After defeating Chris Giunchigliani (D) in the primary elections, Steve Sisolak (D) has been traveling across Nevada campaigning for governor.
Sisolak’s top three priorities, according to his campaign website, are education, diversifying the economy and affordable healthcare. Sisolak primary focus on college education is making it affordable while providing better fields of study.
“Higher education needs to be affordable,” Sisolak said. “We need to offer more programs for students in Nevada so they don’t have to go out of state in order to master some disciplines. I don’t think we can offer the same programs at both universities because we don’t have the money. ”
With public university tuition becoming more costly, Sisolak believes that universities and community colleges need to be updated with the times even though Nevada’s system for higher education is fairly young.
“We need to become a lot more flexible than what we are currently,” Sisolak said. “The university that worked for my father isn’t the same university that worked for me and it’s not the same university that’s going to work for you.”\
After marijuana was legalized in Nevada, it was promised by the state that 15 percent of the revenue from the wholesale tax would be put toward Nevada public education and 10 percent of the tax toward the Rainy Day Fund: a fund dedicated to protect the state in the event of economic swings.
School districts currently are not seeing the money promised from the tax, and are struggling to keep up with operating costs, according to Fund Our Future Nevada.
“I will commit to this; that bill passed because the citizens were sure that money was going to education,” Sisolak said. “It did not go directly to education. I will assure you that every dollar that we can find that was supposed to go to education through the marijuana money will go to education.”
Sisolak stated his decision to run for governor was because he feels he knows the issues higher education faces. And mainly how to help fix the issues, after him and his daughters were a product of higher education in Nevada.
“I’ve been on the county commision for 10 years and chair for six years,” Sisolak said. “The skill I believe I have developed is problem solving and putting people together. I can put two people in a room and firmly believe if I shut the door I can find a way to get to yes.”
While currently running against Adam Laxalt (R) for governor, Sisolak was endorsed by former president Barack Obama. Obama won Nevada’s electoral votes in his race for president in both 2008 and 2012.
“Steve Sisolak will fight for justice, equality and opportunity for all Nevadans, and I’m proud to endorse his candidacy for governor,” Obama said. “Nevadans deserve a leader like Steve. Raised in a working family and now a proud dad who raised two incredible daughters on his own, he knows the value of hard work and the importance of opportunity.”
Obama also stated that Nevada has the opportunity to elect a Democrat as governor for the first time in 20 years.
Andrew Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush