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State Recovery Act Website:

Nevada's state Recovery Act website scored 15 out of 100 possible points (ranking a tied 34th) on Good Jobs First's 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus. The state earned a lower than average score by neglecting to disclose any kind of geographic distribution of Recovery Act funds, how those funds were distributed with regard to economic distress indicators, or report any job creation data. Contractor information: none.

Nevada scored more points-25 out of 100 (ranking a tied 38th)-on its disclosure of information specifically about highway projects funded by the Recovery Act.  The state's transportation data score was boosted by its mapping and descriptions of highway projects funded through ARRA. Contractor information: none.

For detailed scoring information, see the Nevada appendix of Show Us the Stimulus.

Nevada's Open Government website allows users to compare budgeted spending to actual spending. But it does not document contracts or line item expenses. The site was created by executive order in March 2008 with the intention of posting all information collected by the comptroller, treasurer, legislature and administrative courts on state financing.  ARRA revenues and expenditures are not clearly reported on the site.

Coordination & Oversight

There is no obvious state plan for stimulus spending outlined by Gov. Gibbons, but Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus (who ran in opposition to Gibbons) has been a vocal supporter of ARRA and has outlined a transportation spending plan for the state.

Nevada's designated lead on the Recovery Act is Mendy Elliott, the governor's deputy chief of staff.  Elliott previously directed the Nevada Department of Business and Industry.

In early August, the state finally appointed a stimulus "czar."  Legislators approved hiring a federal stimulus funds manager but decided on a party-line vote to place the official under the control of Democratic state Controller Kim Wallin, not Republican Gov. Gibbons. Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, said that the governor put the stimulus funding program together and that having the person who oversees expenditures placed in another office would be a "very prudent" check and balance. The manager will serve as a "watchdog eye" to ensure funds are spent correctly.

The state's Stimulus Package Working Group, designated by Gov. Gibbons to administer and coordinate funds, will be made up of representatives from the Governor's Office, the State Budget Office, the Department of Training and Rehabilitation, the Department of Education, the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Department of Business and Industry's Housing Division, the Governor's Energy Office, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Nevada's Washington D.C. Office.

Policy Debates

Gov. Gibbons initially resisted accepting both the Recovery Act unemployment insurance and education funds, arguing that they called for the state to make extra expenditures. (The state's budget has been described as a "train wreck" this year.)  He has since accepted both pots of money but has issued a number of press releases publicizing his requests that the state be allowed more flexibility in spending the funds.

Nevada initially struggled to qualify for Recovery Act education funds because the state reduced its education budget to below 2006 levels. Gov. Gibbons had proposed earlier that the state cut higher education budgets by more than one-third. The state has applied for a waiver from the federal government on the education requirement.

The budgetary crisis in Nevada has catalyzed a lot of new political activism in the state, including a group called ProgressNow Nevada whose website has a few stimulus-related blog entries.

Controversy has risen over weatherization funds.  Rep. Horsford, D-Las Vegas, contends that the state Housing Division is breaking state law by refusing to hire workers from state-approved apprenticeship programs to carry out more than $30 million in federal weatherization programs. He said Senate Bill 152, a bill he sponsored, requires the state to hire workers through apprenticeship programs, as well as those from state-approved private contractors. At Horsford's request, the Democratic-dominated Interim Finance Committee on a party-line vote delayed implementation of the program until a Sept. 17 meeting during which the committee can discuss the program in more detail.

Last updated on: 14 October, 2009

Quick Facts


Median Household Income:

Unemployment Rate:

Poverty Rate:

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$1.5 billion


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