The G3Wire

May 31, 2024

Updates from the Governor’s Office

Governor Lombardo Orders Flags to Half-Staff in Memory ofUnited States District Court Judge Larry Hicks

RENO, NV – Please see the statement below from Governor Joe Lombardo on the death of United States District Court Judge Larry Hicks, who tragically lost his life after being struck by a vehicle near the Reno Courthouse yesterday:

“Donna and I join the Hicks family, Reno community, and our entire state in mourning the devastating loss of Judge Larry Hicks,” said Governor Lombardo. “Appointed in 2001, Judge Hicks faithfully served his fellow Nevadans for over two decades. Judge Hicks was known for his steadfast commitment to his family, deep respect for the law, and unmatched professional integrity. In his honor, I’ve lowered the flags to half-staff tomorrow from sunrise to sunset.”

Accordingly, in honor of Judge Hicks and his exemplary service to the State, the flags of the United States and the State of Nevada will be lowered to half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Friday, May 31, 2024.

State and Local Government Updates

Washoe County sues Postal Service over planned Reno to Sacramento move

Prosecutors said parts of the Postal Service’s transformation plan, including the Reno to Sacramento move, violate federal law because the agency did not seek an advisory opinion from its parent organization. (The Nevada Independent)

Initiatives get funding

Emergency housing assistance, case management for individuals experiencing addiction and music education programs are among some of the over 70 initiatives set to receive funding from the county. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

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)

Would breaking up Live Nation and Ticketmaster actually lower concert ticket prices?

The U.S. Department of Justice’s effort to break up Live Nation and Ticketmaster has been a long time coming, following years of complaints from concertgoers who say they’ve been squeezed by exorbitant prices and hidden fees when trying to buy passes to see Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and other music megastars. (Las Vegas Sun)

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

A Clark County District Court judge is ordering the Clark County School Board to immediately rescind a governance policy that limited the powers of its four appointed trustees. (The Nevada Independent)

Vegas gaming bounce in April changes outlook on the market

A boost from baccarat on the Strip during April reversed a gaming revenue decline from March, leading one analyst to predict high-end gambling will fuel Las Vegas over the next several months. (The Nevada Independent)

State showered in gaming win

The earlier-than-usual arrival of Easter and the closure of the Tropicana apparently didn’t hurt Nevada casinos in April. The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday reported a nearly 7 percent increase in gaming win statewide to $1.24 billion with an even larger 8.5 percent increase for Clark County. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

LVCVA approves $457.5M budget

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors on Wednesday unanimously approved a $457.5 million operating budget in one of the shortest meetings on record. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

New WCSD superintendent’s contract trims salary, eliminates cost of living raise

The contract for Washoe County School District’s new superintendent trims the salary and other perks and eliminates the automatic cost of living raise that his predecessor received. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Federal Updates

Number of births continues to fall, despite abortion bans

Births continued a historic slide in all but two states last year, making it clear that a brief post-pandemic uptick in the nation’s birth numbers was all about planned pregnancies that had been delayed temporarily by COVID-19. (Las Vegas Sun)

Legislation, lawsuit vowed in fight to block USPS plan to move Reno mail processing

Two new offensive weapons were announced Tuesday in the fight to block the U.S. Postal Service from moving Reno’s mail-processing facilities to Sacramento: legislation and lawsuits. (Reno Gazette Journal)

IRS makes free tax return program permanent and is asking all states to join in 2025

WASHINGTON — The IRS said Thursday it will make permanent the free electronic tax return filing system that it experimented with this year and is asking all 50 states and the District of Columbia to help taxpayers file their returns through the program in 2025. (Las Vegas Sun)

Nevada law enforcement drug programs to get more federal support

Nevada law enforcement will get a more than $3.4 million boost in federal funding to “crack down on illicit drug trafficking and help address the overdose epidemic,” Nevada Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto announced today. (Las Vegas Sun)

Federal Judge Larry Hicks killed by car Wednesday while walking in Midtown Reno

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks died Wednesday after being struck by a vehicle in downtown Reno. He was 80. (Reno Gazette Journal)

$156M federal grant will soon make community solar in Nevada a reality

Last month, the Nevada Clean Energy Fund was awarded the multi-million dollar “Solar for All” grant by the Environmental Protection Agency to support community solar projects that benefit low-income households. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Lake Mead to benefit from $99M grant for water recycling project

