Nevada Miners Face Tough Legislative Session

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"Mining to provide less support than in past cycles, report says."

Nevada lawmakers warned miners the state's budget situation is bleak and that things will only get tougher in the 2011 Legislature as Nevada undergoes the transition of redistricting, combined with term limits for legislators.

During a panel at the Nevada Mining Association conference at Stateline, Lake Tahoe, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford told miners, legislators and suppliers the state has been "over-reliant on gaming, construction, and mining to construct Nevada's future."

The Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group and Moody's Analytics released its report containing strategies to improve Nevada's quality of life. Their report warns that in rural Nevada, "the growth of primary resource industries will be modest, since commodity prices (other than gold) are not expected to return to their recent peaks for several years."

"Gold is Nevada's largest exported good," the document noted. "Precious metals development could expand from mining through refining to the production of final products such as jewelry and industrial and tech goods that are now made primarily outside the state."

To compound the situation, Nevada mining cannot rely on its old allies in the legislature due to term limits that "are really dramatic" because half of the membership of the Nevada Legislature will be comprised of newly elected lawmakers, she explained.

Nevada miners will face the challenge of establishing working relationships and working with these brand new lawmakers, Smith noted. To compound the difficulty, nearly every Assembly committee will have a new chairman at the helm.

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