Posts Tagged ‘Jones’

State Senate Candidates Await Fate

By Sean Whaley | 2:46 pm November 5th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The precincts have been walked, the issues debated and the media campaigns run. Now many Nevada voters will get to weigh in on five critical races to determine whether Republicans or Democrats will control the state Senate after the polls close tomorrow.

The 21-member Senate currently has an 11-10 Democratic edge.

Gov. Brian Sandoval and many of his Republican colleagues are working to change this by winning at least four of five of the races in play between the two parties on Election Day tomorrow.

Sandoval, who is expected to push for further education reforms and other changes in the 2013 session, would love to have the leverage a Republican Senate would provide to help win passage of his agenda.

State Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas.

Democrats meanwhile, are working hard to hold on to or even increase their majority in the Senate, where they have been in control since 2008. The 42-member Assembly is expected to remain under Democratic control following the election.

Races to watch

Four of the five Senate seats in play are in Southern Nevada and the fifth is in Reno:

Senate 5, where Republican and former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk is facing Democrat and former state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse;

Senate 6, where GOP attorney Mark Hutchison faces Democrat businessman Benny Yerushalmi;

Senate 9, where Republican Mari Nakashima St. Martin faces Democrat Justin Jones;

Senate 15 in Reno where Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, is running against former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno; and,

Senate 18, where Republican Assemblyman Scott Hammond faces Democrat Kelli Ross.

Republicans have a voter registration edge in Senate 15 and 18, while Democrats lead in the other three. There are a large number of nonpartisan voters in all five districts as well, however. How they vote could determine the outcome of the races.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, said the top drawer candidates recruited by the Republican Senate caucus are all in a position to win on Tuesday.

State Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas.

“We’re right where we want to be, we’re right where we expected to be,” he said today. “We’re positioned to win all of these races. Whether we do or not the voters will tell us tomorrow.

“All of our races are very close,” Roberson said. “Some of them could certainly go either way. But we feel like we’ve done everything we can to put us in a position to be successful.”

The Republican candidates have been successful in attracting both Democrat and nonpartisan voters, he said.

“So I think you’re going to see a lot of ticket splitting; I think you’re going to see a lot of people who are registered Democrat or registered nonpartisan that come over and vote for our candidates,” Roberson said.

Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, was equally optimistic about the outcome for his Democratic candidates.

“Our take has always been that we were going to maintain and expand our majority,” he said today. “We went out and recruited some great folks and we’ve been out working hard on the ground since February, knocking on doors.”

The candidates and the caucus have raised the funds needed to fund competitive campaigns, and polling shows they are doing well with voters, Denis said.

“The registration numbers were great for us, and the early vote has been great for us,” he said. “So I feel real confident about our folks and how they’re going to do tomorrow.”

Early voting results statewide did favor Democrats, with 307,877 votes cast compared to 259,913 for Republicans. Not all of those votes came in the five Senate districts.

Republicans out raising Democrats in all five races

But the campaign funding race has favored Republicans, according to the Campaign Contribution and Expense forms filed with the Secretary of State’s office updated through Nov. 1.

Even so, all of the candidates have brought in and spent large sums since the beginning of the year, showing just out important both parties see the races.

The Brower-Leslie race alone has generated nearly $1.2 million in contributions combined since January.

In Senate 5, Kirk has raised $336,000 since the beginning of the year, but has spent $392,000. This compares to $243,000 for Woodhouse with nearly $267,000 spent.

In Senate 6, Hutchison has brought in just over $572,000 while spending nearly $520,000. Yerushalmi has raised $292,000 while spending $290,000.

In Senate 9, St. Martin has raised over $388,000 and spent $376,000, while Jones has raised nearly $313,000 and spent $297,000.

In Senate 15, Brower has almost $704,000 and spent $718,000, with Leslie bringing in nearly $483,000 and spending $500,000.

In Senate 18, Hammond has raised $214,000 and spent 208,000, while Ross reported just over $201,000 in contributions and $186,000 in expenses.

Roberson said a Republican majority in the Senate will bring more balance to the Legislature.

