Our state has been especially hard hit by this recession, with record high unemployment, particularly in the construction industry. To turn our economy around, we must get Nevadans back to work. That means creating jobs and making sure that Nevadans, not out-of-state workers, are hired to fill them.
Earlier this year, I was proud to support a jobs bill to create 8000 jobs by funding road projects. Almost one million dollars was released on July 1 for these projects, with 70% of the funds coming to Clark County. As a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee during the last session, I heard hours of testimony on the need to improve Nevada's infrastructure. These new projects help meet that goal, along with creating new jobs.
I also supported incentives for renewable energy projects that create new Nevada jobs. With our vast natural resources--sun, wind, and geothermal--we have an opportunity to be the leader in the development of renewable energy. I will continue to support policies that encourage renewable energy companies to come to Nevada with accountability for creating Nevada jobs.
While we work to create jobs now in construction and renewable energy, we must also look to the future and the need to diversify our state economy. This recession has dramatically shown the pitfalls of an economy that is totally dependent on tourism. Our state is uniquely poised to become a leader in the transportation and distribution of goods in the Western United States. A special legislative committee has been meeting to develop recommendations to go to the next legislature on ways our state can move toward this goal.