Issue 4 | Feb. 12, 2021
Number of Days Until Legislative Session Ends: 108
In this issue:
  • AB 106 Testimony by Gina Bongiovi and Mary Beth Sewald & Bill Signing Ceremony with Governor Sisolak
  • Chamber Releases 2021 Legislative Mission
  • Legislative Committee Agendas
  • Legislative Bill Updates
  • Chamber Advocate Orientation
  • How to Testify
  • Legislative Resources Available to Members
  • Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together: BizPAC
AB 106 Testimony by Gina Bongiovi and
Mary Beth Sewald & Bill Signing Ceremony with Governor Sisolak
Vegas Chamber Chair, Gina Bongiovi, and President & CEO, Mary Beth Sewald,
testified in support of providing an additional $50 million to Nevada’s struggling small businesses through Assembly Bill 106.
Governor Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 106, which provides an additional $50 million for small businesses through the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support (PETS) Grant Program as part of the state’s response to COVID-19.
Chamber Releases 2021 Legislative Mission
The Vegas Chamber recently released its legislative mission, Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together. At the Vegas Chamber, we believe one thing that has not changed is when we as Nevadans are faced with challenges, we can come together to address adversity. When we say we are at a crossroad, we have the option of either working together and building a stronger future or letting our differences divide us and paralyze our economic recovery. Our legislative guiding principles are
  • Committed to preserving a business climate where all employers and employees can succeed and thrive;
  • Advocate and pursue public policies that will foster economic development, growth and job creation; and
  • Believe in policy priorities that will promote entrepreneurship and innovation, support small business success, and spur job creation as part of our economic recovery for all Nevadans.
To learn more about the Chamber’s legislative mission, click here.
Legislative Committee Agendas
Check out the legislative committee agendas for the upcoming week here.
Legislative Bill Updates
Senate Bill 2
Revises provisions relating to education.
Legislative Summary: SB 2 would change the timeline of when school districts submit their budgets to the Nevada Department of Taxation and Department of Education. Per Section 4 of the bill, the local school districts would need to submit their tentative budget by June 8. School districts would also be required to hold a public hearing regarding their tentative budget between the third Monday in July and the last day of July. Section 5 of the bill would change when school districts must adopt the final budget to December 31 of each year and after the average daily enrollment of students is reported for the previous quarter. The Vegas Chamber supports this bill as it would allow for increased accuracy of budgeting and fiscal projections by the local school districts to the State.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Education
Position: Support
Senate Bill 27
Revises Various Provisions Relating to Education
Legislative Summary: SB 27 provides several small-scale changes relating to K-12 education in the State of Nevada. One of these changes is the codification in the law of procedures for spending on classroom materials by teachers. This provision allows local school districts to provide money directly to teachers to make their purchases under certain circumstances rather than requiring teachers to pay for materials and later seek reimbursement. Additionally, SB 27 provides support to higher educational institutions with programs for Teaching and Educator Preparation, making grant dollars from the Nevada System of Higher Education more easily accessible.
This bill originated from the Southern Nevada Forum’s Committee on Education and addresses the priority of expanding the teacher pipeline and supporting teacher retention. As a Southern Nevada Forum priority bill, the Vegas Chamber was in support.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Education
Position: Support
Senate Bill 61
Revises Various Provisions Governing the Program for the Operation of Vending Facilities by Licensees Who Are Blind
Legislative Summary: SB 61 deals with existing state and federal laws requiring that public buildings and facilities utilizing vending machines, cafeterias and other food services must offer the first refusal to qualified blind licensees for service contracts. As originally drafted, SB 61 captures private entities operating on land being leased long term from local governments and subjects them to the requirement to receive approval from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to receive waivers from the vendor selection process. In response to concerns raised by the Vegas Chamber, as well Clark County and the Cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, DETR proposed an amendment exempting all events subject to the Live Entertainment Tax (LET). This amendment is designed to cover facilities that will be located on land leased from local government.
