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Las Vegas Valley First Responders, Healthcare for Medicaid Families Also Protected Under Legislation Set for House Vote Next Week
August 5, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today said initial estimates show Nevada will receive funding for approximately 1,200 education jobs under legislation now pending in the House. The Congresswoman will return next week to Congress from Nevada to vote in favor of H.R. 1586, The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, which includes $10 billion in funding to hire and save the jobs of 140,000 teachers nationwide.
“The funding for Nevada included in this bill will keep teachers in Clark County classrooms on the job and educating our students. Also included is money for Metro and other law enforcement agencies to keep families safe and funding for Medicaid to provide healthcare for low-income Las Vegas Valley residents, seniors and the disabled. While unemployment remains a top issue, this economic lifeline for Nevada will create 1,200 new jobs and provide resources for communities to fund teacher, police, firefighter and nursing positions. I will be proud to cast my vote in Congress next week for this important legislation that is so vital to Southern Nevada and the families I represent,” said Berkley.
Berkley voted to pass the state assistance bill twice last year and for funding to keep teachers on the job in December 2009 and again this spring. The House is expected to again approve the emergency state aid package on Tuesday of next week. The Department of Education estimates that Nevada will be able to fund approximately 1,200 teacher positions using the resources allocated in the bill. The financial resources will help prevent layoffs as students prepare to return to school in the fall. Also included in the bill are resources for communities to protect the jobs of police and other first responders and for the Medicaid program which provides healthcare to low-income families, children and the disabled.
*** New Market-Based CRE Act Provides Incentives for Private Investment in U.S. Commercial Real Estate ***
July 30, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – Seeking to promote investment in America’s small businesses, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley has introduced H.R. 5943, The Community Recovery and Enhancement (CRE) Act. The legislation provides a market-based incentive for private business investments at a time when many commercial property owners and others are still recovering from the economic downturn and are in need of private capital.
“Las Vegas and other communities across the nation have seen a downturn in commercial real estate as a result of the economic collapse,” said Berkley. “My legislation provides an incentive for private investment in commercial property to fund improvements and allow owners to pay down loans. At a time when many banks are already struggling with their commercial real estate loan portfolios, my bill gives an attractive incentive for new investments in shopping centers, office buildings, malls and other commercial real estate. I want to encourage businesses to seek out private sector sources of funding for their commercial property by providing this new incentive.”
The CRE Act seeks to attract new capital for existing real estate projects by providing a tax incentive in the form of immediate depreciation on qualifying elements of an investment. The Berkley proposal requires 80% of an investment be used to lower commercial mortgage debt secured by commercial property. Remaining funds must be tapped for improvements such as increased energy efficiency. Those who invest negotiate a share of ownership in the business that receives the funding and are allowed a one-time 50% bonus depreciation.
“This is private money being used for private business investments, but it will benefit Nevada and other states nationwide that have been slammed by the downturn in commercial real estate values and communities that are still awaiting full economic recovery. These investments can help commercial property owners avoid foreclosure or having to raise the rates they charge their business tenants in order to meet lending requirements. This is a win-win that will give the commercial real estate sector a boost while opening new avenues for investors to provide needed capital to American businesses,” said Berkley.
*** $750,000 for Solar Array for Non-profit Three Square LV Food Assistance Facility ***
July 29, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Shelley Berkley secured House approval Thursday for $3 million in federal funding for Southern Nevada transportation projects and $750,000 for a new solar power array that will supply clean energy to the “Three Square” food assistance facility in the Las Vegas Valley.
“The ACE bus system provides Southern Nevada families and our visitors a safe, convenient option to travel the Las Vegas Valley,” said Berkley. “The addition of more transit options in Southern Nevada, including more bus service along Boulder Highway, helps address traffic congestion and provides a reliable way to work or school for those who do not have access to their own vehicle.”
State-of-the-art ACE vehicles travel in dedicated lanes where possible with less frequent stops than fixed-route transit, enabling the service to change routes based on traffic patterns and move passengers longer distances in a shorter time period.
Berkley was also successful in securing $750,000 to help cover the cost of a solar energy array at the non-profit Three Square community food assistance facility in Southern Nevada.
“Three Square provides food for those in our community who might not otherwise have enough to eat and what they do each day for Southern Nevadans is truly remarkable. This solar array will help to lower energy costs at Three Square’s facility in Las Vegas so they can dedicate even more of their resources to providing meals and distributing donated food items,” said Berkley.
Three Square provides bakery, produce, dairy, non-perishable products and ready-to-eat meals to non-profit and faith-based organizations in Southern Nevada and facilitates childhood and senior nutrition programs. Three Square works with more than 260 non-profit and faith-based agencies to meet its goal of providing everyone in the Las Vegas Valley with three square meals a day.
The legislation also funds help for homeowners facing foreclosure, housing assistance for homeless veterans and disabled Americans and counseling services for new home buyers. The legislation includes:
* Foreclosure Mitigation and Housing Counseling: Provides $113 million to support foreclosure counseling for families and $88 million for housing counseling assistance for low and moderate income families before they purchase a home.
* Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers: Provides $75 million for housing vouchers for homeless veterans. This funding will support 10,000 new vouchers and supports the effort to end veteran homelessness.
* Housing for the Disabled: Provides $300 million to support affordable housing for the disabled by constructing approximately 1,400 new units and keeping over 13,000 Americans with disabilities in their homes.