NV Advocates React to Lombardo's Veto of HOPE Act
Thursday, July 6, 2023
Senate Bill 419 was one of many bills vetoed by Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo.
The bill, also known as the HOPE Act, would have expanded Medicaid eligibility to undocumented immigrants in the Silver State.
Sen. Fabian Doñate, D-Las Vegas, said the measure received bipartisan support and was worked on with the governor's office. The HOPE Act would have provided health care coverage to pregnant women and children younger than 17 who do not qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status.
"It is our obligation to make sure that they are protected and that they receive prenatal services," Doñate contended. "That is the reason why we introduced the bill. They're not going to leave."
Doñate emphasized he would like for the governor and the Latino caucus to continue to partner on legislation, as he noted was done this last session, to pass bills to help the Latino community.
In his veto letter, Lombardo said the state's Division of Health Care Financing and Policy had "insufficient resources" to implement the measure.
Leo Murrieta, executive director of Make the Road Nevada, said Lombardo "is on the wrong side of history," and added the governor played politics with the lives and futures of immigrant families.
He stressed the more than 500 Nevadans the group mobilized to help push the proposal forward are "devastated."
"It's the HOPE Act. It was supposed to bring hope. It inspired hope that their families could be protected," Murrieta explained. "That when their families need prenatal care, that they won't have to risk their lives to bring children into this world."
Murrieta added they are planning to come back stronger in 2025 and continue fighting to get the measure passed.
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