The G3Wire

June 7, 2024

This week, the spotlight is on election news and legal battles making waves in Nevada. Today marks the end of early voting for Nevada’s primary election, scheduled for Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Notably, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign has taken legal action against Nevada’s top election official over a rule requiring independent candidates to name their running mate when they initiate the signature-gathering process — a move deemed unconstitutional. Additionally, a lawsuit by several Republican groups aims to block the acceptance of mail ballots lacking postmarks. In other significant news, the Department of the Interior unveiled a substantial $700 million investment in water conservation projects throughout the Lower Colorado River Basin on Thursday, potentially safeguarding over 700,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead. Stay informed with these key developments and more from Nevada below!

State and Local Government Updates

Lombardo admin to reassess pay, simplify classification of state employees

The results of the classification and compensation study will be part of the governor’s 2025 recommended budget. (The Nevada Independent)

Judge orders Clark County School Board to rescind policy limiting appointed trustees

The policy prevented appointed trustees from making motions, despite a 2023 state law granting them almost all the same rights as elected board members. (The Nevada Independent)

Henderson, North Las Vegas approved to open quasi-school districts, sponsor charter schools

The charter school landscape in Nevada is changing. The Nevada Department of Education on Monday announced that the Cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas have been approved to become charter school authorizers. (Nevada Current)

Second ethics complaint filed against Henderson councilman 

Henderson Councilman Jim Seebock violated Nevada ethics laws when he substituted a campaign pitch for an agendized presentation from the city manager at a Lake Las Vegas homeowners association meeting in April, according to an ethics complaint filed last month. (Nevada Current)

‘Grave concern’ for water prompts Nye County to support mineral withdrawal

The Nye County Commission expressed its reservations about mining claims around the town of Amargosa Valley on Tuesday, unanimously approving a letter of support for a petition that could ease residents’ groundwater concerns. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

School trustee isn’t at home?

Five Clark County School District trustees have asked the district attorney to request that Trustee Katie Williams relinquish her seat, claiming that she no longer lives in her district as required by state law. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

North Las Vegas set to reappoint councilman to school board

The North Las Vegas City Council is slated to change its representative on the Clark County School Board to the representative it wanted from the beginning — teacher and City Councilman Isaac Barron. (The Nevada Independent)

Nevada regents to contemplate handbook revisions amid allegations of antisemitism

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents will consider revising its handbook to address discrimination on campuses in the wake of protests by pro-Palestine demonstrators demanding an end to the war in Gaza. (Las Vegas Sun)

Charter school oversight OK’d

Henderson and North Las Vegas soon will be able to sponsor and oversee charter schools, after the Nevada Department of Education gave its blessing to both cities this week. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Nevada DMV, welfare workers seek election to join union contract negotiations

Nearly 3,000 state employees — including some working for the welfare agency and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles — may soon be included in collective bargaining agreements under a major state worker union. (The Nevada Independent)

Clark County licenses first sidewalk vendor; officials had feared no interest in program

After lawmakers passed SB92 last year, sidewalk vendors who once only operated in the shadows are now allowed to get licenses in Nevada. But some say the local ordinances are too burdensome. (The Nevada Independent)

Sales tax and the Sphere: Economic Forum checks in on Nevada revenue

Nevada’s live entertainment tax continues to exceed revenue projections while sales tax trends short of expectations, economic forecasters were told Thursday. (The Nevada Independent)

Federal Updates

California Republican takes oath of office to complete term of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

Republican Vince Fong of California was sworn into Congress on Monday after winning a special election to complete the remainder of the term of deposed former U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. (Las Vegas Sun)

Executive order limiting asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border signed by Biden

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday issued an executive order that will allow him to partially suspend asylum requests at the U.S.-Mexico border when daily unauthorized crossings reach a threshold of 2,500 migrants. (Nevada Current)

Free direct filing of federal taxes may be offered soon throughout the U.S.

