Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has a bill to sell the state’s share of tobacco settlement funds which pay for the Millennium Scholarship program and use the money to offset Nevada’s general fund shortfall.
However, the fiscally conservative Nevada Taxpayers Association is strongly opposing Assembly Bill 91. “The uses of the funds for bonding to get us out of the current revenue shortfall, while understandable, is very, very poor fiscal policy,” the NTA said in its first legislative summary.
Watch this bill die.
Not just because it’s poor policy, but because the Democrats aren’t fond of the Republican lieutenant governor under criminal indictment for misappropriation of state funds. No embezzlement is alleged, but the indictment claims he used funds from college savings programs and failed to seek legislative approval to use the money for advertising and legal fees.
Heck, a lot of Republicans aren’t too fond of him eitiher.
The tale is still told of the end of the 2005 session when Gov. Kenny Guinn was working out some problems with the scholarship funding and Kroiicki became involved. Krolicki was then the treasurer and the Millenium Scholarships are managed from that office.
Guinn became so angry over Krolicki’s persistent interference with negotiations that he physically pushed Krolicki against the wall in the Legislative Building and barked, “Stay out of that meeting.” It was past midnight and tempers were short, but the story of the governor pushing the treasurer against a wall spread quickly, especially since there were about 10 people watching.
Relations between Guinn and Krolicki deteriorated after the shoving incident.
As a practical matter if the tobacco funds were sold, it would shorten the lifespan of the Millennium Scholarship program that is Guinn’s pride and joy.
Maybe that’s the point.