NPRI’s Recommendations for Cost-Cutting and Reform

Executive Summary


Nevada state government is now experiencing the doldrums from long-misguided policy measures. These overly casual approaches to governance have left taxpayers unnecessarily exposed to the possibility of tax increases at a time when they are least able to afford them. It is time for state policymakers to abandon the idea of increasing taxes to continue funding these failed policy measures. Rather, they should undertake the more difficult task of implementing meaningful structural reforms that will safeguard Nevada's taxpayers from crises similar to the current budget shortfall in the future.

To do so, policymakers would need to enact sweeping reforms that transform how state government conducts its business. These reforms should force government to operate more in the way that private enterprise operates. Reforms should expose state government agencies and their workers to market forces and incentives.

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Geoffrey Lawrence

Geoffrey Lawrence

Director of Research

Geoffrey Lawrence is director of research at Nevada Policy.

Lawrence has broad experience as a financial executive in the public and private sectors and as a think tank analyst. Lawrence has been Chief Financial Officer of several growth-stage and publicly traded manufacturing companies and managed all financial reporting, internal control, and external compliance efforts with regulatory agencies including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Lawrence has also served as the senior appointee to the Nevada State Controller’s Office, where he oversaw the state’s external financial reporting, covering nearly $10 billion in annual transactions. During each year of Lawrence’s tenure, the state received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers’ Association.

From 2008 to 2014, Lawrence was director of research and legislative affairs at Nevada Policy and helped the institute develop its platform of ideas to advance and defend a free society.  Lawrence has also written for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, with particular expertise in state budgets and labor economics.  He was delighted at the opportunity to return to Nevada Policy in 2022 while concurrently serving as research director at the Reason Foundation.

Lawrence holds an M.A. in international economics from American University in Washington, D.C., an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  He lives in Las Vegas with his beautiful wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Carson Hayek and Sage Aynne.