Senate District 9 is located in Las Vegas. This seat is currently held by a Democrat. Four Republicans filed for this seat. The following is our interview with one of those Republicans, Vick Gill.
I am a small businessman, health care professional and active community leader and volunteer on behalf of Las Vegas youth and veterans. After earning my medical degree, I earned my master’s degree from UNLV’s school of Health Care Administration and Policy.
I have spent seven years managing health care practices to create jobs, manage a budget and provide quality patient care. I am a patient’s rights advocate who advises medical practices in Las Vegas, helping them increase access to affordable, quality health care for their patients.
In addition to working in health care, I am a mentor at the Southern Highlands Boys and Girls Club, and also volunteer my time to assist veterans with their health care issues.
As the son of first generation immigrants, I believes that freedom and opportunity are the cornerstones of the American Dream.
2. Define your district – geographic boundaries, demographic makeup, and political balance.
Senate District 9 is in southwest Las Vegas. It includes the communities of Southern Highlands, Mountains Edge, Rhodes Ranch, The Ridges, and Siena. Compared to other districts, it is an ethnically diverse district with a relatively close political balance between Republicans and Democrats. Some observers consider the outcome of this race to determine partisan control of the State Senate.
3. If this is your first time running for office (or this position), why are you running for this position? If you are an incumbent, what have been your top accomplishments as a legislator?
Yes – This is my first time running for office. I’m running to leverage my experience in business and health care to talk about the keys to job creation and addressing the negative consequences of Obamacare here in Nevada with a Patients’ Bill of Rights as exists in other states, and which will put patients back in control of their health care and improve the quality of the care they receive. I will be opposing all tax increases as they are hurtful to family budgets and the economy, and promoting innovation, accountability, and parent choice as the true measures of education reform – not dollars spent.
4. What makes you more qualified to serve in this position than your opponent(s)?
I believe that the answer to this question comes in terms of policy differences rather than professional qualifications. I am the only candidate who is pledging to protect taxpayers from tax hikes. I believe my opposition to tax increases is the right policy to grow our economy and keep jobs in Nevada.
5. What do you see as the three most important issues related to your district?
The top issues in the 9th Senate District are the top issues in almost every part of Nevada. We must grow our economy and create jobs – that means keeping taxes low and reducing regulations on small businesses. We must create an education system that provides a quality education whose results are measured in terms of student achievement – not simply tax dollars spent. And we must ensure that Nevadans have access to quality health care of their choosing without the interference of bureaucrats and politicians.
6. What do you see as the top three legislative priorities?
1) To reduce taxes for Nevada families and businesses to spur economic growth.
2) To pass a patient’s bill of rights that defends Nevadans’ health care choices from infringement by bureaucrats and politicians.
3) To pass reforms in education that emphasize innovation, accountability, and parent choice.
7. As a legislator, you are allowed to present a specific number of bills during the legislative session. Do you have any specific bills in mind?
My first piece of legislation will be a Patient’s Bill of Rights to protect Nevada families from the increasing costs, reduced access, and diminished quality of health care under Obamacare.
8. What is your position in regards to the taxes imposed in 2009 that were to ‘sunset’ in 2011, but were re-approved by the 2011 and 2013 legislature?
I have pledged to my constituents to oppose tax increases, so I believe in letting taxes expire that Nevadans expect to sunset.
When budgets are tight, politicians often look to raise taxes as the simplest way to address revenues. I believe raising taxes is short-sighted. As a small businessman, I know we must have the courage to reduce taxes and regulations to encourage economic growth – so that the small business sector can be revived and drive job creation. That is the free market approach to revenue-generation instead of the top-down government-centered approach that creates a stagnant economy.
9. Describe how you would address improving the performance of Nevada’s public schools.
My education platform is that progress cannot be measured in terms of spending – it must be measured in terms of results. Real reform requires introducing both innovation and real accountability into the classroom. To this end I support charter schools, school choice, and administrative and teacher accountability for education outcomes.
10. To what degree should the State support Charter Schools and those students opting to attend a school outside their district?
