In an interview with conservative columnist Victor Joecks of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and Adam Laxalt running mate Michael Roberson asserted that “no daylight” existed between himself, Laxalt, and Gov. Brian Sandoval on education funding, despite the fact that Laxalt wants to repeal the landmark 2015 education investment that both Roberson and Sandoval supported.
Roberson: “There is no daylight between Attorney General Laxalt and myself and Gov. Sandoval on continuing funding education at existing levels.” — Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/8/18
The education investment, known as the commerce tax, is a key aspect of outgoing Republican Gov. Sandoval’s legacy, and repealing it would cost the state over $160 million in fiscal year 2019. Laxalt has been calling for its repeal, calling his disagreement with Sandoval on the issue his “bottom line.”
Sandoval has been quick to denounce any attempt to cut the initiative that provides nearly $200 million to Nevada schools every year. He said Laxalt’s repeal proposal would “irreversibly and permanently harm” Nevada’s children, schools, and business climate. In December, he said he could not support any candidate who’d undo his signature education investment.
Laxalt insists that repealing the commerce tax wouldn’t have a negative effect on Nevada’s budget, but Sandoval strongly disagrees. “Anyone supporting a repeal of the Commerce Tax must explain to Nevada’s children, families and businesses which education initiatives will be cut if it is eliminated,” Sandoval said. “Any discussion of eliminating this revenue source must include answers about where in the budget they will cut.” Laxalt has yet to offer any solutions for how to make up the lost funding should he be elected and repeal the commerce tax.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“Laxalt is so desperate to earn Gov. Sandoval’s support that his running mate is now feeding misleading statements to a sympathetic columnist. Laxalt hasn’t been transparent on a lot of issues, but one thing he’s clear on is his intent to scrap Sandoval’s bipartisan investment in Nevada’s struggling schools. Laxalt is out of touch with Nevada’s priorities and can’t be trusted to bring our education system into the future”