Federal resource managers announced $99 million in funding for a large-scale water recycling project that will save enough water in Lake Mead to serve nearly 500,000 households in Southern California and Southern Nevada annually. (Nevada Current)

Articles of Interest

Court hearing set in fight between WCSD and Jeff Church over sexual harassment allegations

The Washoe County School District will be in court Wednesday to argue against a lawsuit filed by Trustee Jeff Church. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Reno median home price dips below $600,000 again, Sparks remains flat

The median home price for Reno is up year over year but is down from March of this year as interest rates continue to stymie the market. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Confluence of factors keeps luxury home market hot in Southern Nevada

The homes in this luxury real estate community boast an unadulterated view of the Strip, 72-inch fireplaces, and — in some cases — aesthetic wine lockers, recreational rooms where residents can shoot pool and vanities with mirrors ringed in halos of light. (Las Vegas Sun)

Sam Brown backtracks on nuclear dump, says ‘Yucca is dead’ and shouldn’t be revived

In audio obtained by The Indy, Brown admits he did “not know a ton about the history” of Yucca Mountain when expressing support in his 2022 Senate run. (The Nevada Independent)

ACLU drops lawsuit against Elko County after jail complies with inmate voting law

The ACLU of Nevada announced the Elko County Sheriff’s Office is now complying with new requirements to facilitate voting for eligible detainees. (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)

First street vendor license issued to business owner by Clark County

Jose Manuel Carrera, owner of Paletas y Aguas, was handed his business license while surrounded by Commissioners Tick Segerblom, William McCurdy and Marilyn Kirkpatrick. He is the first street vendor in Clark County to receive a license since the county’s updated street vending ordinance went into effect at the end of April. (Las Vegas Sun)

Capitol Police officers in Las Vegas talk about Jan. 6 and why they support Biden

“Our fight didn’t just end on Jan. 6,” Dunn said. “We’re doing this because we love this country. We’re Americans, we believe in democracy, we believe in decency, we believe in the Constitution, we believe in Joe Biden.” (Las Vegas Sun)

Cost of rent crushing

The Las Vegas metro region has one of the highest rates of rental burdens in the country, according to a new UNLV study. In Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and the overall metro region, 58.3 percent of all renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on rental costs. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Protections sought for rare toad

Decades ago, a rural Nye County town rallied behind an unlikely environmental cause — the Amargosa toad. The small, slimy toad became the unofficial mascot of Beatty when environmentalists sounded alarm bells over the species’ dwindling numbers. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Strong April for Vegas visits

New trade shows, conventions and conferences boosted visitation to Las Vegas in April, increasing total tourism volume to more than 3.5 million people, a 3.8 percent increase over last year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Jet fuel demand thriving with likely surge in summer air travel

Already, jet fuel demand has surged to the highest since 2019 for this time of year on a four-week-average basis, according to U.S. government data. U.S. passenger volumes in the week ended May 17 climbed by around 1.5 percent from a week earlier, and Bloomberg NEF expects passenger numbers to keep growing. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Tesla under scrutiny for pollution, officials say toxins escaping from plant

Since 2019, Tesla, which made $17.7 billion in profit last year according to regulatory filings, has allowed 112 illegal toxic releases, each containing as much as 750 pounds of harmful contaminants, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said in a news release this month. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

While they can, Washoe County officials tap a climate cash bonanza

For Brian Beffort, the sustainability manager of Washoe County, the federal government’s commitment to fighting climate change has been basically a bonanza. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Four ways vaccine skeptics mislead the public on preventable diseases

Measles is on the rise in the United States. In the first quarter of this year, the number of cases was about 17 times what it was, on average, during the same period in each of the four years before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of the people infected—mainly children—have been hospitalized. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

New solar will help keep power on during scorching summer, report says

With some parts of the country already facing heat waves, the organization in charge of setting reliability standards for the American electric grid is warning that a scorching summer could lead to a shortage of power generation in some regions. (Nevada Current)

Trump’s guilty verdict gets mixed reactions in Reno

Joy and head-shaking were among the reactions of Northern Nevadans on Thursday to news that former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Election News

Important Dates

Primary Election                     June 11                        Days Until: 11

General Election                     November 5                Days Until: 158

The early voting blog, Primary 2024

The SOS is reporting turnout is at 3 percent, or 59,000 voters. The Dems remain ahead of the Repubs — 45-40 — because they are dominating mail (48-36) and offsetting a deficit in in-person (54-36) because mail is three-quarters of the total. (The Nevada Independent)

Who’s funding negative campaign mail? Legal loophole helps some groups avoid disclosure

At least 20 PACs or political nonprofits have registered in the state since the last reporting deadline. (The Nevada Independent)

The three most interesting Assembly primaries in Nevada

The races include a Culinary-backed food server, Reno woman in the energy industry and chiropractor facing establishment-backed candidates. (The Nevada Independent)

Could veterans swing Nevada’s 2024 Senate race?

