ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 4 – MICHELE FIORE
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Assembly District 4 is located in the Las Vegas Valley. There are two candidates in this Primary race: Melissa Laughter and incumbent Michele Fiore. Both responded to this interview.
1. Give a brief summation of your professional and political background.
I am a mother, grandmother, daughter and businesswoman. I own and operate a home healthcare business and have employed more than 2,000 Nevadans. I know what it takes to employ people and I am also in the employers club that’s getting taxed and overregulated right out of business. I stepped up to the plate to run for office to be a true voice for the people and business. I was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2012 and am committed to being the voice of the residents of District 4 in Carson City. I’m proud to stand with the people and my voting record speaks for you. Thank you NPRI for rating me the #1 legislator in this state
2. Define your district – geographic boundaries, demographic makeup, and political balance.
Here is an incredible graph of district 4:
However, if you just want a quick overview: My district is located in the Las Vegas Valley and has no specific geographic boundaries, it is entirely within Clark County and is defined primarily by streets. According to the 2010 Census the average Household income is approximately $73,500 and the population is approximately 65,000. Approximately 74% of the district is white, 10% are black, 6% are Asians and 15% of Hispanic origin. Currently there are 30,923 registered voters; 11,928 Democrats, 11,569 Republicans, 5,562 Non-Partisans and the balance is other minor parties.
3. If this is your first time running for office (or this position), why are you running for this position? If you are an incumbent, what have been your top accomplishments as a legislator?
This might sound cliché however, working together across the isle for Nevadans is my top priority and when done genuinely with sincerity, I considered that a great accomplishment. With this past session as my freshman year, there were 89 bills that I co-sponsored as well as bills I spoke in favor of and stood up for on our chamber floor. The most important bills I took part in represented your freedoms. One of my personal bills had 58 co-sponsors out of 63 legislators; this bill would of affectively changed the way we deal with criminal infractions. Most Criminal infractions in the state of Nevada should be considered civil penalties as 37 other states do including all our surrounding states. Protecting sibling’s rights in foster care, voting against infringing on your civil rights and of course even though it didn’t have the opportunity for a vote, campus carry (our second amendment right to protect ourselves), which will be back next session.
4. What makes you more qualified to serve in this position than your opponent?
As a businesswoman that has hired over 2000 Nevadans, dealt with and still deal with over taxation, fees, unfair regulations, legislation that has directly affected business growth and litigation to get paid; I sign the front of the paychecks not the back. I’ve battled with agencies that penalize employers for employing people and my biggest competitor is our unemployment system that I get to pay for three times now because our state has put the burden on the backs of small business. I don’t nor did I go along to get along this past session if the impact wasn’t favorable to the people and business. I stood for the people and business. Developing relationships across the aisle for the people and legislation is key.
5. There is a well-publicized, on-going philosophical split among many in the Republican Party. Describe your political philosophy in relation to this ‘moderate’ conservative versus ‘tea party’ conservative divide.
I love our party and I love and respect each and every one of our members. I look at this issue as your typical family; I don’t know any family that doesn’t disagree. My political philosophy for the Republican Party as a whole is numbers. We have to increase our registration numbers if we are going to continue to make a true freedom impact. We have to be united as a whole and stand together with our different ideologies because both factions base is Republican.
6. What do you see as the three most important issues related to your district?
Jobs; Foreclosures; Property use, including HOA’s.
7. What do you see as the top three legislative priorities?
• Education reform by school choice;
• Budget by reallocating funds & combining agencies;
• Changing criminal infractions to civil penalties;
• Working for the people instead of continuing to grow government by implementing more agencies and duplicate regulatory boards.
8. What is your position in regards to the taxes imposed in 2009 that were to ‘sunset’ in 2011, but were re-approved by the 2011 and 2013 legislature?
