Dan Schwartz’ Accomplishments – “An Independent Voice in Carson City”
Through a review of state investments in 2015 when I took office, I discovered that the procedures for investing state money were woefully inadequate. I changed that. In the process, our team has tripled returns on over $3 billion in government portfolios. The Local Government Investment Program (LGIP), one of those funds, has doubled its assets under management to over $1 billion and multiplied returns 10x.
Investing in our children
The College Kick Start (CKS) program was founded in 2013. CKS opens a $50 account for every public school kindergartener enrolled in the state. Not getting the signs-ups we had anticipated, we offered a $200 incentive for parents who opened their own 529 account. An additional 462 parents opened accounts for their children and over 6,500 parents claimed their CKS $50 accounts—where there were few to none prior to our incentives. No taxpayer dollars are used to fund College Kick Start.
Protecting Nevada Taxpayers
Nevada’s Legislature stamped “approved” on a $1 billion electric automobile plant in North Las Vegas, approving $230 million in tax breaks and a $175 million bond backed by the full faith and credit of the State. Except that GOED (who sponsored the project in a special session) never verified that Faraday Future had the money to build the facility. Almost two years later, the site sits empty. Fortunately, we didn’t issue the bonds.
We also opposed spending $750 million on a football stadium when we couldn’t even pass $25 million to fund ESA accounts. We love stadiums but not at $2 billion and at the expense of our children’s education– especially when a $1 billion edifice will suffice.
Our office has also saved Nevada taxpayers close to $80 million in interest costs by aggressively refunding previously issued state bonds.
Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs)
ESAs were a promise made to Nevada parents by the Nevada Legislature. I was tasked with administering ESAs. Through a series of legislative battles and court cases, I held firm. Parents can still register for the program, though the onus has fallen on the Governor and Legislature to approve funding the program. No matter how long it takes, or who takes ultimate responsibility for the program, I believe that the Legislature will do the right thing and keep their promise to Nevada’s parents and children.
One of my first moves as Treasurer was to streamline the Unclaimed Property claim and distribution process. The process originally took over 120 days and now takes less than 25 days after submission of the claim.