Good morning from Washington
Here’s a quick update on the Chamber’s trip to Washington, D.C. and the conversations we are having on your behalf.
Yesterday, we were on Capitol Hill meeting with each member of Nevada’s Congressional delegation. We discussed a wide range of issues that are important to our Nevada business community, such as health care, Homeland Security Funding, workforce training, tax reform, public lands and innovation.
It was great news to hear from every Nevada Senator and member of Congress that they are passionate about getting Interstate 11 built between Las Vegas and Phoenix. They are also fired up about fighting the latest efforts to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. It was great to see the entire Nevada delegation working together on both of these issues that are critical to the future of our state.
We also heard from Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah, who is chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, about public land policy. We also discussed Yucca Mountain and gave him a standing ovation for voting against the House bill to restart the licensing process.
Chamber CEO Mary Beth Sewald led a conversation with Steve Hill, COO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, about economic development, the convention center expansion, the stadium and the new Southern Nevada Sporting Events committee. Steve gave an insightful update on the latest on these projects and how they will help transform Nevada and create new ways to attract visitors to our region.
We concluded our day with a briefing on transportation issues, and our annual Interstate 11 Caucus, with House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster. Now that the road from Las Vegas to the Nevada border is finished and ready to open in August, the next step is to find the funding to build the road in Arizona to Phoenix. Chairman Shuster said that to complete I-11, as well as fund other highway projects across the country, it is likely that the federal gas tax will need to be increased, especially since the Highway Trust Fund will be depleted by 2020.
Tomorrow we will meet with several policy experts and think tanks on topics such as education, workforce, smart cities, gaming, and marijuana policy. Stay up to date on our conversations by following us on social media at LVChamber.
The Chamber is honored to be your voice in Washington, D.C. this week. We will keep you posted on our progress.