Dan Schwartz on the issues

Dan Schwartz on the issues

Dan Schwartz on the issues

Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz sat down with the Humboldt Sun recently to discuss the issues in this year’s gubernatorial race. He made stops all along the I-80 corridor, including Lovelock and Battle Mountain.

Schwartz is running against Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt for the Republican candidacy.

Discussion centered on three topics: education, healthcare and improving Nevada’s economy.


Schwartz is a staunch supporter of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). According to his campaign website, if elected governor, “he will not sign a single bill until he has a parental choice (ESA) bill on his desk.”

Why ESAs before any other bill?

“This was a promise that was made to Nevada,” he said, referring to Senate Bill (SB) 302, which opened up the state to ESAs. “Three years later, nothing has been done on it,” he said. Meanwhile, the Nevada Supreme Court decided that ESAs did not constitute the use of public funds for private or religious purposes. Many private schools have religious affiliation.

Parental choice in education lies at the center of Schwartz’s support for ESAs. He said that parents are in the best position to guide their children’s education and they should be given the choice of where and how their children should be educated. 

When asked if he would stand by his vow to sign no bill before one involving ESAs, Schwartz said “Absolutely.”

“I will apologize to the people of Nevada ahead of time. You may have elected 63 legislators who will go home having done nothing. Because the governor vetoed every bill that was given to him because he didn’t have an education bill...on his desk.”

“This is am important first step in fixing the education system,” he continued. “It’s not the only step...but this is part of a first step, a first effort to improve schools in this state,” he said.

Since Humboldt County does not have private schools, the Sun asked what Schwartz’s plans were for public education in areas like this one.

“Education is paramount,” he answered, continuing that the state needs an overhaul of the public education system. If elected governor, he intends to open hearings on ways to fix the education system in the state. 

“I’ve heard so many complaints about the education system, I don’t know where to begin,” he said. From bullying to the “inability to educate Hispanic and Latino students,” to sub-par facilities, Schwartz said he wants to hear all about problems in education.

Schwartz has ideas about ways to remedy the public school system, as well. Increasing teacher salaries might attract better teachers, for example. Schwartz did not address where the money for increasing teacher salaries would come from.

Schwartz wants to restructure financing for the Raiders stadium in Las Vegas,  which he considers to be “an enormous waste,” and institute a state-wide hotel room tax as a “source of funding that can go on forever.” 


Schwartz also has ideas for health insurance. He said 75 percent of doctor visits are for minor care, what he calls “cuts and scrapes.” Offering separate health insurance plans – one for “cuts and scrapes” and another for critical care like surgeries or hospital stays – would provide a more cost-effective option for health insurance. 

Rather than purchasing an expensive health insurance policy that covers both minor and critical care, a person could choose to cover only minor care, only critical care or opt for a higher deductible, depending on their individual needs and budget. Schwartz said options like telemedicine might also help keep individual costs down.

His website explains, “To bring healthcare costs under control, we first must separate ‘cuts and scrapes’ from ‘critical care’ insurance...We can then decide how we want to pay for more serious conditions requiring hospitalization or surgery.”

He admitted that the state would have to cover those who cannot afford health insurance.


Schwartz said the state’s economy relies too heavily on casinos and law firms. In order to survive, the economy needs to diversify. He wants to find ways to attract businesses to Nevada, focusing on emerging industries like drones, water technology and alternative energy sources. ‘

He is part of a group going to Israel after Christmas to meet with government and business leaders about water technology.

In order to attract more business to Nevada, Schwartz said he would focus on improving the state’s infrastructure, including roads and, potentially, a high-speed train from Reno to Las Vegas built by a private firm.

Schwartz suggested attracting ancillary businesses for mining, agriculture and ranching to support Humboldt County’s economy. 

Regarding the state’s ongoing water woes, Schwartz said that the solution may lie outside of the state’s borders. One solution under consideration is a pipeline and desalination plant combination to pipe water from the Pacific into Nevada after removing the salt. He said the private sector could build the pipeline, and the state might help with financing.

“We need to create a structure that enables the private sector to make money selling Pacific Ocean salt water. That’s what the private sector is about,” Schwartz said.