Of the states that will decide the 2024 election, Nevada has the highest percentage of its population who are veterans — a civically minded voting bloc of an estimated 200,000 with the power to swing a swing state. (The Nevada Independent)

Meet Marty: Halo composer backed by Lombardo would be among wealthiest House members

Now retired, living in Southern Nevada since 2021, and worth as much as $74 million, O’Donnell is attempting to use the wealth he acquired from his musical ambitions to make his political ones possible. (The Nevada Independent)

Voting in Vegas means knowing (city) limits

Las Vegas may be a state of mind, but living inside and outside of city limits makes a difference when it comes to voting in the upcoming primary and general elections. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Pursuing pair of judge seats

In the Department 1 race, six attorneys are competing for a seat after former Chief Justice of the Peace Sam Bateman stepped down and was appointed as Clark County’s deputy county manager in October. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Legislature primaries window to November

Gov. Joe Lombardo may not be on the ballot in November, but his effectiveness in the state’s rulemaking process could be. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Nonpartisans have plenty to weigh in on in primary

Early voting has begun for Nevada’s June 11 primary election, and while Nevada’s largest voting bloc — nonpartisans and third- party candidates — can’t weigh in on partisan races, there are still important races for them to vote on. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Does history foretell this primary’s turnout?

Nevada’s primaries have seen less voter participation over the years than general elections, which is to be expected, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t contentious. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Clark County voter guide

Answers to your questions about how, when and where to vote. Register to vote — it’s your civic duty! (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Las Vegas mayoral candidates aim to build on Goodman legacy

With Carolyn Goodman termed out of office, 14 candidates are on the primary ballot vying for the position. Early voting started Saturday. (Las Vegas Sun)

New ballot sorter purchase for registrar approved by Washoe County commissioners

The new sorter, made by Blue Crest Inc., will allow the county to sort mail-in ballots more efficiently, starting with the 2024 general election in November, commissioners were told. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Nevada leaders react to Donald Trump’s guilty verdict

A jury found former President Donald Trump guilty Thursday on all 34 counts against him in a criminal trial over whether he sought to influence the 2016 election by falsifying business records through payments made to an adult film actress to not talk about their alleged sexual encounter. (The Nevada Independent)

Reno-area reactions to Donald Trump’s hush money conviction: ‘Wonderful,’ ‘Disgraceful’

Joy and head-shaking were among the reactions of Northern Nevadans on Thursday to news that former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Nevada pols react to Trump guilty verdict

Several Nevada candidates and elected officials issued statements – and several didn’t – following the announcement Thursday that a New York jury found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up payments to a porn star to keep her quiet before the 2016 election. (Nevada Current)

How will Donald Trump’s guilty verdict hit his reelection bid? Is his political fallout here?

Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 White House campaign now enters unknown territory: Voter reaction to the first major party nominee to be convicted of crimes. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Capitol police officers slam Trump at Sparks campaign event for Biden

Two former police officers who defended the Capitol and lawmakers from rioters on Jan. 6, 2021, made the case Wednesday in Sparks that Donald Trump is unfit to be president and voters should choose Joe Biden. (Reno Gazette Journal)

Democratic assemblywoman, city councilor face off in Reno-area Senate primary

The contested race pits Angie Taylor, a one-term assemblywoman against Naomi Duerr, a Reno city councilwoman. (The Nevada Independent)

Outcome of trial could have profound impact on voter turnout in swing states like Nevada

The former president of the United States is now a convicted felon. And he’s still running for office. (The Nevada Independent)


NEW YORK — Donald Trump became the first former American president to be convicted of felony crimes Thursday as a New York jury found him guilty of all 34 charges in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to a porn actress who said the two had sex. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Local reaction to Trump verdict mixed

Residents throughout the Las Vegas Valley were showing a mixed reaction to the news that former President Donald Trump had been convicted on 34 counts by a New York jury in his so-called hush money trial, with some calling it a witch hunt and others saying Trump should be put behind bars. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

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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