“All we want to do is feed kids” – Carson City School District Director of Nutrition Services

“A lot of us are starving in here because we can’t afford to pay the rent.” – Nevada Senior

From skyrocketing rent to food insecurity, a new wave of stories show how Nevadans across the state are feeling the harmful impacts of Joe Lombardo’s dangerous veto warpath. 

After Lombardo vetoed legislation extending a program providing public school students with free breakfast and lunch, the program is now set to expire at the end of the school year. Access to free school meals make a sizable impact on students’ educational attainment, specifically improving student health and attendance, reducing disciplinary infractions, and increasing test scores among marginalized groups of students 

Last week, Nevada seniors took to the airwaves to decry unaffordable rent increases and the decision they now have to make between paying for a roof over their heads or food on the table. This comes as Lombardo chose to double down on his vetoes of Democrat-led legislation that would have protected renters from exploitation and prevented skyrocketing rent for seniors and Nevadans with disabilities who are on a fixed income. Lombardo said his vetoes weren’t “because I’m friendly to the landlords,” but previously said he vetoed legislation because it was “inhospitable to landlords”. After he was asked if he regretted vetoing bills that would have made housing more affordable for Nevadans, Lombardo replied, “No, I don’t.” To add insult to injury, a new report revealed that after vetoing several bills that would have lowered housing costs for Nevada residents, Joe Lombardo hired a new chief of staff who lobbied for an out-of-state corporate landlord that stood to benefit directly from Lombardo’s anti-tenant vetoes.

“Joe Lombardo’s first year in office was spent prioritizing special interests, especially landlords, over the wellbeing of Nevadans by vetoing legislation supporting hardworking families and now, Nevadans are paying the ultimate price,” said Nevada State Democratic Party Spokesperson Tai Sims. “After bragging about his historic veto record, it’s clear Lombardo doesn’t care about working class Nevadans. Even after seeing the harmful impact of his obstruction, he has expressed no regrets about vetoing legislation that would have fed hungry students, lowered housing costs for Nevadans and kept Nevada families in their homes.”

See more about how Lombardo’s vetoes are impacting Nevadans below: 



KTVN: Free School Lunches for All Ends Starting Next School Year

By Jaden Urban

Key points: 

  • After four years, school lunches will no longer be free for all students in schools across Nevada.
  • Although free school lunches ended federally two years ago, the state of Nevada is still providing them for all students, thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act.
  • Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed Nevada Assembly Bill 319 in the legislature last year, which would have extended the funding.
  • The Carson City School District said this will impact students greatly and they fear this will spark issues with food insecurity for many local families.
  • “I can’t tell you how much it breaks my heart,” said Elizabeth Martinez, Director of Nutrition Services for the Carson City School District. “These last four years have been a dream come true for anyone in my position because all we want to do is feed kids.”
  • For Carson, this will affect Carson High School, Eagle Valley Middle School, and Al Seeliger Elementary School.
  • She’s hopeful they can get back to having free meals for all, but it’s still in the works.

KLAS: Las Vegas rent increases leave senior citizens feeling ‘invisible’

By James Schaeffer

Key points:

  • The impact of a monthly rent increase by $100 is a common dilemma thousands of Las Vegas residents face, but senior citizens on a fixed income say they don’t have a way to fight back and worry their plight is becoming invisible in the eyes of the public.
  • LaRae Obemauf, 81, is about to pay for another $80 increase in her rent at her mobile home at the end of this month and she is frustrated because although her social security goes up every 12 months, she is experiencing a rent increase every six months.
  • “I get very angry, but I don’t just feel sorry for us, I worry about the elderly older than us,” she said. “We are invisible.”
  • LaRae and her husband Jim have adjusted to gas, water, and power increases and say they can’t sacrifice much more in costs.
  • “We are starving,” she said. “A lot of us are starving in here because we can’t afford to pay the rent.”
  • Kenneth Daniels, 61, a retired army cook, spoke to 8 News Now from his hospital bed where he is waiting to recover from kidney failure.
  • The search for a single unit for a handicapped senior for $750 has alluded Daniels but he hasn’t given up hope on finding a home after his experience with homelessness in Las Vegas.
  • “If I go back to the street I am as good as dead,” he said. “I need my oxygen from my machine.”
  • Daniels said he has called five apartment complexes with handicap-accessible amenities, but once he finds one that’s available, he is asked to prove he has double or triple the amount of income before applying.
  • Nevada still falls 85,000 rental units short for low-income residents, according to the National Coalition for Low Income.

KOLO: Nevada school meal funding going back to pre-pandemic policy

By Ben Deach

Key points: 

  • “We are going from everybody eating for free regardless of anything, to free and reduced-price meals and paid status based on income,” explained Elizabeth Martinez, Director of Nutrition services for the Carson City School District.
  • During the bulk of the pandemic, Nevada got federal funding to cover free meals for all students. That continued for the past two years with American Rescue Plan, but those funds have run out. And a bill to have all Nevada students get free meals at school was vetoed by the Governor.
  • While this is a statewide change, it is the Carson High School district that is speaking out on the issue.

Las Vegas Review Journal: Push and pull: Democrats, Republicans vie over housing solutions

By Jessica Hill

Key points: 

  • Last week, Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo sent President Joe Biden a letter ahead of the president’s visit to the Silver State to talk housing, calling on him to release more federal land in Nevada for housing development and criticizing his administration for what Lombardo deems as policies that restrict growth.
  • Democrats shot back on Monday blaming Lombardo for Nevada’s housing crisis — despite the shortage of affordable housing that existed long before he took office.
  • “To be clear, Joe Lombardo bears the responsibility for Nevada’s housing crisis, full stop,” said Nevada State Democratic Party Chairwoman and Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno during a news conference, joined by Assemblywoman Venicia Considine and a few Nevada senior citizens on Monday.
  • She specifically pointed to his vetoing several housing-related bills during the last legislative session. Those bills include Assembly Bill 298, which would have capped rent increases by no more than 10 percent for seniors; Assembly Bill 340, which would have established a new summary eviction procedure for tenants; and Assembly Bill 218, which prohibited a landlord from charging a tenant an amount that exceeds the amount of rent under the written rental agreement.
  • Another bill, Senate Bill 335, would have continued an eviction prevention measure that temporarily delayed summary evictions for up to 60 days for people with pending applications for rental assistance. Since Lombardo vetoed that bill, more than 30,000 evictions were granted in Nevada, Monroe-Moreno said.
  • In his veto messages on those housing bills, Lombardo said they placed onerous burdens on Nevada’s residential rental markets and created additional hurdles for landlords.
  • Monday’s news conference also served as a platform for Nevada Democrats to encourage voters to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2024, promising to lower the costs of housing.
  • “With your help and with your vote, we will elect folks to the state legislature who have your best interests in mind and who will finally give Nevada families some relief,” Monroe-Moreno said.
  • Lombardo, who broke the record for a Nevada governor vetoing the most bills in a single session in 2023, risks losing that veto power in November if Democrats secure a supermajority in the Assembly and state Senate. Democrats already have a supermajority in the Assembly and are just one seat shy from it in the Senate.
  • The governor was unavailable for an interview Monday


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