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During his two years in office, state Treasurer Dan Schwartz has not shied away from some of Nevada’s political hot potatoes, including education savings accounts and the tax breaks offered to electric car makers Tesla and Faraday Future.
He took criticism from fellow Republicans during a recent legislative hearing where lawmakers questioned his hiring of an aide to deal with education savings accounts, even though the Nevada Supreme Court put the program on hold.
Schwartz said he believes education savings accounts will be revived in a way that passes judicial muster, and his office needs to be prepared.
“Had we not done anything — we spent about a half a million dollars on the software and getting everything ready — you would have had a treasurer who sat for two years and did nothing,” Schwartz told KNPR’s State of Nevada. “Is that what you want as a citizen?”
Schwartz said that the criticism from other Republicans is connected to "personal grudges."
“These are personal grudges held by two or three legislators," he said, "We’ve had a shootout and that will continue.”
Schwartz said some of the animosity goes back to 2015 when the governor asked for push back on his proposed budget. Schwartz floated his own budget, which was criticized by lawmakers on both sides of aisle.
He also recently called for an audit of the tax incentives that helped lure Tesla and Faraday factories to Nevada.
“I have some real questions, and this goes to all of the projects GOED (Governor’s Office of Economic Development) oversees,” Schwartz said. “The executive director really has unfettered ability to award tax breaks, … and the intent in asking for the audit was to see how these processes work.”
The executive director he is talking about is Steve Hill, who heads GOED.
Schwartz said GOED releases reports, but after he reads the reports it is not any clearier. He said there "no indication" of how the process works.
Dan Schwartz, Nevada state treasurer