Name: John Piro
Office: State Assembly, District
On-Air Interview Summary:
John Piro told KNPR’s State of Nevada that he’s running for Assembly District 4 because he believes the state can do better on issues where it ranks far behind other states like education and mental health.
Piro is an attorney working in the public defender’s office. One of the biggest issues he said needs to be addressed is how the state treats people with a mental illness. He said many people with a mentally illness end up in the Clark County Detention Center or prison where they’re put back on their medication, stabilized, serve their time and then put back out on the street with very little support.
He believes the state needs to do a better job of treating people with mental illness on the front end – before they get caught up in the justice system – rather than after in prison. Piro admits it will take an investment up front but over the long term the state will save money.
Piro also believes the legislative session should be done on an annual basis instead of every other year.
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Question: In a 140 characters, introduce yourself as if you are introducing yourself to a neighbor
Hello KNPR Listeners! My name is John Piro, and Las Vegas is my hometown. I’ve grown up here locally from the age of 6, and graduated from Durango High School. I am a veteran U.S. Army Combat Medic, and the first person in my family to attain a college degree. I’m a local attorney here in town, and I’m running because I want to help Las Vegas become a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Question: Last legislative session, the major initiative was a tax increase to support education in the state. What should the major accomplishment of 2017 legislature be?
Grandfathering net metering rates to the customers that have already invested in solar energy prior to the PUC’s decision. Furthermore, it is time for the legislature to develop a comprehensive alternative energy plan that moves Nevada into a leadership role in the alternative energy economy. It is time for Nevada to be a leader in this area, and to show the rest of the nation how to develop a strong, reliable, and sustainable economic future through green energy, which includes solar, wind, and geothermal energy.
Question: If recreational marijuana is legalized by voters in this state, do you want revenue from it to fund health initiatives, research and/or youth awareness campaigns?
Yes, if the voters of Nevada legalize the recreational use of marijuana, then I think it is absolutely essential that a portion of the revenue be dedicated to health initiatives, research, and education on the uses and abuses of the drug, much like a portion of gaming revenues must be dedicated to gambling addiction and awareness programs.
Furthermore, I also want to see the revenue allocated in such a way that it has a meaningful impact on our failing schools. For example, it would be a good idea to develop a program similar to our neighbors in Colorado, whom, in just over a year raised $15.8 million dollars for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program. Lastly, it would also be a wise idea to use some of the revenue to improve our state’s infrastructure.
Question: Many elected officials in Clark County say they’d like to see the property tax cap changed — that its time because tax revenues aren’t meeting budgets. Is that an idea you want to see the legislature tackle?
I believe that the legislature will have to adjust the secondary formulas, and deal with the 10 year averages, as well as look at the adjustment of the caps in order to ensure that our local government budgets do not face catastrophic shortfalls, for instance—CCSD is set to have a $550 million dollar shortfall if the secondary formulation is not adjusted. In sum, it is imperative that we look to adjust the property tax caps in a meaningful way that does not put too heavy of a burden on our citizens.
Question: Do you Support the Construction of a taxpayer-funded NFL stadium?
I am not opposed to a stadium in Las Vegas, and it is about time that we had our own professional football home team. However, I am not in favor of giving away $750 million dollars of our tax money to fund the construction, especially when a large majority of the people in my District have let me know that they are not in favor of giving away so much of our tax money for this endeavor, especially when there is so much left to be done for our children in public school.
(Editor's note: The candidate's biography and answers were not edited for content or length)
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