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Lawmakers Foresee Tough Times Ahead

Has Nevada been reliant for too long on gaming, construction, and mining? State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford thinks so.

During the Sept. 11th legislative roundtable, Horsford described the upcoming legislative session as potentially “bleak”, as lawmakers are dealing with an anticipated $3 billion budget shortfall. The State Senate Majority Leader indicated that the state was spoiled by the boom in the gaming and construction industries, and is now facing an unemployment rate of 14.3% and the highest housing foreclosure rate in the country.

Assemblywoman Debbie Smith agreed that Nevada has to do something about the boom and bust cycle. With the state paying $44 million a week in unemployment benefits, Smith says we need to “take control of what we can control.”
The panel discussed the precious metal industry boom with gold near all-time highs. With Mining Association President, Tim Crowley, stating that there is “a lot of optimism in mining, not just gold, but silver, copper, lithium, and molybdenum.”

Sen. Dean Rhoads pointed out that Nevada Mining Association reports show mines paid nearly $204 million in taxes in 2009 to the state which so desperately needs it. The Senator called mining “the lifeblood of rural Nevada”, and urged state and federal governments to support the mining industry and encourage the industries vendors to consider the booming market in Nevada.

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