Nevada State Profile   Governor Kenny C. Guinn

 

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October 24, 2006 - Mining Key Industry for Nevada
 

 
 

   Governor Kenny C. Guinn
  Governor Kenny C. Guinn
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Governor Guinn's Proclamations
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  First Lady Dema Guinn
 First Lady Dema Guinn
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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 Nevada. 

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 multi-faceted website, http://nv.gov, which includes links to most state government departments/agencies and links to all other branches of state government. 

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 fees paid.  

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.   
 

Guinn Family 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 Nevada’s children.   

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 Medical 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:

Ø       Department of Motor Vehicle service improvements brought about by increased funding to hire additional staff and better use of technology.

Ø       Privatization of the state’s workers’ compensation system relieved Nevada taxpayers of a $1.6 billion liability.

Ø        Infusion of an additional $10 million for economic development to supplement the $3 million previously allocated.

Ø        Lease-Purchase programs that allowed the state to save money on lease contracts and to consolidate its workforce.

Ø        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.

Ø        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 resources.

Ø        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.

Ø        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.


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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