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Douglas assemblyman Lynn Hettrick on Guinn’s transition team

by Sharon Carter

As a member of Gov.-elect Kenny Guinn’s transition team, Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville Ranchos, said it will take at least a year for the new governor to assemble a working team of top state administrators.

“Gov.-elect Guinn is trying to do it right,” Hettrick said. “He’s asking for input from a lot of people about what to change and what not to change, what quick changes need to be made and what can be taken more slowly.”

Hettrick said Guinn’s transition team is looking at “virtually every administrative head in state government” to see who does a good job and provides good, cost-effective service.

“We’re taking a balanced approach. There are a lot of good people in state government – people who are doing good work and should be left alone, regardless of their party affiliations,” Hettrick said. “But clearly, the new governor needs to make some changes to put enough of a fingerprint on the state administration.”

n Search is on. He said Guinn’s team is searching diligently for potential administrators to put into some positions.

“There are hundreds of administrative positions to look at,” he said. “The problem is that state jobs pay less than jobs with similar responsibilities in the private sector. And because state administrators can’t draw salaries from outside business sources, they would have to give up any other sources of income.”

Hettrick said he was chosen to be a member of the team because of his experience in the Legislature and his position on the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee.

“The governor-elect is using his team members in two main areas – first, as sources of referrals for the jobs and their knowledge of people who have applied for jobs. And, second, as sources of specialized knowledge – each member brings some special area of knowledge or interest to the team.”

One of four Northern Nevada lawmakers chosen for the transition team, Hettrick said he was likely picked for his knowledge of the budget process.

“(State) revenues are lower than anticipated and brand new governors don’t want to raise taxes during a first legislative session,” Hettrick said. “Gov. Guinn will also be the first governor in Nevada history to be required to present his budget in January, two weeks before Feb. 1, when the Legislature convenes.

“He wants to submit the budget and address the public to explain it, rather than letting it lay there to be attacked.”

Hettrick said an advantage to having the budget submitted two weeks in advance is that staff members and members of the Legislature’s standing committees will have that much more time to work on it. It is important, he said, because with the 120-day limit on the session, legislators will not see the slack, particularly in the first month, they have seen in the past.

“Bills will be scheduled for the first day of the session and we’ll be able to vote on them,” Hettrick said. “We’ll be working hard, long days until May 31.”

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