Nevada Legislature approves new investments in mental, public health

Gov. Steve Sisolak press conference on COVID-19 in Nevada in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 12,...
Gov. Steve Sisolak press conference on COVID-19 in Nevada in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 12, 2020.(Eric Green | FOX5)
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 10:05 AM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada State Legislature announced Wednesday evening new investments into mental and public health, approving programs the states hopes will provide more resources across Nevada.

The new investments were put forward by Governor Steve Sisolak and include nearly $45 million in children’s mental health provisions. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan.

“We promised Nevadans we would look to invest our federal dollars into programs that will make a difference in their lives,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “We know investing in mental and public health programs will make an immediate and long-lasting impact on those in need. I am grateful to lawmakers for approving these programs and to our partners across the State who will put these dollars to work for Nevadans.”

Other investments include $171 million in public health investments, including $75 million for a new State public health laboratory at the UNR, a $40 million investment in the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV for services, and $30 million for a new public health lab in southern Nevada.

“The students, faculty and staff of the University of Nevada, Reno extend our profound gratitude to Governor Sisolak and the members of the Interim Finance Committee for their historically significant investment in the public health future of Nevada,” said UNR President Brian Sandoval.

“The State’s new public health research facility, that will be built on University of Nevada, Reno’s campus, will provide every Nevadan with a better quality of life. Nevada’s scientific and public health community will work together in this new, modern and needed facility that will provide our state with a trusted public health resource for generations to come,” he continued.

As part of the funding, assistance will be provided for all health districts in the state, including the founding of the new Central Health District, headquartered in Churchill County. The new district was founded by a collaborative effort between Mineral, Pershing, and Eureka Counties.

Rounding out investments in public health, the Southern Nevada Health District will receive $5.5 million to allow for the postponing of a fee increase that would have impacted small businesses.

The $45 million in youth-related mental health funding will be aimed at programs that will help with early intervention efforts.

The funding will include $15 million for children’s wraparound care coordination and intensive case management, $5 million to support programs allowing children and youth to safely remain in the home while receiving therapy and and behavioral support services, and $3.4 million to expand the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services Mobile Crisis Response Teams to support the Washoe County School District during after school hours.

“There has never been a more acute need for these services, and this is a critical priority for my office and my administration,” said Governor Sisolak. “The pandemic has been hard for all of us, especially on our youth, and it’s my honor to invest in these programs to help our kids and our families.”

More than $5.8 million was also approved by lawmakers for oversight and program management.

Other investments include:

  • $5 million to fund a scholarship program at Nevada’s community colleges, fulfilling the Governor’s promise to invest in programs making college free for more Nevadans.
  • $15 million in additional rental assistance funding to support the continued efforts in Clark County.
  • $10 million to support the launch of the Las Vegas Justice Court’s eviction diversion program, which is aimed at eviction prevention services.
  • $3.1 million for a water supply line for the Lake Mead Fish Hatchery run by the Nevada Department of Wildfire. This project supports efforts to provide water and energy to the Lower Colorado River Basin.
  • $12.7 million for continued investment in the implementation of a new Unemployment Insurance System to ensure workers and employers are better served in the future.
  • $8.5 million to reduce waitlists and provide services to children with autism.
  • $345,000 for a targeted education campaign on Monkeypox.