A new legislative subcommittee will focus on transparency and accountability of coronavirus federal relief funding.
The Interim Finance Committee unanimously approved the formation of the 12-person subcommittee Thursday. The subcommittee is tasked with reviewing public agencies’ plans for spending federal coronavirus relief funds, including those already allocated through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as well as anything received as a result of future federal legislation. The subcommittee is also tasked with reviewing grants and establishing priorities for the state.
The full resolution listing the subcommittee’s purpose is available here.
A similar subcommittee was created in 2009 amid the Great Recession, said Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, who will chair the new subcommittee.
The new subcommittee is composed of six Assembly lawmakers and six Senate lawmakers. Eight are Democrats; four are Republicans.
- Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson (D)
- State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (D)
- State Sen. Chris Brooks (D)
- State Sen. Yvanna Cancela (D)
- State Sen. Joyce Woodhouse (D)
- State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer (R)
- State Sen. Pete Goicoechea (R)
- Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D)
- Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno (D)
- Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D)
- Assemblywoman Jill Tolles (R)
- Assemblyman Tom Roberts (R)
Earlier this week, the Interim Finance Committee voted along party lines to authorize the use of the state’s $401 million Rainy Day Fund to shore up the current fiscal year budget, which ends June 30. Republicans at that meeting and at a previous IFC meeting raised concerns about transparency and accountability of the state’s handling of the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which has the potential to be a slapdash mixture of Rainy Day Funds, federal relief funds and budget reductions.
The state budget shortfall is estimated to be between $741 million to more than $900 million for the current fiscal year, according to the state.
Nevada has received approximately $1.25 billion in coronavirus relief funding. Some of that has gone directly to local municipalities or agencies, but at least $836 million is flexible and can be used for either state or municipal-level efforts.
After the subcommittee’s creation Thursday, the Nevada Senate Democrats released a statement attributed to State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro. It read, in part: “We want to ensure that we are spending these dollars wisely and exploring every option to help Nevada families and businesses alike get back on their feet and recover from this pandemic.”