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STEVE SEBELIUS: Between the lines of the State of the State

Gov. Steve Sisolak is up for re-election in November, but don’t think that the first off-year State of the State speech since the Great Recession had anything to do with politics.

Sisolak discussed everything from free school lunches to lower-cost housing to small-business assistance, affordable child care and raises for the state police.

So, definitely nothing political there.

“Since I’ve been governor,” Sisolak said, “we haven’t raised one penny of new taxes on the people of Nevada, not one penny, and that’s also true of every proposal I’m offering tonight. No new taxes. No new taxes.”

Some may object that Sisolak did sign a tax increase on mining corporations. And, legally speaking, corporations are considered people, although they never go to jail when they commit fraud.

But a politician never knows whether he or she will sign a tax increase. Events and circumstances tend to overwhelm resolve (just ask former President George H.W. Bush or former Gov. Brian Sandoval).

And even if Sisolak breaks that promise, voters will never get a chance to hold him accountable, because if he wins in November, he will be in his second and final term.

“And I want to take a moment to speak directly to parents and caregivers,” Sisolak said. “Your voices, your involvement, your thoughts are an important part of great schools. I will always support strong parent participation in making our education system the best it can be.”

Message: I am NOT Terry McAuliffe! I LOVE parents being involved in schools! LOVE IT! Sisolak knows that when former Virginia Gov. McAuliffe said in a debate that he didn’t believe parents should be telling schools what they should teach, he lost to an upstart Republican.

Because I am not running for office now or in the future, I can say what many of you might think: Based on the inanities scream-shouted during public comment at many Clark County School District board meetings, not only should many parents not tell schools what they should teach, they should go back to school themselves.

“We all deserve to be safe at home, at work and in our neighborhoods,” Sisolak said, noting that homicides were up 44 percent last year in Clark County. (Man, what jerkwad was in charge of law enforcement in Clark County last year? That guy sure has some explaining to do!)

Sisolak touted a ban on bump stocks and gun background checks, which he promised in the 2018 campaign, but didn’t mention that he also promised to ban assault rifles and — this is absolutely true — silencers. He also neglected to mention the background check bill only applies in those Nevada counties where elected sheriffs choose to enforce “the law.” (You’d be surprised.)

“I’ve been working to build a stronger and more diverse economic foundation for Nevada — to help create an economy that works for you and Nevada families,” Sisolak said. We’ve all agreed to forget that whole “let private companies create their own counties and run them on blockchain tech” thing from 2021, right?

“I was a small-business owner myself. And I faced the struggles that come with starting a business, praying that your idea will be successful,” the governor said. Small-business owners are lionized in our society because they are the job creators. But the governor didn’t mention that his small business was … telemarketing. It’s not like there’s a stigma associated with that, is there? Oh, and is your car warranty about to expire? The phone’s for you, buddy.

Sisolak began and ended his address the same way, with a call for unity. Parts of Nevada are united — all Sisolak’s Republican opponents and the post-literate trolls on Twitter with plenty of time on their hands in the middle of the day all agree that Sisolak is bad, possibly evil, and maybe a cartel leader.

Said Sisolak: “What you see here — this state of the art (Allegiant Stadium) building, the thousands of jobs that came with it, the incredible sports and entertainment it hosts — it all came together because people worked together, Republicans and Democrats, business and labor, north and south. And you know what, that’s always the best way to get things done.”

It is the best way to get things done. But we’re in election season, which is less time for cooperation and more for defenestration. Maybe next year at this time, when whoever gets elected governor in November gives the real State of the State speech, we can talk about cooperation. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

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