March 21, 2020

Mesquite City Council Woman Annie Black is running for the Nevada State Assembly District 19. Today Annie came out swinging at Gov. Sisolak’s State of Emergency Declaration.

Annie Black:

In the midst of the China Virus panic, few of our leaders seem to be thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions, especially Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.

His Do-As-I-Say Facebook press conference on Friday – where he ORDERED, without consultation with the elected officials in the Legislature, the shutdown of what he alone decided were “non-essential” businesses under the threat of both civil and criminal penalties – should concern all of us.

“I am not asking them anymore,” the governor angrily declared.  “I am telling them that they must close their doors or they will face the consequences.”

That much government power in the hands of one man is not healthy for individual liberty.  Yet anyone who dares question the wisdom of the governor’s decrees, no matter how legitimate, is being accused of wanting to kill people.

Unquestioned compliance with a central authoritarian figure is not the stuff our republic was founded upon.

At the very least, shouldn’t the duration of the lockdown be open to debate?  After all, the White House has called for “15 Days to Slow the Spread.”  Yet Gov. Sisolak has decreed a 30-day shutdown.  Why?

Maybe there’s a good reason for the extended length.  But if there is, he sure hasn’t shared it with Nevada’s citizens and businesses.  So why isn’t the media and other elected officials pressing for an explanation?

And why are construction companies allowed to continue to operate – under the rationale that they’re working outdoors – but not landscaping companies?

And why are office buildings filled with people allowed to stay open as long as “social distancing” and other preventative protocols are followed, but retail stores can’t do the same?

I saw a story where Best Buy, before the governor’s latest order, was limiting the number of shoppers who could go into the store, and those waiting in the parking lot were advised via text when their turn came up.

Why is this not a reasonable accommodation to slow the spread for all retail stores?

And why are Starbucks inside grocery stores allowed to stay open, but stand-alone independent coffee shops are not?

And why are grocery stores allowed to continue selling liquor but independent liquor stores are ordered shut down?

How is it OK for the governor to unilaterally pick business winners and losers like this without compensating the losers for the loss of income?

And what about the coming, inevitable lawsuits from such businesses who will argue, credibly, that less restrictive measures could have and should have been taken to confront and address the danger?  Who’s going to pay for that if the governor is judged to have over-reacted?

And what about church services?  Essential or non-essential?

And how are sole proprietors and independent contractors, who are not eligible for unemployment benefits, supposed to pay the rent and put food on the table?

Also, the White House has not called for a national “shelter in place” shutdown like those imposed in virus hotbeds such as New York, Washington and Illinois, with President Trump noting on Friday that Midwest states “don’t have the same problems.”

So why is Gov. Sisolak treating rural Nevada the same as Reno and Las Vegas?

And then there’s the projected economic impact of the governor’s order, which is staggering.

The Nevada Resort Association is estimating that the statewide shutdown of gaming is going to cost the Southern Nevada economy almost $40 billion and “about 102,000 jobs will be directly lost.”

And since this economic devastation will inevitably dry up tax revenues, why aren’t government employees being segregated into “essential” and “non-essential” categories, with the non-essential workers being told to file for unemployment like workers in the private sector?

Are these unreasonable questions to be asking?

Here’s the thing…

In Gov. Sisolak’s Facebook press conference on Friday it was obvious the enormous pressure of the situation is starting to get to him and having a negative effect on his decision-making.  He was clearly frazzled and short-tempered.

I get that.  And I don’t envy the position he’s in.  But that’s all the more reason to now involve the Legislature in these decisions.

We elected those 63 individuals to take co-responsibility for the health and safety of our citizens and our state.  They should not be cut out of this process the way they have so far.

We’re in an emergency situation.  The governor needs counsel.  And he needs to hear from voices outside his inner circle.  Especially legislators who are closer to their constituents on the ground and better able understand the impact of these decisions.

It’s time for the governor to call a special session.

Annie Black is a Mesquite City Councilwoman and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 19.  You can get more information by visiting 


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