LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Among the biggest questions when Republicans chose Joe Lombardo as their candidate for governor: What would the Clark County sheriff do about crime if he won election?

His State of the State speech Monday night brought details, and it’s clear he wants to use the Governor’s Office to get tough on crime.

“As a lifetime crime fighter, I can say there is arguably nothing more important to the 3.2 million Nevadans in our state than public safety,” Gov. Lombardo said.

To that end, he wants to rework laws that went into place when the 2019 Legislature passed AB 236. Lombardo didn’t oppose the legislation “in the spirit of compromise,” but now wants to rewrite some of portions that he says actually made things worse.

“To correct these problem areas, I will be introducing legislation that makes it harder –- not easier -– to commit a crime in the state of Nevada,” Lombardo said Monday. Among the priorities, as described by the governor:

  • Holding career criminals accountable by strengthening the habitual enhancement for those offenders who repeatedly victimize the community
  • Strengthening the definition of domestic battery by strangulation
  • Protecting businesses by lowering the felony theft threshold
  • Empowering judges and probation officers to impose tougher sanctions for parole violations
  • Disallowing diversion for crimes against children and the elderly
  • Strengthening drug laws by reducing weights for possession and trafficking, while increasing penalties;
  • Fighting the fentanyl epidemic…. Fentanyl possession in any amount should be a category B felony

Lombardo said these changes would have an immediate effect on reducing crime, along with helping “ensure the effectiveness of our public safety and criminal justice systems.”

Nevada Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager (D-Las Vegas) said, “Democrats agree that having safe neighborhoods and communities to call home is a right. For home to mean Nevada, we must be safe and protected. So let us agree to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to do their jobs in an increasingly complex world.”

But he criticized Lombardo for not offering a plan to address “the devastating impact of gun violence in our communities,” adding, “Legislative Democrats will continue to pursue common sense solutions that save lives.”