Steven J. Dalton
Name: Steven J. Dalton
Address: 1030 Dwight Way Dayton, NV 89403
Phone number and campaign Web site: 775-230-2263 http://www.dalton4assembly.com
Education: B.A. Secondary Education UNR ’02 Currently working on a Masters Degree in Public Health
Profession: Full time Unit Service Representative, Renown Regional Medical Center, Full Time Graduate Student
Political experience: Candidate Lyon County Commissioner, ’04
Please write a short biography of yourself
I was born in Carson City and have lived in Northern Nevada all of my life, except the three years I spent in Germany in the Army. After leaving the Army, I spent six years in the Nevada National Guard. I’ve been married for eleven years now and have two boys. Both my wife and I graduated from UNR with B.A. degrees in Education. I spent two years teaching high school in Washoe County School District before I decided to make a career change into health care. I am currently working at Renown Regional Medical Center while I work on a Master’s Degree in Public Health. I am an avid reader of a variety of topics and love learning about the complexities of social and political issues. I am open to discussion and feel that it is the job of our elected officials to act like statesman and bring parties together, not point fingers and ignore problems. Assembly District 38 deserves a representative that will be an advocate for working class families and can relate to many of the issues facing most of the families in Nevada. I thank you for your time and ask for your vote.
Why are you running for State Assembly?
Our state is at a crossroads with many crises. The same tired out politics has left our state and country in a financial hole that only new ideas and a fresh perspective can fix. Nevada needs legislators who are willing to do more than politic; we need legislators who will put aside partisan bickering and work together to reach solutions to the problems facing our state. I believe that I would bring a broad background that would be an asset to the legislature and a great representative for District 38.
The state’s budget crisis is going to require some re-evaluation of our services and tightening of belts in the short term. In the long term I believe the states rich geothermal, solar and wind resources could provide the state with a stable, long-term revenue source, the likes of which could dwarf Alaska, by exporting power to the Western United States. This is a fresh perspective and one I will work to make a reality.
Another pressing concern facing Northern Nevada is redistricting. If the north does not have as many democrats at that table as possible, we stand to lose immensely to a state increasingly dominated by Southern Nevada.
What makes a good legislator?
A moral compass with a strong inner sense of right and wrong, a passion for and a willingness to learn, a willingness to listen, an ability to work with others to bring consensus while empathizing with the opposite position, a passion for working to improve the lives of other people, an independent mind, pragmatic, a diverse background knowledge drawn from a variety of life experiences, personal experience with the issues affecting the people, an ability to grasp complex issues and break them down into simpler portions, a lack of tolerance for inefficiency and excuses, social awareness in reading intentions. All traits I believe I possess.
What would your priorities be if elected?
I will work to bring the vested parties together to begin to tap the vast geothermal, solar and wind resources as a commodity to transform Nevada into a power exporter. I will work tirelessly, on behalf of working class families to bring sanity to Health Care in Nevada. It is inexcusable that insurance company representatives living thousands of miles away are allowed to override the care plans determined by the patients and their physicians. Being a veteran myself, I will be an advocate for veterans bringing first hand knowledge that is so desperately lacking in modern legislative bodies.
Should certain tax increases or new taxes be considered as part of the solution to the state’s budget crisis? If so, what taxes would you consider increasing or adding?
We have to be open to levying new taxes and eliminating others to lay the foundations of a much more stable tax structure. We should never be in a situation where we have to cross our fingers and toes and hope that some body in another state or country decides it’d be fun to spend a weekend in Vegas. Our kids, our families, our neighbors, and our communities deserve better.
If your answer to the previous question is no, would you say that you will never support any kind of tax or fee increase?
If you do not favor tax increases at this time, in what areas would you make further cuts?
Are there areas of the budget that should never be cut?
Yes, all services which provide relatively inexpensive preventative services when compared to the cost of not providing those services. Mental Health is a great example. If we decide to save a few dollars by not funding those services, it doesn’t mean the people struggling with those services go away, they simply frequent hospitals and jails more often than they would have had they received adequate medical care to treat their medical condition. This just shifts the cost from the taxpayers via taxes to taxpayers via insurance rates, longer wait times in Emergency Rooms and hospitals, and overcrowded courts and jails.
Is more funding necessary to improve the quality of Nevada’s much-maligned schools? If so, where should that money be spent? If not, what are the keys to improvement?
Nevada schools rank near the bottom of all the good lists and near the top of all the bad lists. This issue isn’t going to reverse itself by crossing our fingers, elbows, knees, and toes. It’s going to be fixed by getting parents into the schools, eliminating as much waste as possible, working with the respective community employers, and finding a stable revenue source. I believe that a significant portion of the answer to “Nevada’s much-maligned schools” lies in our natural energy resources, which I have already discussed in general and will further address at the end of this questionnaire.
Should the Nevada State Prison be closed as part of a solution to the budget crisis? Why?
Yes, if the reports of all the inefficiencies and significant waste being generated are true. That said though, it should be part of a long-term plan that relocates the prisoners to more appropriate institutions and allows the staff to transition out of that facility, either by transferring in a timely manner or seeking a career change. It should not be some knee jerk reaction to poor planning. Yes, there are 200 jobs that Carson City stands, to lose, but what do we gain by freeing up the acreage where the prison currently reside? The possibility of that land being able to provide many new jobs and opportunities given its proximity to the freeway is very real and must be considered.
What is your assessment of the actions the governor has taken to solve the state’s budget problems? Has he set the proper priorities, and how would your priorities have differed?
I respect the predicament the governor is facing and the tough decisions he feels forced to make, but a red pen and the three buzz words “no new taxes” aren’t the only solution. He has done little to offer new vehicles for revenue generation (not “new taxes”). Good, high paying jobs require people with vision and drive to bring them to the state by having the foresight to know that an educated work force coming from great schools and excellent universities isn’t free and requires leadership to bring about. It does not require a great deal of observation to know the state is wasting money in a variety of places. Sprinklers being allowed to run in the middle of a snowstorm and new landscaping being put down when things are tight are but a very small window into a vast world of lost resources. We need the input of the people doing the work for government to point out all the places waste can be cut for starters. Cutting positions should be the last possible alternative as recovering from such a move can take years.
Would you seek to work with the governor if you are elected? How?
Would you favor re-examining the state’s tax structure toward avoiding a “boom and bust” economy?
Yes. Again, see my comments on renewable-energy, etc.
Is illegal immigration a problem in Nevada? If so, in what ways, and what, if anything, can the Legislature do to address this issue?
It is, but until the federal government gets its act together and starts to provide leadership on this issue, communities are going to continue to suffer the social costs of hodge-podge enforcement of laws that are clearly designed to not bring about a solution.
Please summarize any other information you would like voters to know before casting their votes in this race.
If you’re reading this part, then I truly thank you for your time. It’s valuable and I hope I have left you with the belief that I would be a better statesman and I ask you for your vote.
To further elaborate on my alternative energy idea, I use the example of the Wind farm in Storey County. It is proposed to power 43,000 homes. If we were to levy a 1cent per kilowatt hour tax to the counties and the same to the states on all power exported from Nevada, Storey County would find itself with an additional five million dollars a year from that wind farm alone. To put that in perspective, the budget of Lyon County is only twenty million dollars or so. This has immense potential.