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Term-limited state senator appointed to Colorado River Commission

CARSON CITY — Term-limited state Sen. Mark Amodei of Carson City was appointed Tuesday to serve on the Colorado River Commission.

Amodei, a Republican, a lawyer and former head of the Nevada Mining Association, will resign his Senate seat to take the appointment, which was made by Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Since his term expires at the end of the year, he will not be replaced unless the Legislature is called into a special session.

Amodei had been campaigning for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, but quit the campaign early this year after having difficulty raising funds and falling behind in the polls.

The Colorado River Commission manages and protects Nevada’s allocation of water and power from the Colorado River.

Robin Reedy, Gibbons’ chief of staff, said traditionally there has been one Northern Nevada member on the commission. Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell was formerly chairman of the commission.

During the special session of the Legislature in February, Amodei voted for the bill that cut state spending, raised fees and took money from Clark County, including $62 million from the Clean Water Coalition.

The money had been set aside for development of an $860 million pipeline designed to carry treated effluent from the valley’s sewage plants to a spot at the bottom of Lake Mead.

Although the coalition had shelved the project, it filed a lawsuit with the Nevada Supreme Court to try to block the state from taking the money. The lawsuit hasn’t been heard yet.

Amodei replaces Commissioner Ace Robison, who resigned.

"Mark Amodei is a Nevada native with strong ties to our precious natural resources," Gibbons said in a prepared statement. "His in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience with public lands and water resource issues will be an asset to the Colorado River Commission."

As part of his legislative service, Amodei served on the Public Lands Committee, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Legislative Oversight Committee, and the Legislature’s Western Regional Water Commission Oversight Committee.

"I have always been interested in resources, in energy and land-use issues, global warming and desalinization," Amodei said. "It’s pretty important stuff. I am at a crossroads, but I would like to continue working in the resources area."

The commission meets eight to 10 times a year. Pay is $80 a meeting.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

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