weather icon Clear

Sisolak taps Buckley to lead ‘strike force’ assisting DETR

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday, Aug. 6 signed a bill from the 32nd Legislative Special Session related to unemployment insurance and announced a new rapid response effort to address the backlogs remaining within the unemployment insurance systems to be led by Barbara Buckley, majority leader of the Assembly from 2001-2007 and speaker from 2007-2010.

“I want you to know, I hear you. I am listening and I am taking action,” Sisolak said. “One individual, one family going without benefits they deserve and need to pay the bills, put food on the table, is one too many.”

Additionally, the governor announced he is appointing Elisa Cafferata as the new acting director of the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation.

Senate Bill 3, signed by the governor Thursday, Aug. 6 will help provide more flexibility to DETR to help connect claimants to benefits faster and will extend the number of weeks Nevadans are eligible for additional benefits through this crisis, using only federal funds.

“I am proud that this piece of legislation, presented by members of my staff and DETR, received near unanimous support in both houses of the Legislature,” Sisolak said. “Today, I am signing this bill into law so we can immediately move forward with these changes.

“This piece of legislation is not a silver bullet or the final word, but there is no doubt that it will help Nevadans for both the short and long term going forward.”

Sisolak said that these moves do not reflect dissatisfaction with DETR’s performance but are merely a response to an overwhelmed agency that needs assistance.

“I have said it before and I will say it again: The state employees at the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation have done an incredible job under these unprecedented circumstances, working around the clock to connect eligible Nevadans to their benefits – and not just under regular UI, but also under the federal program benefits newly created and implemented during this COVID-19 pandemic, called pandemic unemployment assistance, or PUA,” Sisolak said. “Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and yet we are paying roughly 90 percent of the eligible traditional unemployment insurance claims each week. The state has also paid more than 120,000 pandemic unemployment assistance claims.”

Sisolak noted that the state’s system is working with “an antiquated computer system, a historic unprecedented demand and fraudulent actors from inside and outside Nevada” attempting to file false claims.

“These are huge challenges, but those reasons don’t matter much to those hard-working Nevadans who earned these benefits and are entitled to these benefits,” the governor said. “We must do more to get DETR the resources and tools they need to get these benefits delivered.”

He lauded Buckley as a logical choice to lead what he called a “strike force” on unemployment insurance, citing her years in the Carson City where she was “a champion” for those “struggling with income or other financial or health care challenges and who need that extra assistance to help them move forward with dignity so they can support themselves and their families.”

Buckley and Cafferata will focus on immediate action in the next 60 to 90 days to help find solutions for the backlog of claims in both the traditional unemployment insurance system and the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program.

“All solutions are on the table, and the governor has made it clear that this is urgent and that all resources of state government will be engaged to help,” Buckley said. “There are thousands of Nevadans entitled to benefits who are desperate to receive them. I’m honored to be able to help.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
150 Afghan refugees headed for Nevada

California and Texas will host the most refugees from Afghanistan, as the Biden administration works to settle about 65,000 people from the war-torn country.

Mount Charleston Lodge ‘lost’ to early morning fire

The A-frame building that has long been a favored escape from the heat for Las Vegas locals replaced the previous lodge, which was destroyed by fire in 1961.

20th Anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks marked in Pahrump

It was an emotional morning at the First Responders Reflection Area in Pahrump when members of the Rotary Club of the Pahrump Valley and the local community gathered together in remembrance of one of the most tragic moments in American history, the terrorist attacks that had the entire country frozen with horror on Sept. 11, 2001.

Nevada Recovers Listening Tour coming to Pahrump

Early last month, the Nevada governor’s office and Nevada treasurer’s office kicked off the Nevada Recovers Listening Tour, a 75-day calendar of trips to communities all across the Silver State geared toward gathering public input on how the state can best use the billions of dollars that are pouring into its coffers as a result of the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, better known as the ARPA.

VA encouraging veterans to get an annual flu shot

As the autumn season arrives next week, officials at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System are encouraging all veterans to get their vaccination for the influenza virus.

Crash shuts down the main thoroughfare

One person was transported to Desert View Hospital on Tuesday, Sept. 14, following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Pahrump Valley Boulevard and Bourbon Street.

AG Ford rejects Texas abortion ban

The state of Nevada has joined more than 20 other states in opposing Texas’ law banning abortions after six weeks.

County opens applications for financial analysts to work on ARPA grants

Last week, the Nye County Commission gave the green light to the Nye County Finance Department to hire two new staff members who will focus on assisting with the administration of the $9 million the county is receiving in American Rescue Plan Act funding and the application process for those hoping to fill one of those positions was officially opened on Friday, Sept. 10.