WASHINGTON — Taxpayers across the United States could be guaranteed a free public option to file federal tax returns online as the Internal Revenue Service announced plans Thursday to make its Direct File program permanent. (Nevada Current)

Fauci defends his work on COVID-19, says he has an ‘open mind’ on its origins

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci defended his decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, testifying before Congress about his work on the virus as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases during two presidencies. (Nevada Current)

Nevada leaders react to Biden’s border policy

Gov. Joe Lombardo called Biden’s actions a “faux border crackdown” that is “nothing more than a desperate campaign makeover, designed for the single goal of helping him fix historically low poll numbers.” (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Biden bids to control border

The long-anticipated presidential proclamation would bar migrants from being granted asylum when U.S. officials deem that the southern border is overwhelmed. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Speaker: Impeachment ‘needs to be very methodical’

WASHINGTON — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is talking up the prospects of forcing an impeachment vote against President Joe Biden this week, but House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday that the House should let existing investigations play out. (Las Vegas Sun)

Supreme Court sides with tribes on health care funding

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court sided with Native American tribes Thursday in a dispute with the federal government over the cost of health care when tribes run programs in their own communities. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

River basin projects get $700 million

The Department of the Interior announced a $700 million investment in water conservation projects across the Lower Colorado River Basin on Thursday that has the potential to save more than 700,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

To protect patients, Congress must pass comprehensive PBM reform

No one should have to struggle to access the prescription treatments they need to live a healthier, happier and more productive life. Yet all too often, health insurers and their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) can get in the way of patients and the care they need by using profit-driven policies to stifle patient access and force out-of-pocket expenses ever higher. (Las Vegas Sun)

U.S. Senate panel divided over climate as cause of rising insurance premiums

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Budget Committee debated the cause of the insurance crisis plaguing homeowners around the country at a Wednesday hearing, with Democrats identifying climate change as the ultimate driving force of rising premiums and Republicans pointing to high government spending and inflation. (Nevada Current)

Articles of Interest

Temporary fencing project approved in south Reno in favor of Virginia Range horses

The Reno City Council has approved a $60,000 temporary fence in south Reno that will allow Virginia Range horses to reach water after a housing development cut off their access to Steamboat Creek. (Reno Gazette Journal)

NV lawmakers urged to stop letting courts charge fees for public defenders

Though people have a constitutional right to legal representation, an antiquated Nevada law allows for some to be charged a fee for using a public defender. The law is unevenly applied, state lawmakers were told Friday, and use of it depends on the judge or court. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Unlicensed medical director of Nevada prison system on leave, facing termination

The medical director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, Dr. Kenneth Williams, who lacks a medical license in the state, is on administrative leave, prison officials confirmed. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Indy Explains: Why NV Energy wants to triple Northern Nevada’s base rates

The utility says it will make bills more stable, but critics say the proposal rewards energy waste and penalizes rooftop solar customers. (The Nevada Independent)

Indy Gaming: Can an improved WSOP website revive online poker in Nevada?

Caesars Entertainment believes merging its player pools in three online poker states — including Nevada — timed with the start of the WSOP, will boost the business. (The Nevada Independent)

Unionized iron workers warn contractors they won’t rest until bosses negotiate contract

Ellisel Artero and Oscar Castillo both work in the scorching Las Vegas heat every summer, installing the steel bars and cables that reinforce buildings in one of the nation’s largest tourist hubs. (Nevada Current)

Proposal would make liquor stores easier to open near churches, schools in Clark County

A proposed change to county code could make it easier for liquor stores to open nearer to schools and churches. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

$180K fine over Airbnb rental upheld in Las Vegas 

A judge has dismissed an appeal of a $180K fine imposed by the city of Las Vegas against a homeowner for allegedly renting his home through Airbnb without a required license. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Celebrating Juneteenth anew

The red, white and blue Juneteenth flag marked with a single bursting star signifies the end of a dark chapter in American history when the last slaves were freed more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Greater Nevada Mortgage taking applications for $50,000 down payment assistance program

The down payment assistance program for first-time home buyers is a partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. Greater Nevada Mortgage is providing a $50,000 grant to qualified applicants to use toward the down payment and closing costs of their first home. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Indy Gaming: What are Carl Icahn’s intentions after latest Caesars stock purchase?

