Get ready for some fiscal fun

The Nevada Legislature is back in session, and things are going in full swing. It looks as though the next 100-plus days will be very interesting for the state. Because of the economy, there will be many special circumstances that will come about during the 2009 Legislative session.

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One of the most humorous aspects of this year’s Legislative session are the players involved. In this dire time for the state, when experience is a blessing, the Republicans were voted out of the majority in the Nevada Senate. The people who have been leading this state through good and bad no longer hold the power that they have had in the past. And yet, they are still greatly needed.

Sen. Bill Raggio is one of the most influential senators in the Nevada Senate. He is the longest serving senator in Nevada’s history and undoubtedly will prove to be one of the most important players in this game we call the Legislature. Billy Vassiliadis, a veteran Democratic political consultant and lobbyist even went so far as to tell reporter Guy Clifton, “Bill is somewhat the balancer of power there. He’s the consummate inside player. He’s going to have a tremendous amount of weight to throw around. Nothing is going to get done without Sen. Raggio in the room.”

The humorous part in all of this lies in the fact that Nevadans were so determined to vote Republicans out of the majority, and yet we still need them. Raggio is a staple in Nevada politics, and as it turns out, he will still play a leading role in what happens this session. His experience and knowledge will be of great use to the other senators who have just taken office and those with fewer years in Carson City than he has.

All in all, it’s great to know that regardless of what the Democrats think they are doing, it isn’t so easy to get rid of the Republicans after all. At least experience is valued somewhere in our state’s political process.

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Another bit of news can be found in those who sacrifice so much for the city of Reno—now they are offering to sacrifice even more. The Reno firefighters have offered to take a 2.1 percent cut in their benefits for the next nine months, even though the city only asked for six months in cuts. They have also offered to staff their engines on straight time, not overtime. This will save the city around $1.4 million in overtime costs.

These men and women have already given so much to make this community better for everyone, and they are offering to sacrifice even more to help their community get through these hard times. Their sacrifice should put things in light for a lot of people. Many are complaining about a temporary 6 percent cut in their pay. I hope everyone who complained about this cut feels selfish and downright rude.

The Reno firefighters sacrifice their lives for others, and now their pocket books are being sacrificed as well. How much more can they give? And they are doing this because they want things to improve for their community. They are trying to lighten the load on the pocketbooks of the city and state. They are putting their community first, as they always do. This is so much more than I can say for most of the people in this city. If we want Nevada to see a better economy in the future, we all have to make sacrifices now. This city would be lucky to have citizens follow in step with its local heroes.