(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – In their first joint appearance since being nominated by their parties, former State Senator Mark Amodei and current State Treasurer Kate Marshall appeared at the Nevada Subcontractors Association annual meeting. At the NSA’s last annual gathering gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid and Brian Sandoval engaged in an impromptu debate.
No such surprises occurred yesterday but both candidates highlighted their past accomplishments and future plans.
Marshall touted her experience as Nevada State Treasurer – cutting costs, keeping the department under budget, and making more for the state through investments.
“I’ve come in under budget every single year I’ve been in office,” Marshall said. “I’ve returned about 16% of my budget back to the general fund.”
The Democrat reflected on her management of the state’s funds. “I have made money for the state every single quarter I’ve been in office, even through the worst crisis we’ve had since the Great Depression,” she said.
Marshall also mentioned accomplishments in helping business development. She introduced SB75 in the Legislature last session, which was passed into law. This law creates a fund through which the Treasurer’s office may offer low-interest loans to certain public projects and to companies wishing to expand or open new ventures in Nevada.
Marshall stated that, even though SB75 does not go into effect until October 1, her office has fielded many calls from out-of-state businesses hoping to take advantage of the program to open operations in Nevada. In addition, the bill made the state eligible for additional federal programs providing funds for business development.
If elected, Marshall promised to “fight tooth-and-nail to get” a jobs bill passed.
Amodei discussed the federal budget issues and how they relate to the overall economy, declaring, “You cannot continue to borrow forty cents of every dollar you spend and expect your economy to be healthy…An economy that isn’t healthy is a killer for business.”
The Republican contrasted his experience in the state Legislature, in which the budget must be balanced every session, with Washington’s tendency toward budget deficits. “Balancing the budget by itself won’t do it. Balancing the budget has no spending control,” Amodei said. He continued, “You have to have spending caps as part of it, tied to a percent of gross domestic product.”
He also took issue with recent events in the nation’s capital. “The most insidious thing of the last five years, folks, is this: When the decisions were made to spend the money there was no discussion on how you’re going to pay for it until the debt is incurred and the wolf’s at the door, as we’ve seen especially in the last week.”
Amodei vowed, if elected, to seek a position on the Natural Resources committee. He pledged to use this to help guide policy concerning the vast amount of federal land in Nevada to promote economic development and access to resources such as water.
Marshall had to leave the meeting after the conclusion of her speech while Amodei stuck around and answered reporters’ questions for several minutes after the meeting adjourned.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)