While this amendment does address some of the issues presented, SB 61 still adds additional layers of bureaucratic approvals and uncertainty to the waiver process administered by DETR. The Vegas Chamber is opposed to the bill as written but continues to work with DETR and local governments to find amending language that will mitigate concerns.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
Position: Oppose
Senate Bill 75
Revises Provisions Relating to Unemployment Compensation
Legislative Summary: SB 75 adjusts the rate at which employers pay into the State’s Unemployment Trust Fund managed by the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The proposed changes to the unemployment compensation formula would require employers to pay is in response to the pressures of the recent pandemic, during which the demand for unemployment payouts exceeded the assets in the Unemployment Trust Fund. In addition to the increased unemployment burden, an amendment was proposed to SB 61 which makes provisions allowing for K-12 support staff to become eligible to receive unemployment during summer and holiday breaks.
The Unemployment Trust Fund has previously faced similar financial hardship; most recently during the great recession of 2008 but has been stabilized and made exceptionally liquid by short-term measures in partnership with the federal government. During this time when federal support is being made available to state governments at unprecedented rates, the Vegas Chamber is concerned about the impact it would have on employers. While the Vegas Chamber was initially neutral on SB 75 at the hearing, the Chamber is currently reviewing its position and the impact the proposed amendment would have on K-12 education budgets.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor
Position: Neutral
Assembly Bill 106
Makes an Appropriation to the Office of Economic Development for the Provision of Grants to Certain Entities Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Legislative Summary: AB106 provides another $50 million toward the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support (PETS) Grant program. These dollars were allocated to the State of Nevada through federal emergency relief legislation and required enabling legislation from the State Legislature to be disbursed. The Vegas Chamber supports AB 106, and the efforts of the State Treasurer to make these relief dollars available. Many small businesses have been able to keep their doors open and make payroll with the assistance of PETS and other relief grants during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This funding to small businesses is part of Governor Steve Sisolak’s State of the State priorities.
Vegas Chamber President and CEO Mary Beth Sewald, along with Vegas Chamber Board of Trustees Chairwoman Gina Bongiovi were both present to testify in support of this important small business legislation. AB 106 was passed unanimously by both the Senate and Assembly and signed into law by Governor Sisolak on Friday, Feb. 12.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Ways and Means
Position: Support
Chamber Advocate Orientation
Join the Chamber Advocate Orientation on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 8 a.m., where we will make sure you have the opportunity to become acquainted with the processes of the legislature. On this call, we will cover the 120-day calendar and how deadlines affect the process of bills, how the committee process works, and how to testify on a bill.

On the webinar, the Vegas Chamber’s Government Affairs team will also work through best practices when testifying to assist you along the way. Please CLICK HERE to join to webinar.
How to Testify
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nevada State Legislature has limited physical access to the legislative building and committee rooms until further notice. To accommodate public participation, the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) has worked in coordination with committee chairs to facilitate remote testimony and public comment.
Detailed instructions on how to watch committee hearings, offer testimony or register an opinion without testifying can all be found here.
Legislative Resources Available to Members
During the Legislative Session, Vegas Chamber will once again offer several important communication tools for members to stay informed and be engaged in the legislative process.

CHECK YOUR INBOX. Each Friday, “The Rundown” will give the latest breakdown of which bills the Vegas Chamber has been engaged with during the week at the Legislature, how we testified, and how you can support the Chamber in its efforts.
BECOME A CHAMBER ADVOCATE. Get engaged with the Chamber Advocate program. Becoming a Chamber Advocate helps the Vegas Chamber tell your story. We want to make sure that legislators know exactly who will be affected by their decisions, and your input is essential to this process. Help the Vegas Chamber advocate more effectively on your behalf, as we keep you informed and make sure your voice as Nevada’s job creators is heard loud and clear!