“And that’s going to encourage more bipartisanship, more cooperation, more collaboration,” he said. “And I think the end result will be better legislation, better public service for the people of Nevada, coming out of Carson City.”

Denis said he has a track record of working across the aisle with Republicans, and that his leadership will ensure bipartisanship and balance with the GOP.

“I think the balance has to come from leadership, and I’ve show that,” he said. “I know Sen. Roberson has said he wants to do that; he’s going to have to prove that with his actions. And so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he’ll want to do that.”

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Audio clips:

Sen. Michael Roberson says the Senate GOP candidates are positioned to win on Tuesday:

110512Roberson1 :23 to be successful.”

Roberson says Republicans will draw Democratic and nonpartisan voters:

110512Roberson2 :10 for our candidates.”

Roberson says a GOP Senate will encourage bipartisanship:

110512Roberson3 :18 of Carson City.”

Sen. Mo Denis says Democrats are poised to hold on to and even expand their Senate majority:

110512Denis11 :19 knocking on doors.”

Denis says he is confident the Senate Democratic candidates will do well Tuesday:

110512Denis2 :13 to do tomorrow.”

Denis says he has a track record of working with Republicans:

110512Denis3 :24 to do that.”

 

Reinstatement Of Extended Benefits Claims To Be Completed Next Week

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 4:16 pm August 6th, 2010

CARSON CITY – More than 20,000 Nevadans have received extended benefit payments since President Obama signed into law legislation extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program on July 22, a state agency reported today.

The process for about 20,000 more eligible Nevadans should be completed by next week, said Cindy Jones, deputy director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

“The department continues to work overtime processing claims to ensure everyone who qualifies for EUC and State Extended Benefits are expeditiously paid current and past funds due to them,” Jones said. “We understand the anxiety people are feeling as they wait for their benefits to be paid. We appreciate the continued patience and cooperation of claimants as we work together to make this process go as smoothly as possible.”

Instructional letters followed by benefit statements have been and continue to be mailed to all who qualify for EUC and State Extended Benefits informing them of their benefit amounts and what is required to reopen their claims, she said.

Claimants should avoid calling the Unemployment Claims Centers until they receive their benefit statements. Claimants who have not received a letter from the department by Aug. 13 should contact the unemployment call centers. Claimants should only call the Debit Card customer service line to check their card balances.

Due to the volume of transactions being made, the payments must be made in categories, Jones said.

“Our computer system is being pushed to capacity” she said. “However, we were able to begin paying claimants much sooner than we expected and will complete the process more quickly than what we hoped for.”

Nevadans Now Being Notified Of Reactivation Of Extended Federal Jobless Benefits

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:20 pm July 30th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevadans who are eligible to have their jobless benefits reactivated can expect letters by next week with instructions, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation (DETR) said today.

The agency began mailing letters Thursday to individuals whose Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) claims are being reinstated following action by Congress last week to extend federal unemployment benefits through November.

One unemployed Nevadan who was happy to hear the news is Carol Tidd of Las Vegas, who saw her unemployment benefits stop in early June. She expects to be eligible retroactively for the extended benefits.

“I’m glad they finally started moving on it,” she said. “It is very important. We’ve been able to keep a roof over our heads and the basics.”

Tidd said she has applied for over 100 jobs so far without success. She has been out of work since January. Her last job was with a gaming company.

The unemployment rate in Las Vegas was 14.5 percent in June.

“I have the education, I’ve got an MBA,” she said. “It is frustrating. I’d rather be employed than have unemployment.”

The agency’s unemployment telephone claim centers will also be open on Saturdays to assist with the anticipated overload of callers filing claims and requesting prior weeks of unemployment benefits, said Cindy Jones, DETR deputy director and Employment Security Division administrator.

“We continue to carefully stage our computer systems to ensure their ability to handle the accurate processing of claims,” she said. “It is important that claimants follow instructions mailed to them. With the cooperation of eligible benefit recipients, we can ensure their benefits are paid as quickly as possible.”

