(Dean Heller) – It has been another busy couple of weeks working on legislation to benefit the people of the Silver State. Half of my time was spent in Washington, D.C., focused on the budget, and the other half, visiting with my fellow Nevadans.
Developing critical infrastructure in the state is an important topic and the first step toward long-term job growth and sustainability for Nevada. Senator Harry Reid and I, alongside both Arizona Senators, introduced legislation that would ensure the development of Interstate 11, bringing growth to the economy and solidifying Nevada’s role in a crucial international trade route. The Mountain West region, including Nevada, is expected to have a population surge of 32 million residents between now and 2030. It is imperative Interstate 11 is built to serve as an artery of commerce for all Nevadans throughout this time.
In the last week of March, the Senate focused heavily on passing a budget. I laid out my priorities for Nevada by filing several amendments to the FY2016 Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 11). These amendments were designed to better the state and enhance the quality of Nevadans’ lives. The amendments ranged from infrastructure and tourism, to medical care at VA facilities, to protecting our way of life in Nevada by supporting the Second Amendment.
Two of my amendments were agreed upon by the Senate and included in the budget:
- The first ensures the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities properly meet the needs of women veterans by taking into account their safety, privacy, and dignity.
- The second prioritizes federal investments in infrastructure projects with national and regional significance, and projects within a high-priority corridor, such as the future Interstate 11.
Senator Harry Reid also announced his retirement last week. I would like to thank Harry for his long and decorated career in public service. I have no doubt his family is looking forward to catching up on lost time, especially the grandchildren.
While home in the state this last week, I had the privilege of presenting the Congressional Badge of Bravery to German Rodriguez from the Reno Police Department. Mr. Rodriguez apprehended and disarmed a robbery suspect, while off duty and unarmed. His service to the local community is unwavering and I am grateful to have him protecting the Silver State.
I also wanted to mention the Nevada Military Support Alliance teamed up with the Fisher House Foundation to build the state’s first Fisher House. Fisher House facilities provide free housing for military families while a loved one is receiving medical care.
This week, I also launched the Southern Nevada Veterans Advisory Council to bring together stakeholders in the community who are dedicated to helping Nevada’s veterans. Members of this council will uncover areas of need and explore ways to better serve veterans in the Silver State. Our heroes deserve the best treatment when they return home, and I will continue to fight to make this a reality.
I am excited for the coming week home in the state and look forward to bringing the voices of Nevadans back to Capitol Hill.
Sen. Heller was sworn in to the United States Senate on May 9, 2011. Prior to his service in the Senate, he was the Representative for Nevada’s Second Congressional District. He has also served as Nevada’s Secretary of State and in the Nevada State Assembly representing Carson City. To know more about him, visit www.Heller.senate.gov.