Legislative Update from U.S Senator Dean Heller
Over the past few months, Congress has made historic progress, and while my heart will always be in Nevada, I’ve been proud to be Nevada’s voice in Washington, D.C. From passing critical funding bills on time for the first time in 10 years to passing into law a rare piece of bipartisan legislation to fight Nevada’s opioid crisis, this Congress continues to get the job done.
However, our work is far from finished. Whether it’s ensuring the continued success of Nevada’s thriving economy, advancing solutions for families and seniors who are struggling with the lack of affordable housing options, or delivering justice to victims of heinous crimes, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief update on my work to advance policies that move our state and Nevada families forward.
Supporting Nevada’s Thriving Economy
No state was hit harder by the recession than Nevada, where the unemployment rate hit 13.7 percent and the home foreclosure rate was the highest in the country. In fact, during President Obama’s 8 years in office, GDP growth averaged just 1.9 percent. But now, Nevada is one of the fastest growing states in the nation and unemployment in all age groups is on a downward trend.
In August, Nevadans employed full-time reached a new all-time high. According to a recent Nevada economic report, the manufacturing industry’s average employment growth is experiencing record highs and is up 14 percent and the construction industry in Nevada just recently saw its largest employment gains.
Nevada is back to work, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law at the end of last year, continues to spur economic growth in Nevada and deliver for our workers and businesses throughout the state.
As a member of the tax writing U.S. Senate Finance Committee, I was proud to help write this legislation to make sure that Nevadans can keep more of their hard earned paychecks. I was also proud to champion and help secure provisions in the new law to double the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child, establish the first ever national paid family leave policy, promote renewable energy, and encourage more affordable housing options.
Fighting for Affordable Housing in the Silver State
Affordable housing remains one of the most pressing challenges facing communities throughout our state. While we welcome this explosion of growth in Nevada and the jobs and economic opportunities that come with it, there is a lack of affordable housing because the demand for it is simply outpacing the supply.
According to a recent study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Nevada ranks in the top 25 percent of states with the highest housing costs.