“Broken promises”, the reason I got involved in politics is to vote for business and the people. I voted against the budget and the sunset taxes. It’s sad we don’t have more business people in politics. When you look closely at our leadership ask yourself, who ran businesses, who fights taxes, who implements these regulations and taxes. I can tell you not the real job creators.
9. Describe how you would address improving the performance of Nevada’s public schools.
Create competition by school choice and vouchers.
10. To what degree should the State support Charter Schools and those students opting to attend a school outside their district?
11. The State Legislature has found innovative ways to circumvent the state law banning the passing down of unfunded mandates to local governing entities. What is your position in regards to using such actions to fund state needs?
Unfunded mandates from the State to local governments are not acceptable. If the State wants a program at a local level they should provide the funds to implement it.
12. Describe your position in regards to Nevada’s Right to Work law and unionization of State employees.
I’m thankful that we are a right to work state.
13. What is your position in regards to increasing Nevada’s minimum wage?
No thank you, the free market will take care of competitive wages. Increasing Nevada’s minimum wage will only increase the cost of living for those receiving minimum wage due to price increases to offset the increase. It will be more effective to reduce the tax burden, which will allow Nevadans to have more money to make purchases that will generate sales taxes.
14. Do you believe the gaming and mining industries pay ‘their fair share’ in contributing to the state’s economy? Explain.
Yes. Let’s talk about their contributions – our hospitality industry gets hit with many taxes and it shifts down to our tourists, which could impact our economy by making Las Vegas an unaffordable destination. Our mining industry pays much more then reported. Most don’t realize, especially us here in Clark County, if we tax mining out of business then the school costs across the rurals will fall on us here in Clark County. As it stands today mining pays for the county and cities they’re in. Do we really want to pick up that tab?
15. In 1979 Nevada passed a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. It was repealed eight years later (1987). What is your position in regards to Nevada once again legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes? Legalizing the sale of marijuana, period?
We talk about freedom, we talk about how bad Obamacare is, we talk and scream about keeping AND CHOSING our plans and doctors. BUT yet some have an issue with you choosing the medicine best for you, your sickness and your body. As a freshman legislator this was a distinguishing bill, my one vote either passed SB374 or killed it. I choose to stand with the people and voted for SB374. Are we really the party of freedom and liberty for all or just the freedoms we feel like dictating?
16. What is your view of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Nevada?
Not a good one, I voted against it.
17. Define you position on fracking and other means of oil exploration in Nevada. Do you support coal fired plants?
Nevada needs affordable energy, and that means fairly evaluating all options. I have some concerns about fracking, however, I support fracking and horizontal drilling, and since it’s relatively new to Nevada, we need to learn more. Nevada also needs affordable energy resources to continue growing, especially as other southern states are competing with us for relocating businesses. Renewable energy should be considered because we have no shortage of wind and sun; however, we need to be realistic that developing those resources may exceed the cost of using coal. I do support “clean” coal fired plants.
18. In efforts to bring new businesses to Nevada, the Catalyst Fund was established. This is funded by state tax dollars. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development receives and then votes on applications from businesses and, through local governmental entities, subsidizes those selected. What is your position in regards to the Catalyst Fund? Do you have other ideas to encourage new businesses to locate in Nevada?
The Catalyst Fund is an end-run around Nevada’s constitutional prohibition against the State lending money to private companies and as such I do not support it. Nevadans overwhelmingly defeated constitutional amendments to remove Article 8, Section 9, in 1992, 1996 and 2000; we should respect the wishes of the electorate. If we wish to offer subsidies to private companies we should refer this back to a vote of the people. The best way to draw businesses to Nevada is to provide a stable tax base that is not “tinkered” with every legislative session.
19. Do you support “campus carry” legislation allowing licensed CCW permit holders over the age of 21 to carry their weapons on Nevada College and university campuses? Would you extend the same right to secondary school campuses?
YES, I sponsored AB143 and yes I would extend the same right to our secondary schools. We were once allowed to carry on campus prior to the implementation of some NAC’s in January 1989. Those just need to be repealed.