The call centers will be open on July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

“With the unemployment rate soaring to 14.2 percent, the number of Nevadans seeking benefits continues to be high,” Jones said. “There are now over 88,000 people receiving regular unemployment benefits, and another 40,000 plus who may be eligible for the various types of federally paid extensions recently reactivated by approved legislation.”

Callers are urged to be prepared when making a request for the prior weekly claims to be filed. The following are some tips to remember:

- If you have worked since you stopped receiving your extended benefits, be sure to have all your employment information ready when calling. This includes your most recent two employers.

- You will be asked to certify that you have been seeking work and available to accept work for the weeks you are requesting payment.

- Once your past weekly claims have been processed, you will be able to file your next weekly claim by telephone or on-line at www.expressclaim.org.

- Nevada Unemployment Insurance Telephone Claim Center Telephone Numbers are: Northern Nevada – (775) 684-0350, Southern Nevada – (702) 486-0350, rural Nevada and out-of-state – (888) 890-8211.

Updates with general information can be obtained at www.nvdetr.org.

Jobless Benefits For Thousands Of Unemployed Nevadans Set To Resume With Approval Of Extension

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 10:39 am July 23rd, 2010

CARSON CITY – Thousands of unemployed Nevadans will soon see their jobless benefits restored with final Congressional approval Thursday of a six-month extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.

There are currently about 93,670 people receiving unemployment benefits in Nevada, according to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The number of individuals who are affected by the May expiration of EUC and State Extended Benefits (SEB) programs continue to grow as well. There are nearly 40,000 people who have lost their benefits since the EUC and SEB programs expired.

The EUC extension signed by President Obama on Thursday will last through November. The mid-term general election is Nov. 2.

Nevada’s unemployment rate hit 14.2 percent in June, a new record for the state. About 193,000 Nevadans are looking for work.

Approval means up to 73 weeks of federal jobless benefits for the unemployed who have already exhausted their 26 weeks of state benefits. The measure will cost $34 billion nationwide.

“The department continues proactive work and planning in order to restart benefits as soon as possible after the EUC programs are reinstated,” said DETR Deputy Director Cynthia Jones. “We have carefully staged our systems to ensure their ability to handle the accurate processing of claims; and with the help of our claimants in following the plan, benefits will be paid in an efficient and expedient manner.”

The department has continued accepting EUC applications to help the process move more quickly in anticipation of the bill passing, said Jones, who also serves as administrator of the Employment Security Division.

“There are some things in this legislation that require interpretation and instructions for program implementation as the bill contains other provisions that impact unemployment programs, on top of reinstating the Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs,” she said.

Within seven to ten days of the bill passage, claimants will start receiving letters stating they are on the list of individuals potentially eligible to receive extended benefits, Jones said. The letters will have specific instructions to prevent claimants from waiting unnecessarily on the phone lines. Claimants are asked to refrain from calling telephone claim centers until they receive this notification in the mail, signaling that their claim has been automatically reopened; the new funds have been added and that the agency is now ready for their weekly claims to be filed.

“We are asking for the public’s cooperation so that these much needed benefits can be paid out as soon as possible,” she said.

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., was one of 31 Republicans in the House who supported the program’s restoration.

Heller said he voted for the bill despite failing to get the Democratic majority to support an amendment to use unobligated stimulus funds to pay for the benefits.

“Nevadans across the state are struggling to get by,” he said. “While I believe that this legislation should have been paid for, I do not believe the unemployed should be held accountable for the failed economic policies of the Administration and this Congress.

“There are ways to pay for this extension, and help the unemployed, without contributing to the deficit,” Heller said.

Nevada’s Borrowing To Pay Jobless Benefits On Target Despite Record Unemployment Rate

By Sean Whaley | 4:55 pm June 25th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Despite Nevada’s record high unemployment rate, the amount of money the state expects to borrow from the federal government to pay jobless benefits remains on target, a state official said this week.

Cindy Jones, administrator of the Employment Security Division, said the state has borrowed $424 million so far and is on a pace to borrow between $1 billion and $1.2 billion through the end of the recession to pay the state’s 26 weeks of unemployment benefits to laid off workers.