Corporate raider Carl Icahn has bought an undisclosed amount of stock in Caesars Entertainment. The last time he invested in the casino company, its was sold in a $17.3 billion deal. (The Nevada Independent)

A’s move to play more games outside of Vegas could undercut stadium finances by millions

The A’s are requesting to play up to eight home games a season away from the team’s future $1.5 billion ballpark, which could undercut financial projections. (The Nevada Independent)

Mesquite tops in Silver State for growth

Mesquite is the fastest-growing city in the state of Nevada, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Southern Nevada condo, townhome prices heat up to record highs in May

The median sale price of local condos and townhomes in Southern Nevada reached an all-time high of $295,000 in May — up more than 7% from the same time last year and toppling the previous record of $290,000, which was set in April, only a month before, according to a Thursday report from Las Vegas Realtors. (Las Vegas Sun)

Environmental concerns help drive Las Vegas to prohibit outdoor balloon releases

The Las Vegas City Council, in a 4-3 vote Wednesday, banned the outdoor release of balloons inflated with gases such as helium because of the negative effects on the environment. (Las Vegas Sun)

Host of Trump fundraiser made racist comments in the workplace, former employee says in settled lawsuit

Trump is scheduled to attend the event in Las Vegas at the Ahern Luxury Boutique Hotel, which is owned by businessman Don Ahern. The tycoon and founder of Ahern Rentals is listed as a co-host of the event, with ticket prices for couples going for up to $844,600, according to an invitation obtained by CNBC. (

NV Energy seeking $5.3B for infrastructure, PUC gets solar, natural gas plan

NV Energy is looking to spend at least $5.3 billion to build new infrastructure to help the utility catch up to Nevada’s growth. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

LV home sale prices still rising

The median sale price for a single-family house in May was $473,000, a 7 percent increase from the same month last year, but prices are still below the all-time high of $482,000, which was set in May 2022. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Migrants deal with new asylum rules

Two senior Homeland Security Department officials confirmed the first deportations under the new rule took place Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Few people disqualified from Medicaid are enrolling in Nevada’s insurance exchange

The 5 percent enrollment rate doesn’t account for people who have switched to a private health plan and only includes those who no longer qualify for Medicaid. (The Nevada Independent)

Indy Environment: Wildfires, cheatgrass have Nevada feeling the need for seed

There is a shortage nationwide of native plant seeds; in Nevada, that problem is exacerbated by a lack of climate-adapted seed suitable for planting in the nation’s most arid state. (The Nevada Independent)

Google enters the chat on high-speed internet for Southern Nevada

Google Fiber could be available to Southern Nevada residents and businesses as early as next year, according to Ashley Church, general manager of the West region for the internet provider. (Las Vegas Sun)

Reno-Tahoe airport leader: Renovation seeks to update RNO but keep it easy to use

At Indy Talks event on economic development, Griffin explained how the airport project will keep up with the community’s growth and shared plans for the future. (The Nevada Independent)

Few people disqualified from Medicaid are enrolling in Nevada’s insurance exchange

The 5 percent enrollment rate doesn’t account for people who have switched to a private health plan and only includes those who no longer qualify for Medicaid. (The Nevada Independent)

Realtor expects ‘feeding frenzy’ should mortgage interest rates drop

High interest rates are keeping would-be sellers on the sidelines but those who do take the plunge are selling quickly and at higher prices than last year, the Las Vegas Realtors Association reports. (Nevada Current)

Election News

Important Dates

Primary Election                     June 11                        Days Until: 4

General Early Voting              October 19                  Days Until: 134

General Election                     November 5                Days Until: 151


*By mail: Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.

*In-person Early Vote and/or ballot drop off: Today – Friday, June 7.

*In-person on Election Day: Tuesday, June 11 from 7:00am – 7:00pm. If you are in line by 7pm, you will be able to vote.

RFK Jr. sues Nevada’s top election official over ballot access

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign filed a lawsuit Friday against Nevada’s top election official, alleging a requirement that independent candidates must name their running mate by the time they start gathering signatures for ballot access is unconstitutional. (Las Vegas Sun)

Former President Donald Trump heading to Las Vegas for campaign event

Former President Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally at 12 p.m. June 9 at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, his campaign said today. (Las Vegas Sun)

Early voting update: Washoe County Democrats turning out in higher numbers for primary

After nine days of early voting, Democrats are outpacing Republicans in Washoe County’s primary election – and Republicans are far more likely than other voters to cast a ballot on a machine. (Reno Gazette Journal)

The future of elections in key swing state of Nevada hinges on these two Reno-area races

Tammy Holt-Still stood at the podium at a local government board meeting in Reno in May and pointed her finger in the air as she scolded her elected officials. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Washoe County DA’s lawsuit claims USPS plan could’ve changed control of US Senate

In its freshly filed lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service, the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office claims that control of the U.S. Senate could have gone the other way in the 2022 election if its plan to move Reno’s mail-processing operations to California had been in place. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Will Nevada elect Rosen and Trump in 2024? Or is recent polling a mirage?

