Our state and our nation are currently facing one of the most dramatic economic downturns in our history. Nevada has been particularly hard hit. We will only begin to turn our economy around when Nevadans are able to find jobs with wages and benefits that allow them to support themselves and their families. That's why I supported a jobs bill that will create 8,000 jobs by funding road construction. The funding for these jobs was recently released and 70% of the funding was distributed to Clark County. I will continue to support efforts that create new, sustainable jobs for Nevadans.
We've all heard how important renewable energy will be in ending our dependence on foreign oil, but renewable energy also has the potential to create hundreds of jobs here in Nevada. We have an abundance of natural resources to be tapped; our state should be the leader in renewable energy development in the nation. I have supported incentives for renewable energy projects that create Nevada jobs, and this must continue to be a priority for the future.
Now, more than ever, we know how important it is to diversify our economy and end our dependence on a single industry, tourism. During the interim, a special legislative committee studied how Nevada can become a manufacturing, distribution and transportation hub for the Western United States. We will consider the committee's proposals during the upcoming legislative session.