One of my core beliefs as a policymaker is equity. People of color, low-income families, women, and other historically marginalized groups have lingering disparities in wealth, education, health, and other indicators of quality of life. These statistical differences can be tied directly to a history of discrimination. The only way to give everybody equal opportunity is work specifically at closing those gaps.
Health care and education are the state's largest expenses, and many of those programs are specifically aimed at vulnerable populations. During a hearing on proposed budget cuts, the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted my concerns:
But others, like Assemblyman Howard Watts III, D-Las Vegas, have also questioned the equity of those cuts and wondered why programs put in place to help the state’s most vulnerable students are being targeted while some programs, such as the Gifted and Talented Education program, remain untouched.
“We’re essentially balancing most of our cuts to education under this proposal on the students that need the resources the absolute most,” Watts said during a presentation of the cuts on the Assembly floor this week.