Governor Kenny C. Guinn has changed the face of
government during his two terms in office through the dynamic and
innovative programs he has initiated: the Millennium Scholarship, Senior Rx, privatization of the state’s workers’ compensation
system, and the 2005 tax surplus rebate program, to name but a few.
During his two terms, Gov. Guinn
has focused on several key areas: education, health care, social
services, energy, homeland security, transportation infrastructure,
economic diversification, and blocking the federal government’s
proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in southern
First elected governor in 1998
(and re-elected in 2002), one of Gov. Guinn’s first orders was for
each department to complete a fundamental review of state
government, which resulted in millions of tax dollars being saved.
During his two terms, Gov. Guinn has continued the process of
streamlining state government while, at the same time, making state
government more accessible to Nevada’s citizens through the
increased use of technology. One example of this is the state’s
http://nv.gov, which includes links to most state government
departments/agencies and links to all other branches of state
Governor Guinn has been at the
helm during Nevada’s recovery from the economic hardship brought
about by the September 11, 2001, tragedies. His leadership has been
instrumental in the state’s ability to bounce back from economic
hardship to now having one of the most robust economies in the
nation. With 50,000 new jobs being created in 2004 alone, Nevada is
creating jobs at a faster rate than any state in the nation. As a
result of these favorable economic factors, chief executives from
around the United States recently ranked Nevada as the second best
state in the nation in which to do business.
In 2005, prompted by the
state’s remarkable financial recovery, Gov. Guinn proposed and
fought for his plan to rebate $300 million in surplus tax dollars to
the citizens of Nevada. Believing that government must return to
its citizens what is rightfully theirs during good times, Gov. Guinn
ushered in Nevada’s first tax surplus rebate, which resulted
in some two million checks ranging from $75 to $275 being mailed to
citizens, based on Department of Motor Vehicles 2004 registration
During his first
State of the State Address, Gov. Guinn proposed using a
percentage of the state’s Tobacco Settlement money to create the
Millennium Scholarship Fund. This innovative program has made a
college education a reality for many students for whom that was once
only a dream. The program provides a $10,000 scholarship to
students who achieve at least a 3.10 grade average upon graduation
from a Nevada high school, and have successfully passed all areas of
the Nevada High School Proficiency Exam. Nearly 30,000 students
have taken advantage of the Millennium Scholarship, with the first
full class having graduated from Nevada’s two institutions of higher
learning in 2004. In recognition of this highly successful program
benefiting Nevada students and families, the 2005 Nevada Legislature
renamed the program the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship.
As a former teacher,
school district superintendent and university president, Gov. Guinn
remains steadfast in his support for education. He has championed
programs that are and will help pave the way for a new generation of
students in Nevada. The
Governor’s Commission on Educational
Excellence, the Early Literacy Intervention Program, and
the infusion of an additional $100 million specifically earmarked
for troubled schools in Nevada serve as hallmarks of Gov. Guinn’s
proven track record of greater educational opportunities for
Gov. Guinn proposed and
was successful in his efforts to pay new teachers a $2,000 signing
bonus as a way to help meet the state’s extraordinary demand for new
classroom teachers. Gov. Guinn was also successful in his efforts
to establish four regional centers for teacher training that focus
on: (1) improving student skills in English, math, science and
social studies, and (2) assisting teachers and administrators in
using the state assessment testing information.
Knowing that the
availability of high-quality health care helps keep families and our
state strong, Gov. Guinn authored the
Senior Rx program,
which is helping nearly 10,000 low-income senior citizens meet the
increasing costs of medications by providing insurance coverage for
this vital component of health care. He also led the effort to
authorize legislation to help keep doctors in Nevada through medical
malpractice reform. As a result of this legislation, the
Liability Association of Nevada, MLAN, was established as a
direct vehicle to curb skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance
rates. MLAN currently insures more than 900 Nevada physicians who
care for an estimated 700,000 patients.
To better protect
Nevadans from possible terrorists attacks, under Gov. Guinn
leadership, the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security,
headed by former Nevada National Guard Adjutant General Giles
Vanderhoof, was created. The agency works in cooperation with the
federal Homeland Security Agency. The Governor also created the
Joint Information Center to better organize communications
efforts in the event of a state emergency. The Center is staffed by
agency and department public information officers, who partner with
Nevada’s Division of Emergency Management to provide critical
information to the media and public during a state emergency.
As chairman of the State
Transportation Board, Gov. Guinn spearheaded a massive building and
renovation program to expand the state’s transportation
infrastructure. More than $2 billion for current and future building
projects designed to address the needs of the nation’s fastest
growing state has been appropriated or authorized. As a result, a
2004 national transportation study ranked Nevada first in road
maintenance and fourth in cost effectiveness.
The overhaul of the
state’s NOMAD system for tracking child support information
and payments, and for collecting non-custodial parent child support
money, was completed during Gov. Guinn’s first term in office.
Other important initiatives and/or cost-saving programs during Gov.
Guinn’s administration include:
of Motor Vehicle service improvements brought about by increased
funding to hire additional staff and better use of technology.
of the state’s workers’ compensation system relieved Nevada
taxpayers of a $1.6 billion liability.
Infusion of an additional $10 million for economic development to
supplement the $3 million previously allocated.
Lease-Purchase programs that allowed the state to save money on
lease contracts and to consolidate its workforce.
Department of Corrections program improvements designed to better
prepare inmates for re-entry into the community through specific
job/life skill training, thereby lowering recidivism.
Nevada’s Division of Internal Audits has made recommendations that
have resulted in revenue generation, cost savings, increases in
available grant monies and the optimization of the state’s
Establishment of the Governor’s
Sage Grouse Conservation Team.
Working with other western state governors, the Team developed a
statewide plan for protecting and growing the state’s sage grouse
habitat, which kept the bird from being listed on the federal
endangered species list.
Heading Nevada’s delegation of legislative and military leaders that
helped prevent the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC)
from closing the Hawthorne Army Depot.