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Governor-elect Steve Sisolak just went from making decisions impacting Clark County to managing an entire state.

As a Clark County commissioner, he helped oversee the Las Vegas Strip, University Medical Center and McCarran International Airport

But as governor, he will come up with a state budget, but also be involved with education, prisons, roads, health care, law enforcement, and taxes.

"I'm committed to doing what's best for the citizens of Nevada," Sisolak told KNPR's State of Nevada.

He said he's not raising taxes to help pay for improvements in education and mental health services. Instead, he believes there are ways to re-allocate state money to pay for changes.

As an example, he said that it costs more money to put people in prison for a day than it does to get them mental health services. He envisions getting people mental health first to address some of the state's crime and homelessness issues.

He also thinks there are other streams of revenue for the state's education system - outside of raising taxes.

"The marijuana tax money needs to go into education. It needs to go into education immediately," Sisolak said.

He said there is money that was supposed to go to education but was diverted to other state programs that he wants to be redirected and he thinks there will be a boost of money from new internet sales tax revenue brought about by a recent Supreme Court ruling.

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Beyond those streams of revenue, Sisolak wants more accountability by our education system.

"We're going to ask for frankly a lot more accountability from our school districts and university systems of where all the hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent currently that we're putting into education," he said.

Sisolak said he wants to get to work on education "very, very quickly," when he gets to Carson City. He believes teachers in the state are overworked and underpaid and he plans on addressing that.

Another one of his top priorities is the gun sales background check that was approved by voters in 2016 but was not implemented.

Sisolak said he wants to find a way to make the voter-approved measure work.

"I'm confident that if we have the right attitude, we'll find a way to make this happen," he said.

Another priority for Sisolak is continuing the efforts of Gov. Brian Sandoval to improve and diversify the state's economy; however, he would like to focus more on bringing small businesses to Nevada instead of the large corporations Sandoval and his team focused on.

"Every big business started with a small business," he said, "They started small and I want to encourage those entrepreneurs to have an opportunity to grow, to become a part of Nevada and the dream that we all realized." 


Steve Sisolak, governor-elect

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KNPR's State of Nevada
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KNPR's State of Nevada
KNPR's State of Nevada