State Senate District 17 candidates


In today’s LVN, Dr. Robin Titus and Jim Wheeler offer their viewpoints on questions presented to them by The Fallon Post and the Lahontan Valley News.
They are running for State Senate District 17.
The term for the seat is four years.


Robin Titus

 Dr. Robin Titus, candidate for State Senate District 17

Dr. Robin Titus serves as the Assembly Republican leader. She has served Lyon County as a family practice physician for 37 years including pre- and post-natal care delivering countless babies. In addition to serving her patients, she also served as Chief of Staff at the Lyon County Hospital and on the State Board of Medical Examiners.
Titus is in her fourth term at the Legislature and is the Lyon County health officer. She enjoys skiing, hunting, fishing, hiking, wine tasting, gardening, and spending time with her family and grandkids. Furthermore, Titus is a longtime proud NRA member and CCW holder, avid early morning runner including ten marathon completions, instrument-rated pilot, and has climbed to Mt. Everest base camp and summited Mt. Whitney and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
According to Titus, she has been ranked the most conservative member in the Legislature. Titus lives in Wellington with her husband, retired Lyon County Sheriff Allen Veil.


Water issues will be affecting Nevada. What are the issues you feel need addressing in the next session of the Nevada Legislature?
Water is a statewide issue. Many of our water basins have been over allocated. Estimating future needs is difficult at best. We need an overall water policy. Last governor to commission one was Gov. Jim Gibbons, the Sage Commission


Tying in with question 1, what are the climatic changes affecting Nevada and what should the Legislature do to combat drought, wildfires, extreme heat, air pollution from smoke, etc. 
I do not deny that the climate is changing. The cause and effect is debatable.
There has been a definite increase in the number of wild land fires. I would argue that poor management of our lands is the issue.


How should the next Legislature look at voting procedures, mail-in ballots for upcoming elections?
I believe in voter ID. I am not opposed to mail-in ballots if requested.
I am absolutely against ballot harvesting.


Every session, legislators will handle a number of veterans’ issues. What do you envision the top issues are regarding to veterans and their quality of life. Do you have a priority of veterans’ issues that need to be discussed?
Mental health issues and access to care are very important and must continue to be addressed.


Both the Navy and U.S. Air Force are continuing their respective plans to expand and modernize their ranges. What role do you envision the state having?
The Federal Government already controls over 80% of our State.
I am not supportive of them closing off any additional land to public access.
At the same time, I support a strong military and recognize the need for training.


Northern Nevada has faced unparalleled growth during the past decade. What is the Senate’s role to ensure the area keeps its quality of life issues intact?
Growth in Northern Nevada has been encouraged for hundreds of years.
As co-founder of the Smith Valley Historical Society, I have read many documents describing the richness of the valley and encouraging growth.
The Newlands project started in the early 1900s to encourage growth of Lahontan Valley, When do we say stop? This goes back to my early comment regarding the Sage Commission and looking at Nevada’s future.


Every year, education funding and other issues always arise at the Legislature. What do you see as your priorities with education? i.e. funding, curriculum, class size, rural broadband. 
I am very concerned about the new funding formula. Worried about the rurals getting shorted. The funds should not all go into one pot.
I think education is top heavy and not enough goes to the teachers or classrooms. If COVID did nothing else, it showed us the deficiencies we have in our broadband.


More on education. Should Nevada follow the lead of other states in looking at CRT, library and classroom books and their content? 
Absolutely not. Nevada needs to look at getting out of the 50th (%) of all the worst rankings in education.


Taxes are always an issue during the legislative season. Is it time to implement a state income tax to fund priorities such as education, public safety, etc. Why or Why not? 
I absolutely do not support a state income tax. It is not just a cliché when I say Nevada doesn’t have a money problem, it has a spending problem. Nevadans voted to legalize marijuana with the hope that the taxes would go to education, most of the money is going to regulation and monitoring.


Rural Nevada healthcare issues are a concern to residents in your district. What do you see as the issues governing the quality of healthcare now and in the future? 
Access to care and providers. The proposal by the current Administration for a public health option will discourage any new health care providers from locating to Nevada. I have successfully passed bills to increase access to care. Encouraging our youth to go into health care is critical. Starting programs to offset some of the costs is also important.


