Everyday I talk with neighbors about issues important to Nevada’s future. Those who don’t already know me ask me what I stand for and what my priorities will be as the Assemblyman for District 8. As I recently told one neighbor, I believe there are several things voters should know as we all examine our candidates.
First, I am a lifelong public servant, committed to advancing principles important for our district, and for Nevada. I have lived in Nevada for over 22 years, and remember when I first found my calling to lead in a representative role. As a student at UNR, I became frustrated when students had to wait for hours in the student health center for something as simple as a cold. I was driven to become elected student body president in college and facilitated an increase in funding so that additional nurses and staff could help reduce wait time. Making change on even this small of a scale ignited my passion for helping to make positive change to policies affecting people’s day to day lives.
Putting Nevada Workers and the Economy First
I am committed to getting people back to work right away and I will also work hard to achieve economic diversification and development because it is essential for a brighter future for our state. We must continue efforts to fund road and building projects and provide incentives for renewable energy development that would create new jobs in Nevada. I believe we can make Nevada a manufacturing, distribution, and transportation hub for the Western United States.
Last session, I had a goal of helping businesses expand and grow by making a concentrated effort to put Nevada jobs and workers first. Toward that end, I passed legislation that ensured Nevada businesses get the “first crack” at state purchasing contracts, so that our tax dollars are spent boosting Nevada business and Nevada workers first.
Security for our Families
Nevada families should always feel safe and secure in their homes, community, and state. This session I introduced legislation that requires staff for seasonal programs for children to undergo background checks and CPR training in order to help keep our kids safe.
Improving Nevada Schools for our Kids
While diversifying our economy, we need to keep kids in school and train them for today’s jobs. We need to make a real commitment to improving both academic programs and career and technical education. We can’t convince businesses and professionals to come to Nevada unless we have a quality education system in place for their families. This means we must protect education from devastating budget cuts during tough economic times and provide more stable funding for our schools.
I will continue working to help recruit and keep the highest-qualified teachers in every classroom. I believe we must also Improve transparency and accountability for education spending so we are sure every dollar possible goes directly into the classroom, with more decision making at the local level. I also believe parents should have more say in how their kids’ schools are run, through a well-funded public education system that gives our kids the resources and opportunities they deserve. This past session I sponsored legislation that moved school resources to the school level where decisions that impact students directly are made. I also sponsored legislation that increased incentives for good teachers in struggling schools and revises and updates performance evaluations for our teachers so that teachers are assessed on meaningful criteria determined at the school level, where it matters most.
Government Efficiency and Accountability
I believe we must work diligently for greater transparency and accountability for our state. Taxpayers deserve to know how every dollar is being spent. I will continue working for reforms to the budget process to ensure transparency for how tax dollars are being spent, consolidating government services to avoid costly duplication, and budgets based on priorities and performance.
This past session, I updated our legislative standing rules to create a stronger environment for reporting incidents of harassment and other unethical behavior between legislators, staff and lobbyists. I also fought to make sure legislator expense reports include more transparency by requiring that cash-on-hand be disclosed and that expenses are reported in a more clear manner.