Ellen Spiegel wants to collect debts, help business owners as a regulator – Nevada Independent

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This is part of an “On the Record” series highlighting the policy positions of the candidates running for major offices in the 2022 Nevada election. Check back in the coming days and weeks for more coverage.

Former five-term Democratic Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel has said she has a big vision for the much-vaunted government watchdog post, including “quality control measures” to improve the timeliness and accuracy of transactions.

The Comptroller is a member of the executive branch focused on accounting and acts as the chief fiscal officer of the government. The position will last for four years and will be responsible for processing and recording the government’s financial transactions, registering vendors, settling claims against the government and collecting debt for the government.

Spiegel is a small business owner, graduated from Cornell University with a degree in consumer economics, has a long history in financial services and helped develop e-commerce in the 1980s.

While in the Assembly, Spiegel served on the Ways and Means and Taxation committees, which she said gave her valuable insight into the management of state funds. She sponsored two anti-gender discrimination bills aimed at protecting equal pay for equal work that were signed into state law in 2017. She also introduced a bill in 2019 that would mandate health coverage for pre-existing conditions and provide better access to consumers. Specialists.

“[In the Assembly] I talked to everyone to see what we could do to understand their case and reach some sort of consensus. “So Nevada could be moving forward and doing what’s right for Nevadans,” Spiegel said. Nevada independent In an interview. “This is not an easy thing to do. But I have learned a lot during my tenure at the office. And these are very important things.”

She will face Republican Andy Matthews, who is in her first term in the Assembly, in the November general election. Below is a summary of her interview. Nevada Independent:

Her view

If she is elected as supervisor, Spiegel, I hope that she will be able to make recommendations and provide programs to help the state use its assets better.

One of her plans is the “Right Track Program”, which was an idea born after she saw some of her people struggling with unemployment and wanting to open their own businesses but not getting financial support.

“There have been many times when I’ve stood on people’s doorsteps and said, ‘If you can’t find a job…you might want to think about starting your own company so that you’re creating your own luck.’ he said. But the thing is, if you are unemployed or underemployed, you don’t even have money for a business license.

She said the “Right Track Program” offers free temporary business licenses for six months, if the business owners agree to be part of a mentorship where they can be mentored and “have a better chance of being successful.”

“Until then, people starting a business should not have to rely on receiving unemployment benefits,” she said. “They don’t need to be on Medicaid. They don’t need any social services or much of the social services they need.

A year ago, Spiegel announced that she was running for secretary of state, but in February, she changed her mind and switched to the controller race. Spiegel said the “right-of-track program” would have more use in the comptroller’s office.

“When I started thinking about it and how important it is for the state to have a strong CFO, it became something that really developed with my experience,” Spiegel said. And that’s where I add a lot of value.

Spiegel said she wants the state to get the resources it needs and enough funding to collect debt for the state. Regarding the payment of dues, the 2021 legislature approved AB482, which allows the Secretary of State to suspend the business license of a person who owes money to the government.

The regulator said Prospective will come under the right to do business in Nevada.

“I’ve also been working with the Attorney General’s Office to make sure we’re taking care of what needs to be fixed and that the law enforcement is in place,” she said. When you say to someone, ‘Honey, please pay off your debt’, that doesn’t really work.

She said increasing collections for the state could pay dividends — literally — by giving more money to the state’s priorities without raising taxes.

Asked if she believes Nevada is prepared for a recession as the Federal Reserve tries to contain inflation by raising interest rates, Spiegel said, “It depends.”

She explained that there is still a lot of unmet demand for tourism — the state’s economy is largely based on tourism — and month after month tourism and gaming numbers are breaking records. If it goes ahead, it would allow the state to have a “rainy day fund” to help in the event of a downturn, she said.

“But at the same time, the state must be able to live within its own budget needs,” Spiegel added. “[We need to] We don’t have enough money to meet the needs of the government, so look at how we can manage our money better.

As superintendent, Spiegel said she will have roundtables with business owners to ask them directly about how the state can best serve businesses and what they want.

“We’re not telling them what to do. He asks us to respond,” she said. “Of course understanding … because you have different issues in Northern Nevada than Southern Nevada and rural Nevada. And the bottom line is we have to make Nevada work for everyone.

Spiegel is hoping to use her expertise in technology to improve the regulator’s government supplier portal, which she says is cumbersome, outdated and cumbersome.

Whether it’s reaching out to the community to get legislation passed or improving the seller experience with an updated portal, you should always think about the user experience, she said. “I’ve always gone to my constituents and asked them what’s important to them … and I think government should be responsive to the needs of Nevadans.

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