Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
'Jazz'

member station

KNPR

Assemblywoman Michele Fiore Makes Waves In Republican-Led Assembly


Depending on your point of view, Assemblywoman Michele Fiore is either a saint for conservative causes, or a wrench in the governor’s attempts to move the state forward.


Fiore, the former Republican majority leader and tax committee chair of the Nevada Assembly, has voiced opposition to Governor Sandoval’s proposed taxes and says she has the support to stop the $1.1 billion increase.

Support comes from


Tax Increases and Spending Cuts 


Fiore told KNPR’s State of Nevada that she sees no reason for the State Legislature to raise taxes before they’ve cut spending.


“The State of the State was basically about increasing spending 10.6 percent,” Fiore said.


She brushed off questions about the state already suffering from severe cuts made during the recession, suggesting the state needs to make better use of the resources it has.


She suggested making cuts to teacher pay based on advanced degrees and not performance. She also said the $300 million spent on class-size reduction could be cut and offered school choice, digital teaching and education savings accounts as ways to improve education and reduce the budget.


She stood firm on not supporting revenue increases citing the failure of the margins tax during the November election.


 “Our state cannot afford $1.2 billion worth of taxes,” Fiore said “This tax was voted down by 80 percent of constituents that said ‘no’ on a gross receipts margins tax.”


Fiore said after the Republican Party swept the November election, Gov. Brian Sandoval should have changed his budget priorities.


“When Nevada gifted our governor with handing him both houses as republicans on Nov. 4, on Nov. 5 he should have flushed the budget he worked on all year,” Fiore said. “He should have told them to sharpen pencils and bring big fat erasers.”


Republican Rift


The rift among Republican assembly members is well documented and it started months before the session. First with a Reno lawmaker Ira Hansen, who was voted in as Speaker, but later asked to step aside because of controversial articles he wrote.


Then, Fiore made headlines in December when political analyst Jon Ralston reported she owed the IRS upward of $1 million in unpaid taxes. She blamed the problem on a bad employee and made it clear that she is working with the IRS to correct the mistake.


At the time, Fiore was the head of the taxation committee and the Republican majority leader.


She told KNPR’s State of Nevada she does not believe her tax issues should have been a reason to remove her as the chair of the taxation committee.


“When you have an individual who has battled and been through what I’ve been through, who is better to be the chairperson of taxation? Who better to be an advocate for the regular person?” Fiore asked


Speaker John Hambrick said he removed Fiore from assembly leadership positions for her criticism of two consultants and a donor and repeated insubordination. 


In an open letter to Hambrick, Fiore called his reasoning for her removal “faulty, at best.”


On KNPR’s State of Nevada, Fiore stood by her claims that there is a war on women and a war on conservatives. The assemblywoman re-iterated her claim that a handful of people in her caucus were against her because she is a strong woman.

The 2015 Legislature convenes on February 2, and the battle over tax funds may be a painful one throughout the 120-day session.  

GUEST:

Michele Fiore, Nevada Assembly, District 4

Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.knpr.org/.
Guests

Michele Fiore, Nevada Assembly, District 4

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.