28 Apr Ellen Spiegel
Campaign Contact Phone: (702) 577-2167
How would you develop a better system to audit the state’s finances and better allocate funds?
Speak with internal and external clients, as well as with staff and the current auditors to determine improvement opportunities and ensure high quality data are provided to decision makers on a timely basis.
What steps would you take to increase transparency for how the state of Nevada funds public education, specifically K-12?
Encourage legislators to take action to require that school districts report budget line-item spending to the legislature and explain variances between budgeted amounts and actual expenditures.
What other forms of communication with the public would you make available so Nevadans know where our state’s money is going?
In addition to revamping the Controller’s website and using it as an ongoing communications tool, I would look at developing newsletters and blog posts for interested parties, as well as hosting Zoom forums and other public meetings.
What are some of the ways that you would like to help the public understand what the State Controller does, since it’s a position that average voters may not necessarily know about?
I tell people the Controller’s job is to: pay the bills; collect the money so the checks don’t bounce; and let everyone know where we stand. While this description is overly simplistic, everyone understands it, and those who are interested in knowing more detail can ask follow up questions. I’ve been beginning my public speeches with this description, and it helps people become more engaged.
How can the controller increase the ability of our state to have adequate revenue for issues like affordable housing and education?
As Controller, I would launch actions/programs that would give the state more money to invest in State fiscal priorities, such as affordable housing and education. Examples include implementing cost containment and financial control strategies; analyzing write-offs to determine prioritization of collection efforts and increasing collections of debts owed to the state; and developing programs like my proposed “Right Track” program that will offer relief to start-up businesses and foster regulatory compliance, which will help create long-term revenue streams and decrease the need for social services. expenditures.
If elected, what improvements would you recommend to the state debt collection system? This system has begun to show positive results in Nevada, how would you improve the performance of our debt collection?
First, I would analyze write-offs to determine prioritization of improvement opportunities, as well as appropriate strategies. Second, I would work with agencies to create debt aging reports, giving the state the opportunity to collect debts before those debts become seriously in arrears.
As the Chief Financial Officer of the state, what would be your primary goal in executing your duties as Controller if elected?
My primary goal is protecting Nevada’s money. As Chief Fiscal Officer, I would ensure state funds are used as intended, the state’s monies are handled transparently and efficiently, and that I would work to bolster the state’s bottom line, to help maximize services provided while keeping taxes low.
Nevada has no state income tax and much of our revenue comes from tourism, casinos, and hospitality. What steps would you take to increase transparency concerning the state’s revenue sources?
As said earlier, in addition to revamping the Controller’s website and using it as an ongoing communications tool, I would look at developing newsletters and blog posts for interested parties, as well as hosting Zoom forums and other public meetings.
What would you prioritize in the task of collecting on outstanding debts owed to the state?
I would begin by analyzing past write-offs and assessing current efforts to determine prioritization of collection efforts and increasing collections of debts owed to the state.
What systems would you put in place to make sure we have adequate funding in case of another emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, so that we do not end up in another situation where we have to make budget cuts to education and healthcare due to loss of revenue?
I would work with the Legislature and others in the Executive branch to help bolster the Rainy Day Fund and to ensure that appropriate fiscal controls are in place.