Nevada and the rest of the county are facing a significant downturn with the economy. What is your vision to ensuring the state would weather a recession better than during the Great Recession of 2008-2011?
I had proposed we use some of the ARPA funds to put into our Rainy Day Fund.
I am also very concerned that we are creating bigger government we cannot afford to pay for when the money runs out.
We should not be dependent on the government. Government needs to get out of the way and allow innovation and the private sector to flourish.



Jim Wheeler

 
Jim Wheeler, candidate for State Senate District 17
Senate District 17 candidate Jim Wheeler of Douglas County has spent the past 10 years as the Nevada Assemblyman, District 39.
Wheeler is veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He is also a former law enforcement officer.
For the past 14 years, he has served as CEO of Powerdyne Automotive products. He was a former ranch owner and operator in Gardnerville and North Texas.


Water issues will be affecting Nevada. What are the issues you feel need addressing in the next session of the Nevada Legislature?
With Nevada as the driest state in the union, water storage is the biggest problem facing our rural areas currently. We have to increase storage capabilities to see us through the dry years. We also have to make sure that Southern Nevada is not allowed to divert water from our rural areas.


Tying in with question 1, what are the climatic changes affecting Nevada and what should the Legislature do to combat drought, wildfires, extreme heat, air pollution from smoke, etc.
The biggest problem facing us in forestry and the management of fires, is not climate change, but poor forest management. We must allow some logging and dead vegetation removal from our forests and range lands to mitigate these fires. Rangeland fires can be mitigated by BLM opening up more areas to grazing.


How should the next Legislature look at voting procedures, mail-in ballots for upcoming elections?
AB321 in the last session was a recipe for disaster in our voting procedures. We must reverse this bill and require voter ID, get rid of blanket mail-in ballots and return ballot harvesting to a felony. This is the only way to ensure that our citizens can trust their ballots are counted properly and that each and every legal ballot counts.


Every session, legislators will handle a number of veterans’ issues. What do you envision the top issues are regarding to veterans and their quality of life. Do you have a priority of veterans’ issues that need to be discussed?
As a veteran myself, I have always been active in these issues. I passed a bill that would exempt veterans disability pay from civil litigation in 2015, for example. My next bill will be to exempt disabled veterans from property taxes.


Both the Navy and U.S. Air Force are continuing their respective plans to expand and modernize their ranges. What role do you envision the state having?
Since all affected lands are federal lands, the only thing the state can do is negotiate the terms of land usage. Your state senator must be able to act as an “Ambassador” between our local governments, tribes and others and bring those concerns to our federal representatives.


Northern Nevada has faced unparalleled growth during the past decade. What is the Senate’s role to ensure the area keeps its quality of life issues intact?
Most quality of life issues come down to zoning, open spaces and infrastructure. The Senate (Legislature) can, and does routinely, study and pass laws to ensure the Nevada way of life. One of the many things we have done in the rural areas in the past is work with the federal government to increase conservation easements.


Every year, education funding and other issues always arise at the Legislature. What do you see as your priorities with education? i.e. funding, curriculum, class size, rural broadband.
Since the 1960s we have fallen for the misdirection that more funding equals better education outcomes. As we can see here in Nevada that is not necessarily the case. What other states have done that has shown promise and even dramatic results is to return the education of our children back to the direction of the parents. This is done through school choice, where the money follows the child and creates competition in the system.


More on education. Should Nevada follow the lead of other states in looking at CRT, library and classroom books and their content?
Yes. We need full disclosure of what our children are being taught and complete parental involvement in the process.


Taxes are always an issue during the legislative season. Is it time to implement a state income tax to fund priorities such as education, public safety, etc. Why or Why not?
It is written in our State Constitution that there shall be no personal income tax in Nevada. It would take a vote of the people to change this. I see absolutely no need to implement a state income tax as our budget has been operating with a surplus for years now. There are also new programs that our current Governor has implemented that are totally unnecessary that can be cut from the budget. We need to control state spending.
I have also signed the taxpayer protection pledge, guaranteeing will not vote for any new taxes.


Rural Nevada healthcare issues are a concern to residents in your district. What do you see as the issues governing the quality of healthcare now and in the future?
Rural healthcare concerns in Nevada comes down to access and cost. These can be controlled by lowering the regulation burden the state imposes on healthcare providers. As our population ages, we must also make sure that the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are kept to a level that our rural hospitals can sustain.

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