Pat Hickey was elected again to the Legislature in 2010. He is a fourth-generation Nevadan who grew up at Lake Tahoe and currently resides in Reno and represents Assembly District 25. During the 2011 Session, Assemblyman Hickey served on the Education Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, where he introduced legislation to spend additional revenues identified from the Economic Forum on K-12 and Higher Ed funding. His experience as a contractor helped him while serving on the influential Commerce and Labor Committee.
During the last session, Pat kept in touch with voters by organizing a mid-session Town Hall Meeting for the public and the press at the Legislature on the topic: "The Recession, Revenues and Nevada's Recovery." He also sent a weekly newsletter entitled, "A Week in the Life of a Lawmaker," to constituents, members of the press and lobbyists.
Assemblyman Hickey was recently selected by his Assembly colleagues as the Republican Minority leader.
When not serving in Carson City as a citizen legislator, Pat owns and operates a painting company in Northern Nevada and has worked as a political journalist in Nevada, having earned his Masters degree from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
He and his wife Shin, have four children who have all graduated from college. Three of those four currently are employed in the Silver State.
An extremely controversial budget from the Governor was proposed at the start of the session, and though Democrats proposed seven new tax increases totaling $1.2 billion, Republicans held to their guns and held those increases off. The state's budget was held to $500 million less than the previous biennium - the first time in history where budgets decreased from one biennium to the next.
Ultimately, with the Nevada Supreme Court weighing in at the last minute on potential litigation-inducing special sessions that could be caused by taxes set to sunset, the decision was ultimately made to extend many sunset taxes. Nonetheless, Nevada’s Modified Business Taxes did sunset, including the payroll business tax that was a burden to 115,000 Nevada small businesses, which are, collectively, Nevada's largest employer group.
Landmark reforms were put into place by legislators that will have lasting implications for the state's educational system. These include:
-Appointment of the State Educational Superintendent by the Governor.
-Weighing student growth and development in teacher evaluations.
-Merit pay allowances for outstanding teachers
-An extension of the probationary period for teachers from one to three years.
-Modified layoff rules for teachers that focus on overall performance rather than seniority.
-Allowing for alternative licensure to increase Nevada’s appeal to high-quality personnel (particularly in the high-demand math and science classes).
-Approval of the Charter School Authority, which ultimately provides school choice for parents
-Approval of reduced reserve levels for school bonds, which freed up millions of dollars for school renovations and improvements.