Amodei resigns as mining association head | NevadaAppeal.com
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Amodei resigns as mining association head

State Senator Mark Amodei said Wednesday he will resign as president of the Nevada Mining Association effective Jan. 2.

He made the announcement in a letter to association board chairman Greg Lang, saying holding that post and being a senator would create a question of conflict.

A number of people have questioned how Amodei could keep that job, which also entails being mining’s primary lobbyist in the Legislature, and be a senator.

“From when I started there, I think I was pretty consistent in saying I didn’t anticipate both things and a lot has happened in the last 14 months in the state.”

While many observers had predicted Amodei would resign from the Senate, not the mining association, he said the serious nature of what the state is facing influenced his decision.

“It’s probably not the smartest thing to do at this time in this economy, giving up a good job, but it’s probably the right thing to do,” he said.

He said resigning from the association post clears the way for him to concentrate on what’s best for the state.

“For the first time in my legislative career, I will have absolutely no distractions,” he said, promising to “work and get the policy right.”

This is Amodei’s final session as a senator because of term limits. He said he is “looking forward to finishing out with some good, strong policy.”

In his letter to Lang, he said it is clear holding both positions “would be distracting in the 2009 Legislative session where it is paramount that we get Nevada’s probable

new fiscal policies correct.”

He said he is worried that “could very likely place one of Nevada’s greatest industries in a position where future policy may be made, in part, based on who the NvMA president is rather than focusing on the relevant facts to promulgate the best policy.”

He has been president of the association for 14 months.

The subject of how much mining companies pay the state in tax revenue has come up numerous times in the discussions of the state’s budget crisis.

The state general fund gets only about $35 million a year from the net proceeds of mines tax, and a number of advocates say with gold prices averaging more than $800 an ounce over the past year, that’s not enough.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.