Republican former President Donald Trump led President Joe Biden, a Democrat, by 12 points in a head-to-head matchup. Yet the poll also showed Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) maintained a 2-percentage point lead on her likely Republican challenger Sam Brown. (The Nevada Independent)

GOP candidate Larsen admits in audio to hiring ‘illegals’, now calls for immigration reform

When asked if he employed migrant workers, Larsen said he employs “a lot of illegals,” a term that immigration advocates have long argued is dehumanizing and incorrect, considering that entering the country without documentation is not a crime. (The Nevada Independent)

Independent candidate RFK Jr. suing Nevada over access to 2024 ballot

The campaign asked a federal court to stop enforcement of the state’s “ambiguous and conflicting” ballot access laws for third-party candidates, arguing the rules violate the U.S. Constitution. (The Nevada Independent)

Voting calendar down to a few days

Early voting takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Churchill County Commission chambers, 155 N. Taylor St. All registered voters in Churchill County may vote in person during the published early voting hours or from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, including those who received a mail ballot and did not yet return it. (Nevada Appeal)

Republican groups file another lawsuit on Nevada mail ballot process

Another lawsuit filed by multiple Republican groups seek to prohibit the acceptance of mail ballots that aren’t postmarked. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Lee earns Trump nod in advance of primary

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Congressional candidate John Lee, who hopes to win the June 11 primary and defeat Democrat Steven Horsford in November. (Las Vegas Sun)

RFK Jr. suing state over ballot

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign is seeking relief against a state law requiring him to have named his vice-presidential candidate when gathering signatures to appear on Nevada’s ballot in November. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Concerns mount over proposed lithium mine’s threat to fragile ecosystem

A proposed lithium mine in Esmeralda County that poses a threat to a rare desert wildflower could also damage the Silver Peak Range Mountains and Fish Lake Valley, environmentalists opposing the project said Monday. (Las Vegas Sun)

Early voting update: Washoe County Democrats turning out in higher numbers for primary

After nine days of early voting, Democrats are outpacing Republicans in Washoe County’s primary election – and Republicans are far more likely than other voters to cast a ballot on a machine. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Trump campaign sues Nevada, alleges counting of non-postmarked mail ballots

The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee accused state elections officials of counting non-postmarked mail ballots after Election Day, without providing clear evidence. (The Nevada Independent)

Sexual misconduct allegations rock Nevada Senate primary

A candidate seeking a seat in the Nevada Senate says he’s not guilty of sexual misconduct allegations that have become a flashpoint in a race that could help Democrats secure a supermajority in the chamber. (Las Vegas Sun)

Tim Scott targets Nevada, other states in $14 million campaign for VP run

A top ally and potential running mate of former President Donald Trump is launching a new effort to win over Black and other nonwhite working-class voters he argues could be the deciding factor in November’s elections. (Las Vegas Sun)

Republicans file new suit over mail ballot law

Republican groups filed another lawsuit challenging Nevada’s mail ballot law, this time specifically seeking to prohibit the counting of mail ballots received without a postmark. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Latino PAC files motion to keep RFK Jr. off November ballot

Somos PAC, a sister organization to the Latino-focused Somos Votantes group, filed a motion Thursday to intervene in the lawsuit, arguing Kennedy is ineligible to appear on the ballot unless he resubmits a petition that complies with Nevada law. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Election 2024: Why does Washoe County have thousands of challenged mail-in ballots?

As of June 3, just under 25,000 ballots were noted as having been challenged under the category “mail undeliverable.” That compares with about 36,000 votes cast so far. (Reno Gazette Journal)

RFK Jr. files new petition to land on Nevada ballot; earlier effort stuck in court

The campaign must gather at least 10,095 signatures by July 5 for its new petition. (The Nevada Independent)

Nevada GOP’s bylaws bar support for convicted felons. It made an exception for Trump.

Chairman Michael McDonald said the board met to waive the bylaws, but the vote is still subject to ratification. (The Nevada Independent)

The Griffin Company is a full-service public policy and government affairs consulting firm based in Nevada. We believe a complete government affairs practice must be able to effectively navigate all levels of government, both with the laws and regulations, as well as with an understanding of and sensitivity to the politics associated with each issue. The Griffin Company provides clients with the breadth of experience – local, state, and federal – that enables a comprehensive approach, integrating policy and relationships at all levels of government.

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