Shutdown By The Numbers

Posted on by & filed under Nevada by the Numbers Blog.

Nevada Shutdown by the Numbers

As we stand on the verge of the longest government shutdown in American history, and read article after article on what this means for federal spending it’s important to ask…what about Nevada?

The Tax Foundation just released a great map showing each state’s reliance on federal funds, and Nevada comes in near the middle of the pack at #32, meaning the feds give us an amount equivalent to 31.3% of the state’s general revenue. This is a strong contrast to states in the Deep South like Mississippi (#1) and Louisiana (#2), and even other Southwestern states like New Mexico (#3) and Arizona (#4).

But don’t let our ranking in the bottom third of federal funding fool you- this shutdown has a strong impact on our state’s economy. In addition to the over 3,000 employees furloughed or going without paychecks, plenty of programs and services are no longer active. Our local press has done an excellent job covering the Nevada angle of the shutdown.

The Nevada Current goes deep on the implications for tribal governments in Nevada, who receive significant federal funding. “All 24 employees at the Yomba Shoshone Tribe — law enforcement officers, health professionals, maintenance staff — are paid through federal funding. Tribal financial reserves ran out after the first two weeks of the shutdown and all those employees have been furloughed since Monday.” If the shutdown carries on much longer, some tribes may have to lay off workers in communities with already-lean economic circumstances- to say nothing of the added costs of problems that could have been solved through preventative care or maintenance.

Many rural parts of the state haven’t fully recovered from the recent wildfires, and The Nevada Independent has the story on how the gap in funding could have long-term consequences. According to the state’s Fire Warden, “If the window of the first fall/winter following the fire is missed, it could be a full year before those conditions exist again. This allows time for invasive flashy fuels to take hold causing annual fire cycles, thus nullifying the effort in the future.”

The Nevada Appeal wrote about NDOT going with Federal Transit Administration funding, and the impact this could have on long-term road construction in the state. “To not receive the nearly half of Nevada transportation funding which comes from federal funds could be devastating to our ability to provide for Nevada transportation needs, including the rehabilitation of rural roads,” NDOT told the Appeal.

KNPR has a piece on the volunteers stepping up to clean our public lands with National Park staff unable to work, including the unfortunate results of closed public restrooms.

What’s unfortunate is that there seems to be no end in sight for the shutdown, with President Trump by all accounts determined to stick to his guns on funding the border wall- the border wall that, according to some economists, would only create further drag on the economy. None of this paints a pretty picture for the near future.