The Vegas Chamber will walk you through the process of writing and calling legislators, as well as provide you with talking points if you want to post to social media or even testify on bills during legislative committee meetings. We will make it easy for you to get involved as we are here to advocate on your behalf. Your stories make the costs and benefits of a piece of legislation real to legislators, so help us make Southern Nevada the best place to do business. For more information about the call, please contact Dylan Keith at 702.833.0081.
THE CARSON CITY CALL, a monthly webinar with Vegas Chamber’s Government Affairs team, gives you insights and information live from the Legislature. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and engage with staff. The first Carson City Call for the legislative session will be on Tuesday, March 2 at 11 a.m. The call will continue the first Tuesday of every month at 11 a.m. during the legislative session. For more information about the call, please contact Dylan Keith at 702.833.0081.
ENGAGE IN THE PAUL CALL. For President’s Club and Advocacy members, the Paul Call is a biweekly conference call with Paul Moradkhan, the Vegas Chamber’s senior vice president of Government Affairs. Paul will discuss the issues important to you and your business. Hear the latest about what is happening in Carson City that could impact you. The first Paul Call for the legislative session will be on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m., and will take place every other Thursday at 11 a.m. (President’s Club and Advocacy). For more information about the call, please contact Dylan Keith at 702.833.0081.
ANSWER THE CALLS TO ACTION. Be on the lookout for specific calls to action via Carson City Alerts. The Vegas Chamber will alert you, as a member, when a bill of particular importance to the business community will be heard. Please take the time to contact your legislators and let them know the impact a bill will have on your business, and that you stand with the Vegas Chamber and the business community. Alert your employees as well.
ENGAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. The Vegas Chamber will post regularly about what’s happening up at the legislature, so be sure to follow the Vegas Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see the latest. Retweet the Chamber messages and consider posting your own social media posts and tagging the Chamber (@VegasChamber). 
CONTRIBUTE TO BIZPAC, the Vegas Chamber’s bipartisan political action committee. Hundreds of members, as well as Vegas Chamber staff, support this PAC to ensure the business community’s interests remain in front of our elected officials. Contributions help elect pro-prosperity candidates and ensure a business-friendly operating environment in Nevada. For more information on donating, visit or contact Erica Valdriz at 702.245.8465.
CONTACT THE VEGAS CHAMBER’S GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM. The Vegas Chamber employs the largest government affairs professional staff for a Chamber in Nevada. The Chamber also works with Jim Wadhams and Jesse Wadhams with Black & Wadhams, who are regarded for their extensive legal expertise, knowledge of policy policies and state legislative process. This team is dedicated to ensuring that state legislators hear from Nevada’s employers and employees. Contact them with any questions that you have may for the legislative session.
Paul Moradkhan
Senior Vice president of Government Affairs
Cell: 702.810.9124
David Dazlich
Director of Government Affairs
Cell: 702.205-7232
Erica Valdriz
Government Affairs Fundraising Coordinator
Cell: 702.245.8465
Dylan Keith
Government Affairs Analyst
Cell: 702.833.0081
Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together: BizPAC
Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together is BizPAC’s campaign to ensure that the business community’s needs are well represented in the 2021 Legislative Session. By contributing through the Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together initiative, you are helping to ensure that the individuals serving in office support Nevada’s employers and employees. With your support of BizPAC, you are uniting with other business leaders in demonstrating to candidates for public office that the business community in Nevada is actively engaged in the political process and are willing to stand against onerous bills that will hurt the business community.
Through BizPAC, a bipartisan political action committee, the Vegas Chamber:
  • Supports pro-economy policymakers
  • Works to protect laws that support the business community
  • Ensures your interests and concerns are kept in front of elected officials
  • Champions legislation that supports economic growth and job creation for the state
To learn more about contributing to BizPAC or sponsoring an upcoming event, please contact Erica Valdriz or at 702.586.3846, or click below to donate now.
Additional Resources
Mailing Address
Vegas Chamber
575 Symphony Park Ave., Ste. 100
Las Vegas, NV 89106
Contact Information
Phone: 702.641.5822
Fax: 702.735.0406
Information is subject to change