State of the State Update: Progress noted, challenges remain

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:59 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - In February, Governor Steve Sisolak outlined a list of goals in a State of the State address. Tuesday in Carson City he met with the state’s press to revisit that list, point out progress made and look ahead to the future.

Back in February, the governor began his address on an upbeat note, saying the state had proven “resilient and getting stronger every day.” That outlook remained unchanged. COVID is still with us, but under control and the economy, in general, is strong.

“We’ve been rated the top growth state in the last quarters and I think that’s something we can be very proud of,” said the governor. But he said small businesses face challenges, supply chain issues, and a worker shortage.

“A lot of them are doing well. The big problem they have is getting employees. I think child care is one of the things that is going to get more people going back to work when they have a safe place they can have their kids go to.” His administration is investing $160 million to help lower the cost for parents.

Nevada families also face soaring housing costs, something his Home Means Nevada initiative attempts to address.

Rising gas prices are a huge problem, something beyond a governor’s control--even to the point of being able to declare a gas tax holiday. “Unfortunately, we can’t roll back our gas tax here. It’s in statute that if we roll back our gas tax or the federal government rolls back their gas tax, we have to increase ours to fill up that hole.” That’s because of millions of dollars of bond the state has sold based on that revenue.

Much of the progress he cited is being funded with federal economic recovery dollars, but he says he’s confident the state will have the money to continue the commitments he’s making, some of which will have to wait for the economic forum’s report and the legislative session.

“I’m confident our economy is running on all cylinders right now and will produce enough revenue that we won’t have a budget shortfall going into the next session.”

As for a recession threatening any of this, ”I’m hopeful we’ll be able to avoid a recession. If we do enter one it will be a short and shallow one.”

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