According to a report by KTNV, Nevada passed the $1 billion threshold in cumulative benefits issued under the emergency allotment for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Nevada households on SNAP have received an increase to their benefits every month since April 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Emergency allotment benefits for July 2022 were issued August 6 to approximately 234,000 households representing roughly 444,000 Nevadans.
This continued funding is possible through a limited purpose Proclamation signed by Governor Steve Sisolak to ensure the emergency allotments would not end due to state action. The program will continue as long as the federal Public Health Emergency remains in effect.
Recently, the Biden administration has signaled the extension of the Public Health Emergency ensuring that the SNAP emergency allotments will extend beyond the midterm elections. The administration has until August 15 to decide on the extension.
The affects of Governor Sisolak’s extended emergency declaration, mandating school and small business closures, have proven to be anything but temporary for needy families. In fact, his actions are a contributing factor to an increase in government dependency.
In the wake of Sisolak’s shutdowns, small businesses were forced into bankruptcy and the unemployment rate in April, 2020 neared 30 percent. The National Bureau of Economic Research gave Nevada a “D” rating for its economic response to COVID, while Politico ranked Nevada as having the second-worst pandemic response in the entire country.
According to the Pahrump Valley Times:
Some 270,000 small businesses were operating in Nevada in 2019, with small businesses employing roughly 40 percent of the state’s workforce, a federal report said. During the pandemic, more than 35 percent of those businesses shuttered their doors for good, according to Lt. Gov. Lisa Cano Burkhead.
During his last State of the State address, Governor Sisolak claimed to have made progress which helped “lower the cost of living for Nevadans”:
Since my State of the State Address earlier this year, it's clear to see that Nevada is on the move – we have made progress on every single promise made. I’m proud of the work that’s been done in the last six months to help lower the cost of living for Nevadans.
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) July 19, 2022
Unfortunately, campaign rhetoric does not match the harsh economic reality of increased government dependency due to increased government spending–which has now surpassed a billion dollars in Nevada for a single government program.
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