Jones said Nevada’s record 14 percent jobless rate reported in May includes all those seeking work, not just those eligible to receive benefits. The long-term unemployed also don’t have any new wages on which to file claims, she said.

“The increase in the unemployment rate does not necessarily translate into an increase in unemployment insurance claims,” Jones said.

“We’re still seeing very high claim volume compared to anything we’ve experienced at any other time in the program’s history, but we’re not seeing the rapid rise that we saw last year,” she said.

That $1 billion or more in borrowed funds will likely have to be repaid to the federal government, which means higher unemployment taxes imposed on Nevada businesses to make good on the loans.

The average tax paid by most Nevada employers was kept at 1.33 percent for the current year, despite the knowledge that the rate would be inadequate to pay all unemployment claims. The rate was held steady to help businesses weather the economic slowdown.

Jones said over 40 states are expected to borrow about $100 billion from the federal government to pay benefits during this recession. Nevada began borrowing money in late October of 2009 to keep paying claims, holding off longer than many other states because of a healthy trust fund.

The states are getting a break in that no interest is accruing yet on the borrowed funds, she said. Interest was waived this calendar year but will begin on Jan. 1 unless Congress acts to extend the interest free period, Jones said. Nevada’s first interest payment of about $60 million is scheduled to come due in the fall of 2011.

Nevada was prepared for a recession and had a healthy trust fund available to pay claims, Jones said. But no one was prepared for a slowdown of the magnitude that hit the nation, she said.

Mary Lau, president and chief executive officer of the Retail Association of Nevada, said the expectation that businesses will have to repay the federal loans through higher unemployment tax rates could negatively impact job growth when the state does emerge from the recession. Employers may not be as quick to hire, she said.

“Everybody is going to be paying more,” Lau said. “Some of the jobs may not come back.”

Other factors, including the new minimum wage requirements, will also affect hiring, she said.

The state’s minimum wage is set to go up to $8.25 a hour on July 1. The current rate is $7.55 an hour.

It is highly unlikely the federal government will forgive the loans, Lau said.

audio clips:

Cindy Jones says unemployment rate doesn’t directly correlate with jobless claims:

062410Jones1 :14 eligible for benefits.”

Jones says Nevada not alone in borrowing to pay claims:

062410Jones2 :21 certainly not alone.”

Jones said Nevada was ready for normal slowdown:

062310Jones3 :28 find ourselves in.”

Mary Lau says increased unemployment taxes may slow job creation:

062410Lau1 :14 that much more.”

Nevada Agency Ready To Move Quickly To Reinstate Emergency Federal Jobless Benefits If Congress Acts On Legislation

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:35 pm June 7th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Jobless benefits will resume quickly to Nevada’s eligible unemployed residents if Congress passes legislation to again extend the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs that expired on June 2, a state agency reported today.

There are about 70,000 people receiving EUC benefits in Nevada.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation has been preparing contingency plans for several weeks in case of a gap between the current EUC benefit sunset and passage of a bill to extend the programs, said Cynthia Jones, deputy director of DETR and administrator of the Employment Security Division.

“Because this matter is packaged with several other initiatives in Congress, and has to be resolved at the federal level, the agency knows a proactive approach would be in the best interest of Nevada’s unemployed,” she said. “Our focus remains on paying benefits when due in the most timely and efficient manner. Staff is prepared to move quickly upon passage of the bill.”

Jones said the agency is continuing to accept the EUC claims, however payments on those claims will not be processed until the pending legislation is approved and the status of these programs are known.

Current claimants will continue to receive funds from the federal extension level they are currently on, but they will not be able to progress to the next extension level, until the status of the program is known.

All claimants receiving State Extended Benefits will stop receiving them after June 13 unless the bill is passed prior to that date. The agency will continue to accept the weekly claims and process them as quickly as possible if and when the bill is passed. There are about 2,500 claimants receiving State Extended Benefits.

Any claims established after May 23 will not receive the Federal Additional Compensation $25 payments. These payments may be made retroactively if included in the bill passage.

Regular benefits will not be impacted.

Updated information will be available on the internet and on the Call Center telephone lines as information becomes available.