As soon as the economy shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19, we knew a fiscal tsunami was headed for state, local, and tribal governments. Most of these entities must have balanced budgets and cannot spend at a deficit. The result could be cuts to critical services at a time they are needed most. And while I believe we need a stronger revenue system, we can't realistically raise enough money to make governments whole without putting more businesses and families under. We need help.
That's why I introduced a joint resolution during the special session, AJR1, that called on Congress and the President to pass flexible relief funds for state, local and tribal governments. Read more:
Associated Press: “We need flexible relief to help us meet our budget challenges and we need it now,” Watts said.
Nevada Independent: "In introducing Assembly Joint Resolution 1 on the floor, Democratic Assemblyman Howard Watts said CARES Act relief so far has been tailored to the direct effects of coronavirus, but something more flexible is needed to avert public sector cuts that he said are disproportionately falling on vulnerable people. He said it was time to send a clear message to Washington that more help is needed."
Las Vegas Review-Journal: "Speaking in favor of the resolution on the Assembly floor, Assemblyman Howard Watts III, D-Las Vegas, said that the state’s proposed budget cuts are “balanced on the backs of the least fortunate among us.” Among them, state agencies face potential cuts totaling $532 million, including a $230 million cut to Department of Health and Human Services."