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Nevadans' Wallets Matter, Governor Sandoval
With the intent of bringing new businesses to the state, giving away such large sums in a relatively small state begs the question of whether the companies would have sited their operations here anyway. Existing businesses have had no assistance from the public treasury. In fact, the budget deficits created by these subsidies were part of the reason for the new taxes imposed on most businesses, which the voters had just rejected in November 2014.
For the upcoming 2017-19 biennium budget cycle, Sandoval has asked for state agencies to cut their budgets by another 5%.
While certain state agencies are not funded through the general fund, they are funded via other, stealth taxes at the same time they are carrying millions of dollars in taxpayers' monies in their 'reserve accounts.'
Sandoval's Public Utilities Commission (PUC), primarily funded via a hidden mill tax buried in electricity and natural gas rates, has virtually zero ratepayer visibility. As a consequence, the PUC has a vested interest in keeping utility rates high as a self-sustaining mechanism for ever higher budgets.
On July 11, 2016, Sandoval's General Counsel (chief lawyer), Joe Reynolds, was served with a Request for Redress, demanding that Sandoval take immediate action to remove the PUC's Executive Director, Stephanie Mullen, for violations of state statutes regarding her qualifications to hold the position. The PUC Commissioners, unilaterally handpicked by the governor and serving at his/her pleasure, have refused to admit and correct their error.
When Nevadans recently complained about the PUC's February 2016 net metering decision, Sandoval stated that he "would not get involved;" he picked the Commissioners and trusted them to make decisions.
Sandoval will be hard pressed to evade the legal problem all three of his Commissions have created with Mullen. Black-
ARTICLE 5 - Executive Department
Sec. 1. Supreme executive power vested in the governor. The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate who shall be Governor of the State of Nevada.
Sec. 7. Responsibility for execution of laws. He shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.
Sandoval's failure to uphold this portion of the NV Constitution, after notification and opportunity to rectify the violation, gives Nevadans just cause to file a State Bar complaint against him for malfeasance and nonfeasance. Similarly, Sandoval's PUC Commissioners have known of this violation for one year and refused to do their fiduciary duty to rectify the situation.
At an annual salary of over $105,000 plus benefits, Nevadans deserve their money's worth, not a trainee PUC Executive Director who has summer camp experience, rather than mandatory utility regulatory experience, as required by state law.