Nevada should take all measures necessary to improve quality and choice in education. This includes full support of charter schools and families’ option to choose a school that meets the education needs of their children. In particular, state policy should assist charter schools in gaining access to the key infrastructure (e.g. buildings) that they need to succeed.
11. The State Legislature has found innovative ways to circumvent the state law banning the passing down of unfunded mandates to local governing entities. What is your position in regards to using such actions to fund state needs?
I strongly oppose any and all unfunded mandates for local government.
12. What is your position in regards to increasing Nevada’s minimum wage?
I believe that increasing the minimum wage only serves to make it more difficult for those who are unemployed to obtain a job. It is imperative that we add to rather than subtract from the workforce.
13. Do you believe the gaming and mining industries pay ‘their fair share’ in contributing to the state’s economy? Explain.
Yes. The gaming and mining industries contribute a great deal to Nevada’s economy through taxes on their economic activity and most importantly, the thousands of jobs they create.
We must defend our gaming, tourism and mining industries – and the Nevadans who work within those industries – against the proposals for added taxes that will only drive jobs away.
In order to understand my philosophy on this issue, it is important to understand my background. As the son of immigrants, I believe that economic growth is a function of freedom and opportunity. Government can’t create wealth, it can only redistribute or destroy it.
14. What is your view of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Nevada?
The ACA – “Obamacare” – has torn apart thousands of doctor-patient relationships, thrown thousands of Nevadans off their preferred health plans and has dramatically raised insurance costs while offering fewer choices and more bureaucracy. The implementation of the state-run exchange has failed the people of Nevada. Thousands of Nevadans are unable to sign-up due to technical difficulties with the website and those that believe that they have coverage are now being told they are not covered at all.
As a health care professional, I oppose Obamacare and would like to see its mandates repealed. I propose a return to patient-centered health care where patients choose their health plans and within those plans choose their doctors. My first piece of legislation will be to introduce a Patient’s Bill of Rights to protect patients and put them back in control of their own health care decisions. Patient choice is the road to better, more affordable health care.
15. Define you position on fracking and other means of oil exploration in Nevada. Do you support coal fired plants?
I support a diverse approach to energy exploration that includes fracking and clean coal. America must achieve energy independence.
16. In efforts to bring new businesses to Nevada, the Catalyst Fund was established. This is funded by state tax dollars. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development receives and then votes on applications from businesses and, through local governmental entities, subsidizes those selected. What is your position in regards to the Catalyst Fund? Do you have other ideas to encourage new businesses to locate in Nevada?
It is important to encourage new businesses to locate in Nevada. However, I believe there should be more transparency and accountability within the Catalyst Fund – and any time government decides to spend taxpayer dollars in a way that might benefit a specific business.
Rather than have bureaucrats and politicians pick winners and losers, I believe the best way to attract new business and jobs is to create an economic environment with low taxes and reduced regulations. This broad-based approach promotes entrepreneurship and encourages job creation.
In terms of new industries, health care technology and innovation is one industry that is growing globally and with a medical school at UNLV, we can produce a highly-skilled workforce that can attract those types of businesses and their global revenues.
17. Do you support “campus carry” legislation allowing licensed CCW permit holders over the age of 21 to carry their weapons on Nevada college and university campuses? Would you extend the same right to secondary school campuses?
I believe in the unalienable right to armed self-defense and am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I support the right of CCW permit holders to carry a firearm on campuses for their self-defense.
18. Do you support universal school vouchers, providing the money goes to the student/parent and not to any particular school?
I support parental choice in education, and vouchers are one option I would support to make sure we are putting the interests of students and families first, rather than defending the unacceptable status quo.
19. If there is any issue(s) that you are concerned about that has not been addressed in this interview, this is your opportunity to address it:
As a community advocate on behalf of veterans’ health care, I believe that in order to honor their service and sacrifice, we should ensure they receive the highest quality of medical care we have to offer.
These interviews are posted on Nevada News & Views (www.nevadanewsandviews.com) and/or NewsDesk by Nancy Dallas (www.ndbynd.com). Reposting of any interview by interested parties must include the disclaimer the interview was originally posted in the above publications. Questions or comments may be directed to Nancy Dallas at email@example.com or 775-847-0129.