state entities.
•Assessing how we can increase efficiency across state government and align resources across our major systems to improve services for Nevada’s residents. Addressing Budget Shortfalls As a result of the pandemic, Nevada’s state budget was severely impacted, and our fiscal stability and revenue outlooks remain fragile and uncertain.
To ensure a successful recovery, Nevada must utilize federal support to restore funding so the State can deliver the vital services Nevadans deserve. Funding should be prioritized on efforts including but not limited to:•Addressing budget shortfalls (up to level that was legislatively approved in the prior biennium).
•Restoring the Rainy-Day Fund, which was depleted in June of 2020 to address the FY19-20 budget shortfall created by the pandemic.
•Addressing state service backlogs caused by budget shortfalls and shutdowns by eliminating furloughs and hiring temporary workforce.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES –
The distribution and expenditure of ARP funds will be guided by five primary principles: Community Engagement. A Nevadan-centric recovery deserves an inclusive and collaborative process that recognizes the diversity of different communities throughout the State. The State will conduct outreach with local leaders, Tribal governments, labor organizations, the business community, non-profit organizations, and all other Nevadans.
The goal is to develop a process where everyday Nevadans have an opportunity to suggest fixes and priorities directly to their government through direct community engagement and an online portal. Full Transparency on Spending of Every Dollar The Federal Government has entrusted the State with the responsibility of spending ARP funds on behalf of, and for the benefit of Nevadans. Every dollar spent will be tracked and accounted for, so Nevadans know exactly how the funds are being used, and who they’re helping. Balancing Short-term and Long-term Needs……
6 | PageEVERY NEVADAN RECOVERY FRAMEWORKOptimizing the use of ARP funds will be critical to establishing and maintaining Nevada’s recovery. The Federal Government has directed & allowed States to utilize funds; it is incumbent upon the State to balance expenditures based upon the immediate needs of Nevadans and the long-term effects induced by the Pandemic.Compliance with Federal GuidanceFollowing enactment of the ARP, federal agencies such as the US Treasury will publish administrative guidance with detailed information on how the funds may be spent. All Nevada priorities and spending will align with guidance published by the Federal Government. For example, guidance is expected from the US Treasury that provides clarifying information and examples on how direct State relief funds may be used within the four categories outlined within the “Use of Fund” bill text, and as listed below:1.To respond to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;2.To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers of the State, territory, or Tribal government that are performing such essential work, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who perform essential work;3.For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue of such State, territory, or Tribal government due to the COVID-19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year of the State, territory, or Tribal government prior to the emergency; or4.To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.Alignment with Mission Statement•The Mission Statement identifies four bands of prioritization:oBasic NeedsoCommunitiesoEconomyoQuality of Life•And seven categories of strategic enhancement:oIncreasing access to healthcare and community-based servicesoInvesting in public educationoSupporting disadvantaged communitiesoStrengthening our workforce and supporting our small businessesoInvesting in Infrastructure and clean energyoModernizing and enhancing State government servicesoAddressing budget shortfalls
EVERY NEVADAN RECOVERY FRAMEWORK
All programs and services executed through the use of the ARP funds will begin at the center and move outwards through the four bands and within the seven areas of strategic enhancement. Stakeholder Engagement Process The Every Nevadan Recovery Framework involves significant engagement opportunities for state and community leaders, businesses, public servants, labor and residents of Nevada. Contact points include:
•Training & Information about Federal guidance and other rules about spending.
•Public town halls to receive input by priority categorization.
•Public resources to review and enhance ideas
•Brainstorm opportunity open to all Nevadans.Stakeholder Groups & Members of the Public
•Members of Stakeholder Groups and the public should utilize the form below to share their ideas for spending.Link to form: https://hal.nv.gov/form/2021_Stimulus/ARP_Ideas_List_Community_Stakeholder.Español: https://hal.nv.gov/form/2021_Stimulus/ARP_ideas_de_la_comunidad. Nevada Legislature•Members of the Nevada Legislature should utilize the form below to share their ideas for ARP spending.Link to form: https://hal.nv.gov/form/2021_Stimulus/ARP_Ideas_List_Leg. Nevada Executive Branch Agencies•Executive branch agencies should utilize the form below to share their ideas for ARP spending.Link to form: https://hal.nv.gov/form/2021_Stimulus/ARP_Ideas_List_Exec_Branch. A holistic and strategic approach to coordinating and managing ARP funds will be critical to making sure every dollar available to Nevadans is used to help Nevadans succeed. The “Every Nevadan Recovery Framework”outlined above provides the framework for such an approach, safeguarding against wasteful and duplicative spending while ensuring that subject matter experts and stakeholders have a seat at the table.