Gov. Brian Sandoval spoke to a journalism class at the University of Nevada, Reno, on Thursday, Nov. 17. He talked to students, professors and visitors about what he plans to do in his last two years in office and his accomplishments during his time as a public servant.
Sandoval will be returning to his last legislative session with a Democrat-held Assembly and Senate and with Donald Trump as President of the United States. Sandoval openly opposed Trump during the election, something he said could bring some challenges when building relationships with members of his cabinet.
He said he would be opposing the reopening of Yucca Mountain if Trump decided to do that. He also said he would be working to protect education, human services and law enforcement in the state.
Despite these challenges, Sandoval says he wants to keep Nevada’s economy as diverse and futuristic as possible.
He cited the building of the Tesla lithium battery factory in Reno as an example of a futuristic economy. The U.S. Highway 95 between Reno and Las Vegas will be the first electric highway in America, featuring electric charging stations in every city along the highway.
“Telsa moved to Reno and many companies followed to find the potential in Nevada,” Sandoval said.
He also mentioned the first drone package delivery in Hawthorne, the state’s position as the leader in solar energy in the country and the world’s largest data center being housed in Nevada as examples of the state’s growing economy.
Sandoval called a special legislative session earlier in the year to pass a bill approving the building of a stadium in Las Vegas, hoping to attract the Oakland Raiders.
Another one of Sandoval’s goals is to make Nevada one of the most veteran-friendly states.
He will be traveling to Kuwait and Afghanistan to visit American soldiers next year . This will be his third time visiting troops overseas.
Sandoval has been an advocate for education during and before his time as governor. Nevada has constantly been ranked as one of the worst states for education. He approved a tax increase to raise funds to improve education.
“I liked that Gov. Sandoval dedicated a lot of time and effort into improving the school system,” said Jacey Gonzalez, a student in the class the governor spoke to. “It’s doubtful that we are going to be worst-to-first but I think his attempts were valiant and a step in the right direction.”
The funds from the tax increase led to many buildings being built on the UNR campus, including the new engineering building. It also led to the creation of the UNLV medical school. He said he would like to create more funds for education, but it’s not the time to raise taxes again.
Sandoval was born and raised in Nevada and attended UNR for his undergraduate degree. He always encourages people who attend the universities in Nevada to stay here and help improve it.
Gonzalez hopes that the next governor can be led in the right direction by Sandoval.
“I think that instead of leaving the next governor free reign, [Sandoval] should implement education and vocational programs that the next governor can strengthen,” Gonzalez said. “Our state has been successful in the past six years, but Gov. Sandoval should lead our next governor to success as well.
Sandoval does not know what he is going to do after his term ends. He said that he didn’t want those two years to be a countdown until he was out of office, but a ticking clock to do the things he wants to get done.
“I am still the same person I was before I was governor,” Sandoval said. “I have a profound passion and love for this state. I want people to be proud of their governor and proud of their state.”