Go ahead, Krolicki, explain it again

We're sure state Treasurer Brian Krolicki won't mind going before Assembly Democrats and explaining his statements in regards to tobacco-settlement money for Millennium Scholarships.

We recommend he explain this one:

''It's a far safer and more predictable task to manage moneys over an extended period of time than to manage the known and unknown risks associated with the tobacco industry and the (Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement) during the course of 25 years. I'm approaching this in a way in which we can preserve the money. Over the long term this would be the wise way to go.''

He made that particular statement in front of an Assembly committee back in 2001, and they didn't get it then. He made similar comments to the Legislature in 2003, and they still didn't get it.

So if they want him to give it another shot, why not? Maybe they'll understand it this time.

Unfortunately, what Krolicki is saying now - to the state Board of Regents - is that the Assembly missed its opportunities to take a lump-sum payment of the tobacco settlement and invest the money.

It was a bit of a risk three years ago, but Krolicki provided exhaustive research into why he thought it was a smaller risk than waiting for the tobacco industry to collapse. Assembly Democrats didn't agree.

We now know Krolicki was right.

In addition to bemoaning a lost opportunity, the significance of the message from the Treasurer's Office is that the Millennium Scholarship program is in trouble. It needs more money, or else fewer Nevada high school graduates are going to get those scholarships.

Some Assembly Democrats were "outraged" that Krolicki seemed to be blaming them for the shortfall. They sounded like they wanted an apology.

We don't expect Krolicki to give them one. In fact, if some Nevada high-school graduates aren't able to go to college because the Millennium Scholarship runs low, then it's the Assembly Democrats who should be apologizing.


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