26 Apr Zach Conine
Campaign Contact Phone: (702) 812-4544
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
I made the decision to run for Treasurer because I wanted to ensure that my children could have more opportunities to succeed than I did. As the State’s chief financial officer, I have a responsibility to keep the State on solid financial ground, while making sure that we are constantly working to build the State that Nevadans deserve to live in.
Over the last three years, I’ve strived to make the Treasurer’s Office one of the most helpful constitutional offices in Carson City. From distributing nearly $300 million in emergency rental assistance to help tenants at risk of eviction, providing over $100 million to small businesses struggling during the pandemic, and achieving the highest credit rating in State history; we have worked incredibly hard to help working families make it through some very challenging economic times.
I’m hopeful that we can continue this great work over the next four years, and work to increase quality of live for all Nevadans regardless of their zip code.
How would you make sure that the state wouldn’t make any costly mistakes that could have been avoided?
The Treasurer’s primary responsibility is to protect and preserve Nevadans’ hard-earned tax dollars, by investing them responsibly to create additional revenues for our State’s general fund.
Nevadans deserve a Treasurer who has the experience and the temperament to work to minimize as much risk as possible to ensure that we have the money we need to support our schools, pay our state employees, and ensure that the over 800,000 residents on Medicaid have access to the quality health care they need to survive.
Over my first term as Treasurer, I worked to ensure that Nevada’s investments have been managed responsibly, and I’ve also worked to increase opportunities to expand revenues for our general fund. I delivered the bipartisan votes on the mining tax to deliver $200 million to Nevada’s public school system, and I’ve also worked to ensure the State has expended billions of federal dollars from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan as effectively as possible.
Knowing that the death penalty is exorbitantly expensive, racially discriminatory, and does not promote true healing for victims family members, do you support its abolition and do you think ending the death penalty is a crucial part of criminal justice reform?
Yes, I support ending the death penalty, and I believe we need to be doing more to pass common-sense criminal justice reforms that prioritize rehabilitation and re-entry over mass incarceration.
Transgender people are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed across the U.S. and including Nevada. Additionally, transgender people often avoid access educational opportunities because of costs or fear for discrimination and harassment. What changes in policies, procedures and programming are you prepared to enhance to ensure transgender Nevadans have access to financial programs that could enhance their quality of life?
In the 2021 Legislative Session, my office drafted two pieces of legislation that will help move us closer to helping our friends in the transgender community. We worked to draft Senate Bill 222, which was sponsored by Senator Scheible, which requires every State agency to designate a diversity and inclusion liaison to enact new policies that are responsive to the needs of the LGBTQ community.
Additionally, we also drafted Senate Bill 237, which was sponsored by Senator Dallas Harris. This bill formally recognized LGBTQ businesses as disadvantaged businesses in State law, which allows these businesses to receive the same financial assistance and access to capital as other minority and women-owned businesses.
We have a great deal more to do to ensure that transgender Nevadans have access to the financial resources and programs that will help them start a business, buy a home, and live comfortably. I’m committed to continuing to make sure that members of the transgender always have a seat at the table, whenever we’re having conversations about expanding access to these types of programs.
The APIA community faces the largest unmet financial needs when it comes to higher education. Nevada has the highest student loan default rate in the country. In Nevada, there are 333,100 student loan borrowers, $11.5 Billion in student loan debt, and $34,700 in average debt per borrower. How can your office strengthen the Office of the Ombudsman to ensure student loan borrowers are protected and supported?
In the 2019 legislative session, I worked closely with Assemblyman Howard Watts and Speaker Jason Frierson to establish Nevada’s first Student Loan Ombudsperson in the Treasurer’s Office. Since that time, we have worked to help borrowers across Nevada learn how to best structure their student loans and have saved borrowers thousands of dollars by helping them gain access to public service loan forgiveness programs.
We need to provide our Student Loan Ombudsperson with additional resources in this upcoming budget cycle, so we can increase our outreach capacity to further increase the number of Nevadans we can help with their student loans going forward. Additionally, I’m committed to continuing to work with members of the Legislature to crack down on predatory private student loan companies, to ensure that no one has to live in poverty due as a result of overwhelming student loan debt.
State investments in conservation provide resources for a wide range of public benefit, like the management of wildlife and state land, and the creation and maintenance of trails and other recreational facilities. In 2019, the Legislature approved $217 million of bonding authority for conservation purposes, including for the acquisition of land for new state parks. A) Do you support or oppose state investment in conservation? B) Has Nevada’s investment in land conservation been too little, too much, or about right, and how would you change it?
I fully support increased investment in conservation and protecting Nevada’s public lands. For too long we have underinvested in conservation in our State. We are at a critical impasse in our efforts to fight the growing impacts of climate change, and we need to be doing everything we can to work towards a more sustainable future.
By continuing to invest additional resources in conservation and outdoor recreation, we can provide much need revenue into our State, while also maintaining the outdoor treasures that make Nevada the best State in the country.