Governor’s Office news release:
Governor Jim Gibbons announced today that his office continues to work to expedite the distribution of federal stimulus funds into Nevada communities.
“We hired the ARRA Director and his assistant,” Gibbons said, “We are processing necessary work programs to move funds into agency programs so that the stimulus funds will flow into our economy to maintain jobs and create new jobs for those who are out of work through no fault of their own.
Governor Gibbons expressed his disappointment that the Interim Finance Committee (IFC), a subcommittee of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, has scheduled an August 24 meeting without agendizing an item to reverse its previous decision to place ARRA staff in the state Controller’s office to handle reporting requirements under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Newly hired ARRA Director Charles Harvey will oversee the reporting, as well as ensure all stimulus funds available to Nevada are applied for and received. Harvey will also work closely with agencies and reach out to the public, to ensure the greatest number of qualified agencies and workers can apply to be part of programs funded by stimulus dollars.
“The IFC is meeting to discuss work programs already approved under Nevada law,” Gibbons stated, “Why aren’t they removing the positions which will simply duplicate the reporting functions of the ARRA Director?” Gibbons added, “The IFC is wasting time and taxpayers money.”
Gibbons is also disappointed by the roadblocks that are coming from State Controller Kim Wallin, and which are preventing stimulus funds from reaching Nevadans. Controller Wallin has not done her job of entering the ARRA work programs into the state financial accounting system which is necessary to allow stimulus funds to be spent.
Governor Gibbons said, “After twelve days of no action, I issued an Executive Order implementing the use of ARRA funds to benefit Nevadans. Four days later, I hired an incredibly competent and qualified ARRA Director in Charles Harvey. What has Kim Wallin done to help Nevadans? She sat on the work programs for five days, then sent them to the IFC despite the fact that I approved them under Nevada law. The Controller’s failure to act is placing Nevadans at risk of losing critical stimulus funding.”
“My office continues to send the State Controller approved work programs necessary to infuse stimulus funds into our community. Additional work programs were sent to the Controller yesterday and are being sent today in the areas of weatherization, homeless prevention and rapid re-housing, low income housing, and employment of at-risk youth – just to name a few,” Gibbons said, “The federal government has set forth strict timeframes to put ARRA funds to work in our communities. It is necessary to put these funds to work now. If we fail to demonstrate progress by the first reporting period in early October, the people and the State of Nevada risk losing both current and additional stimulus dollars.”
“After I determined that action was necessary for the protection of property, Nevada law required that I take reasonable and proper action,” Gibbons said.
Governor Gibbons is equally dissatisfied with the IFC. “Stimulus funds are here, now. Waiting for additional committee meetings adds to the misery of the citizens of Nevada who are suffering during this economic crisis. Failure to get the money out to help Nevadans could result in a huge loss of additional funds for the State,” Gibbons said.
Governor Gibbons added, “We’re three weeks down the road. Why is the IFC spending taxpayer dollars on a meeting for two work programs I have already approved following the provisions of Nevada law?”
Finally, Governor Gibbons stated, “I will continue to act as necessary to put stimulus funds to work for Nevada. If I have to move to force the State Controller to process these work programs to distribute stimulus funds to the people of Nevada, I will.” Gibbons added, “I will work with reasonable and responsible elected officials at any time, but I work for the people of Nevada first! The people of Nevada need a government that works for them, not against them.”