CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gov. Steve Sisolak announced his intentions to sign on to a letter — along with 16 other governors representing 149 million Americans — to voice his opposition to a proposed rule change by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that could negatively impact more than 46,000 Nevadans who currently receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

This rule would effectively eliminate Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility and impose a resource test on all SNAP applications. This would result in an approximate 11% reduction in those who qualify for SNAP in Nevada, which represents approximately 46,000 people. Additionally, the rule impacts the type of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for which SNAP recipients may be eligible. 

“If this rule takes effect, hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries across the United States, including 46,000 individuals right here in Nevada, would lose access to basic food assistance,” Sisolak said. “This is an absolutely unconscionable act that would have dire impacts on the most vulnerable populations in our state, especially those with disabilities, the elderly, and low-income children on free and reduced-price school meals.” 

In addition to impacting residents who count on the program for their food security, this rule would result in an approximate decrease of nearly

$10 million per month for the Nevada economy. The Nevada poverty rate remains at around 13.8 % since it fell in 2016 from the previous 14.7%. The current national average stands at 14%.

In 2018, the number of people living in Nevada that met the poverty guideline level were 384,120 according to statistics, so the figure of 46,000  cited by the Governor might be a tad under the actual number of benefit recipients in the state. 

The Trump administration is seeking to end the use of the program by citizens who do not qualify by federal standards to help rein in the nation’s budget.

Joining Sisolak in the letter were Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, California Gov.  Gavin Newsom, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Hawaii Gov. David Ige, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.

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