CARSON CITY — Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., pledged Monday to continue to push for more state control over resources in Nevada and for additional federal land auctions.
“Our state is 86 percent owned by the federal government,” he told a joint session of the state Legislature. “That is a challenge no other state faces in the lower 48.”
Each member of Nevada’s delegation in Washington is entitled to make a speech to the Legislature. Amodei, a 14-year state legislator, spoke for 10 minutes, most of the time cracking jokes about his former colleagues and the time he served in the Legislature.
He joked about how he tried to sneak out of the speeches by members of Congress when he served in the state Senate and Assembly.
“I was very nonpartisan,” he added. “I slipped out for both Democrats and Republicans.”
When he did speak seriously, Amodei praised legislators for always adjourning with a balanced budget and working each day in greater depth on legislation than his new colleagues 2,500 miles away in Washington, D.C.
In closing his speech, Amodei said he was flanked by police the moment he arrived at the Legislative Building.
“I thought, ‘Are you the next one under arrest for something?’ ” he asked, a reference to embattled Assemblyman Steven Brooks, D-North Las Vegas, who faces a hearing that could led to his expulsion today .
Legislators groaned with laughter.
Amodei, a former state Republican Party chairman, was elected to the U.S. Senate in September 2011. He won a full two-year term last November. He represents the top half of the state as the representative for Congressional District 2.