Nevada Independent Q&A
December 29, 2017I was happy to answer some important questions from the Nevada Independent today on a number of pressing policy issues facing our state. Here is a preview! I look forward to their story highlighting my positions on the issues.
Will you sign a no-new-taxes pledge? Yes. If the Commerce Tax is repealed, what programs would you reduce to correspond with the reduction in that revenue? We can’t make our state one that stifles business and job creation with more taxes. If we’re being fiscally responsible, we shouldn’t need the Commerce Tax. The Commerce Tax accounts for less than 1 percent of total state revenues, so we’re talking about a very small part of our budget. I do not plan to reduce any programs as a result of its repeal, especially not critical sectors like education. As our economy continues to grow, we’ll see additional revenue coming in from other sources. I’ve demonstrated a commitment to fiscal responsibility as Attorney General. I've managed a department of 400 employees and reined in spending when we identified wasteful areas and made cuts in 2015 and 2017 to save taxpayers millions of dollars. I’ll do the same as Governor, just as Governor Sandoval did when he asked for a proposed 5% cut to each department. Being a leader means managing our taxpayers’ money in a responsible way and prioritizing spending. Nevadans deserve a Governor who will make sure every single taxpayer dollar is spent efficiently and that’s exactly the kind of Governor I’ll be. Would your budget include funding for ESAs, and if so, how much? As governor, would you refuse to sign other bills before the Legislature sends an ESA bill? I’ll be introducing my education plan in the new year, but school choice will be a large component. There are multiple ways in which school choice currently exists in Nevada, including Charter Schools and Opportunity Scholarships. As Governor, I will work to increase access to these opportunities. I am a supporter of Education Savings Accounts as part of my broad commitment to creating more school choice in Nevada. I am proud of the work my office did defending ESAs all the way to the Nevada Supreme Court and winning a landmark declaration that they are Constitutional in Nevada. What is your stance on abortion? Should it be outlawed at all stages or just some? Should there be more restrictions on it, such as a waiting period, parental notification for minors, or an ultrasound requirement? I’m pro-life. Do you support the expansion of Medicaid within Nevada? I want to see what federal changes will be made to the health care system in the next few months. That will have a large impact on the next Governor’s decisions. Do you support Question 3, the Energy Choice Initiative? Yes. Do you support banning bump stocks in Nevada? I co-sponsored a letter with other states’ Attorneys General asking Congress to undergo a careful, deliberative process to evaluate whether bump stocks should be regulated in the same fashion as fully automatic weapons. I agree with many law enforcement officials who have said that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations. Do you support the expansion of state-funded Pre-K and preschool in Nevada? I’ll be introducing my education plan in the new year and look forward to discussing it in detail. A lot of important steps have been taken in recent years to put Nevada on the right path in education and I plan to promote polices that build on that success, give families more options, and provide resources to our children so they can succeed. Would you repeal or scale back any of the education initiatives backed by Gov. Sandoval in 2015? Governor Sandoval has done a terrific job prioritizing education and fighting for reforms that will help our kids. I look to expand on his progress, not scale it back. Will you continue GOED's tax abatements program as-is, or will you make changes? In general I do not believe government should pick winners and losers in the economy, but rather, it should allow businesses to compete on their own terms and merits. As Governor, I plan to review GOED and make sure that it supports a thriving business community across all sectors. Do you support the hotel tax increase that is supporting the Raiders' stadium? This is an irrelevant question as the issue has already been debated and the Raiders stadium is now moving forward. Like all Nevadans, I hope and believe that having an NFL franchise in Las Vegas will be a big benefit for our state and that the funds are used wisely. Would you support an increase in the minimum wage? If so, how much? No. Increases to the minimum wage will reduce employment opportunities for Nevadans and hurt workers by reducing hours, reducing benefits, and reducing on-the-job training. Instead, I want to focus on policies that will focus on workforce development, technical career training, and higher education that will help Nevadans. What is your plan to boost economic development in rural Nevada? Rural Nevada is ripe for many economic development reforms, especially workforce development and technical education. I’ll be rolling out our economic development plan in the new year, but as Nevada’s next Governor, I want to make sure our state continues to thrive and that it is a place where all Nevadans have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.