Regent speaks at monthly Republican women’s lunch | NevadaAppeal.com

Regent speaks at monthly Republican women’s lunch

Lana Scharmann
for the LVN

Nevada System of Higher Education regent Ron Knecht recently spoke at the monthly meeting of the Churchill County Republican Women, discussing a possible run for state controller and state spending for higher education.

Knecht said he is seriously considering his running for state controller. He said that too often politicians explain budget cuts based on projected or anticipated budgets not on actual-fact spending levels.

Additonally, Knecht told the Republican women there needs to be more straight talk and number crunching at the state level so that taxpayers can get a full accounting of their tax dollars.

Knecht said he should make his final decision by the first of the year.

A resident of Carson City, Knecht is serving in his seventh year as a member of the NSHE Board of Regents. He discussed the budget crisis of Western Nevada College and how it has had tremendous negative affect on the local Fallon Campus. Knecht said that every time the college experiences another cut like the most recent 8.4 percent budget reduction, the Fallon Campus seems to get hit the hardest. Knecht said with the anticipated resignation of WNC President Carol Lucey and the move to an interim replacement, it is hoped that the college can get back on track.

Knecht also discussed the dramatic increase in state spending over the past 10 years. He said that the total state spending has far exceeded the growth in personal income, which measures the well being of the families and businesses who pay Nevada state taxes.

He said taxes continue to increase even though income has dropped by as much as 10 percent during that time period. In addition, Knecht said state spending on K-12 and Health and Human Services has increased dramatically while other state budget line items such as higher education and public safety have decreased significantly.

Knecht represents Region 9 (which includes Fallon) and currently serves for a second time as chair of the Audit Committee. He is also a member of the Business and Finance Committee (which he has chaired twice), Cultural Diversity Committee and Investment and Facilities Committee. He is an economist and financial, technical and policy analyst with a Master of Science in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University and has a law degree.