ASSEMBLYWOMAN ALEXIS HANSEN
- Freshman Republican who succeeds Republican Assemblyman Ira Hansen, her husband, who left his seat to run for state Senate.
- Represents District 32, which includes parts of Washoe and Nye Counties, and all of Humboldt, Pershing, Lander, Mineral and Esmeralda Counties.
- District 32 leans heavily Republican (51 percent Republican, 24 percent Democratic and 25 percent nonpartisan or other in the 2018 election).
- Hansen defeated Tom Fransway in the Republican primary by 15.6 percentage points, or about 1,000 votes.
- She then defeated Democrat Paula Povilaitis in the general election by 41.3 points, or nearly 10,500 votes.
- She will sit on the Education, Judiciary, and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining committees.
FAMILY AND EDUCATION:
A fifth-generation Nevada, Hansen can trace her Nevada roots back to her great grandfather, who served as Lincoln County’s sheriff in the late 19th century. She grew up in Sparks, graduating from Sparks High School in 1978 and attending the University of Nevada, Reno as a journalism major. She has been married to Ira Hansen, her high school sweetheart, for 38 years.
Hansen has co-owned Hansen & Sons Plumbing for more than 30 years and has been a licensed Nevada realtor since 2007.
ON NEVADA AND THE ISSUES:
What are your top priorities for the 2019 legislative session?
Water issues as they relate to rural Nevada, the protection of gun rights, educational reforms that produce results, and small business-friendly legislation.
What programs/parts of the state government could be cut? What programs/areas need more funding in 2019?
I think it’s a little presumptuous to lay [the budget] out when I haven’t been [to the Legislature] yet, and I’d rather see more information to make my decisions. My philosophy is — look where we’re spending money, and if we’re being efficient and outcomes are good, then it’s justified. If it’s not, I have no problem shifting that money so it can be better utilized or the state is more accountable.
What specifically should Nevada do to improve health care this session? How about education?
I am interested in learning more about what we can do to increase access to doctors & nurses in rural communities. I am concerned, as everyone is, with the opioid epidemic and what we on a state level can do to foster awareness and prevention.
Addressing educational issues is a monumental task. I plan to hear and review what the state is doing and what works and what doesn’t work. I want there to be accountability and good stewardship of educational dollars and student outcomes and when there isn’t recommend changes.
Should Nevada raise its Renewable Portfolio Standard to 100 percent by 2050? If not, what should the state’s RPS compliance standard be?
I am wary of government mandates when free-market solutions haven’t been sustainable and profitable. While I am excited about renewable energy and its applications — I have more confidence in the free market rather than government-imposed quotas, which usually hurt businesses and ultimately the consumer, who ends up paying the costs for the mandates.
Do you support modifying or eliminating current property tax caps in state law?
No. State government found solutions without lifting [property tax caps] during the dire economic recession of 2008-2014, so doing it now when our economy is robust makes no sense. We should analyze the efficiency and outcomes produced by tax dollars being currently spent before we raise taxes of any sort.
Are there any particular issues on which you see yourself working across party lines? If so, which ones? If not, why not?
I think the majority of legislation, at least historically, is bipartisan. The minority of legislation breaks down between party lines. It is too early to say right now, but I am open to always hearing both sides of an issue. That is what the legislative process is about. Hearings, vetting bills and then making decisions.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.