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Locals celebrate special occasions with the COVID-19 vaccine

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Nevada is seeing progress with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, but there is still a lot of work left to do.

According to the state's vaccination playbook, around 34% of all Nevadans 16 and older are now fully vaccinated. Many come to the Las Vegas Convention Center for their shot, but special vaccination events are hoping to increase access.

On Cinco de Mayo, there was plenty of music and movement at the East Las Vegas Community Center. A free festival included food, fun and something special: the COVID-19 vaccine. It was hosted by local leaders, part of an overall push to get more Nevadans vaccinated.

The community came out in full force.

"I feel a little bit safe," said Benjamin Moraleda, who received the vaccine. "I'm very grateful that they had this. I was so excited. I came all the way from the west side, all the way here, just to get the vaccine."... Read More

Neighbors push back against bill to change short-term rental regulations

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- As a bill to regulate short-term rentals makes its way through the Nevada Legislature, some in the central valley worry it could make unwanted changes to their neighborhood. 

"We're hurt and frustrated," Laura McSwain said. "We're really nervous about what the impact is going to be in our neighborhood."

McSwain lives in McNeil Estates, near Rancho and Oakey. She told 8 News Now the area is safe and quiet. 

However, she worries AB 363 could lead to changes she and other neighbors don't want to see. 

The proposal, which was sponsored by Nevada Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen, would establish state rules, enforcement guidelines and taxes for short-term rentals, such as Airbnb or Vrbo. 

"It puts a different level of compliance on what they've got," Pam Knudsen, senior director of Compliance at Avalara MyLodgeTax, said of the bill. ... Read More

NEW: State data shows Nevada's vaccination rate declining

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Local leaders continue to push for Nevadans to get their COVID-19 vaccine as the state's test positivity rate holds steady.

A graph on the state's health department shows that the rate of vaccinations have declined in the last month. More than 36,000 doses were administered on April 7, the highest day of inoculation. Nearly a month later, less than half -- 13,339 doses -- were administered on May 4.

Data shows 27.13% of Nevada’s population has been fully vaccinated.

The statewide test positivity rate remained at 5.7% for the ninth consecutive day. It climbed above 5% on April 12, and had been steadily rising since April 3... Read More

Sisolak: Nevada should use $586 million wisely in economic recovery

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said today that the state has $586 million in additional revenue to spend after economic forecasts released Tuesday.

With a full reopening of the state's economy less than a month away, the Nevada Economic Forum's forecasts were welcome news.

Sisolak spoke today at 10:30 a.m., and said the recovery presents an opportunity to transform the state. He wants to rebuild using decisions that change the Nevada economy's nearly complete reliance on tourism.

He made reference to families who were out of work for months during the pandemic, and reminded that they were the ones most impacted by the pandemic, while the richest Nevadans were affected the least.

"I'm asking that we take thoughtful approaches with our funding," the same way families are doing after being able to go back to work as businesses go back to more normal levels, Sisolak said... Read More

'Public option' for Nevada health care insurance under consideration in Carson City

CARSON CITY — Nevada lawmakers are considering creating a state-run health insurance plan that could compete with private insurance companies on the state’s health insurance exchange.

A proposal to establish what's called a “public option” drew support from progressive groups and opposition from hospitals and insurance companies at a Tuesday hearing in the Nevada Statehouse.

Proponents argued a public option would provide low-cost plans to uninsured residents and said it would make the marketplace more competitive and reduce costs for all patients.

Industry groups worried about requiring providers to accept additional insurance plans with reimbursement rates below costs and said the proposal could deter doctors from working in Nevada... Read More

Economic rebound gives Nevada funds it wasn't expecting in state budget

CARSON CITY — Nevada's Economic Forum has released forecasts that suggest a quicker-than-expected economic recovery will provide lawmakers additional tax revenue for the state budget.

The five-member panel projected Tuesday that Nevada's tourism-driven economy will continue to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and generate a record-high $9.1 billion in general fund revenue over the upcoming two budget years.

The projection is significantly higher than the forum expected in December -- more than $500 million in additional revenue -- amid uncertainty about COVID-19 vaccines.

It will allow lawmakers to decide whether to restore cuts made to the state budget at the height of the pandemic.

Several reports last week on tourism numbers, airport passengers and casino gaming wins buoyed expectations for the coming months... Read More

El Dorado Cantina, other local restaurants gear up to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- It's Cinco de Mayo -- a day filled with celebrations and events that highlight the Mexican culture and its food!

Celebrations were virtual last year because of the pandemic, so this time around, local restaurants are looking forward to hosing fiestas all day long.

Hector Mejia spoke with Chef John Miranda at El Dorado Cantina in Tivoli Village about their unique specials for the big holiday.

The restaurant is celebrating with classic margaritas for $5, tableside guacamole and organic, authentic Mexican cuisine. ... Read More