Nevada lawmakers on Thursday created a subcommittee that they said will be able to better track how and where federal coronavirus relief dollars are being spent in the state.
The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee voted unanimously to form the new 12-member subcommittee, which will be chaired by Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas.
Frierson said that the new group will mirror an oversight committee created by the Legislature in 2009 amid the economic fallout from the Great Recession with the focus being on transparency and accountability for spending of federal stimulus funds.
Congress so far has approved roughly $2 trillion in relief funds through the CARES Act. Nevada received the minimum amount of relief funds for state and local governments at $1.25 billion, with more than $800 million of that earmarked for state government to support the costs of combating the pandemic.
The subcommittee will review grants, establish priorities for how to use the money from those grants and ensure the money is distributed equitably, said Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, chair of the Interim Finance Committee.
The group will “hold each entity that receives funds accountable,” which will include requiring them to provide reports and presentations to the subcommittee about how the federal relief money is used, Carlton added.
“I fully believe this subcommittee and IFC will work hand in glove on the issues that we will be facing over the next eight months before we do get to session,” Carlton said.
The other lawmakers selected to sit on the committee are:
— Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno
— Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas
— Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, D-Las Vegas
— Assemblywoman Jill Tolles, R-Reno
— Assemblyman Tom Roberts, R-Las Vegas
— Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas
— Sen. Chris Brooks, D-Las Vegas
— Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas
— Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson
— Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno
— Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka