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Former California politician hopes to bring past experience to Nevada Legislature

RENO — State Sen. Jeff Stone is hardly a newcomer in the world of politics, having served stints as the mayor of Temecula, Calif., on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and in the California state Senate.

But with Stone’s win in Nevada’s Senate District 20, which covers the southeast and northeast ends of the Las Vegas Valley, comes the former pharmacist’s first foray into Silver State politics.

“I tell people that I may not be Battle Born, but I’m battle tested,” Stone said.

The Republican lawmaker moved to Nevada in 2017 after more than two decades serving as an elected official in California. He served as the western regional representative for the U.S. Department of Labor in 2019 after being nominated to the position by former President Donald Trump.

Stone said he’s excited to bring his past experience from the California Senate to the Nevada Legislature.

“You can imagine coming from a state where I was in the super minority most of the time and yet I have over 500 bills with my name on it. The reason why I do is because I tried to find common ground on the other side. I did and I got some significant legislation passed to California,” he said.

Some legislation the former Californian hopes to get passed are focused on education and occupational licensing. Stone said he wants to emulate a 2019 bill passed in Arizona, which made it the first state in the nation to universally recognize out-of-state occupational licenses.

“I’m emulating that law here in Nevada to make it easier because even with our three medical schools, we don’t have we don’t have enough capacity to meet our growing population. If you look at the number of physicians per populace, it is one of the lowest ratios in the country,” he said.

The proposal is similar to an executive order recently signed by Gov. Joe Lombardo, which, among other things, requires licensure requirements for occupations and professions that aren’t subject to licensure in more than 26 states to be phased out by July 1.

Stone also said he also wants to look at increasing penalties for child trafficking and penalty enhancements for fentanyl.

“I’ve taught this stuff I can be a resource for the Democrats to really understand why fentanyl is so dangerous, why it’s so prevalent, and what we can do to curb people’s curiosity about it or at least educate them that they gotta be very careful if they’re going to illicitly and illegally experiment with this drug,” Stone said.

Stone previously served as an assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Southern California and taught pharmacology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Stone will formally be sworn into office on Feb. 6 and will serve as a member on the committees on Commerce and Labor, Health and Human Services and Judiciary.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

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