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Breaking Down The Law: How does the Western States Pact fight the pandemic?

Governor Sisolak recently announced that Nevada has joined the Western States Pact in response to COVID-19.

Nevada joins Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and California in what has been called a collaborative reopening pact between the states.

The states will share strategies and ideas for reopening the state economies, according to various press releases.

But some have called into question why Nevada is joining a pact with the Coastal states and Colorado rather than the other western state pact of our other neighboring states, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.

What is the pact and what could it mean for Nevada? Here to discuss it is Matt Hoffmann with Battle Born Injury Lawyers.

Thanks, etc.

1. So what is the pact, and does it have any legal implications for the state?

- The information is actually pretty vague on what the Pact actually is.

- From what I’ve been able to find, it’s basically an agreement to share information between states on developing Best Practices for reopening.

- Sharing information, potentially pooling resources on supplies, and having some level of uniformity between the states as far as reopening practices and restrictions.

- But, no, this is not a legal agreement. It’s more of a handshake, symbolic agreement.

2. Some are criticizing this as political and questioning why we are joining these states, or any states for that matter - is there any credence to that argument?

- Law and politics intersect all the time, so I’ll choose my words carefully; I can’t win no matter which side I take.

- But I’ll say there are some pretty valid arguments on both sides.

- First, supporters of this would argue that Nevada’s primary, most reliable source of tourists is California. And, likewise, we send a ton of tourists to California.

- So it makes sense that our state has a certain level of uniformity with California, being they are the primary source of visitors to our state.

- But on the other side, people see this as purely political.

- The governors of California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado are all Democrats.

- The governors of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona are all Republicans.

- So there are some pretty obvious grounds for skepticism regarding this Pact and whether us joining it is purely political versus something that is in the best interests of Nevada.

- I guess the one opinion I will give on the whole interstate Pact thing is that I don’t understand why we’re joining one versus another. Nevada should be working with all our neighboring states, and every state in the country for that matter, because this is beyond politics.

3. So the big question is, how will this affect us reopening?

- I think that is where a lot of the concern comes from.

  • Governor Sisolak really has not given any clear indication on when we can expect some businesses to reopen – or even tennis courts, for that matter.

- There are so many people here in the valley who are unemployed, and they don’t want Nevada waiting around to see what California and Oregon are going to do.

- And California, Oregon, and Washington are behind Nevada as far as how close we are to Phase 1 of the Federal reopening guidelines.

- So the question is whether we will be a leader in this Pact or if we will follow everyone else’s lead.

- Following what everyone else is doing certainly doesn’t sound very Nevadan.

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