Nevada’s economy on the rebound, Krolicki says
Nevada Appeal News Service
MINDEN – The good news about Nevada’s economy is that it’s probably found the bottom, Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki told a crowd on Wednesday.
“We’re not going to rise quickly to the surface,” he said. “But hopefully we’ve stabilized.”
Krolicki didn’t sugarcoat the news for 120 guests and members of the Northern Nevada Development Authority, which held its reception at the Carson Valley Inn.
“Nevada is at the top of the list of most challenged economies in the country,” he said, pointing at economic figures like the continued drop in sales tax, the number of residents who are upside down in their home loans and unemployment figures that topped 30 percent in the construction industry.
“The state has endured some challenges on the economic front,” Krolicki said.
“The special session of the Legislature, wasn’t. It was miserable. But it was probably a pleasant encounter compared to that which those coming in the next Legislature will experience.”
He pointed out that Nevada’s leaders will have to figure out how to reduce a $6.9 billion budget to
“That’s a 50 percent reduction in the general fund,” he said. “That’s when the governor and others are looking at us in economic development and saying ‘turn this thing around.'”
He said some of the bright spots in the economy include a report that
20 percent of businesses are looking to hire people, up from 12.5 percent the previous year.
“We all need to do what we’re doing now,” Krolicki said. “We’re all pulling on the rope at the same time, and that’s something I haven’t found to be true before.”
He pointed out that people working for the state are doing more with less, thanks to necessary budget cuts.
“The Nevada Commission on Tourism took a 40 percent budget cut,” he said. “Tourism is the lifeblood of Nevada’s economy. But people have pulled the wagons together.”
He said there is hope in developing renewable energy.
“You’ve heard me say before that there’s much green in green,” he said. “We have the ability to generate alternative energy and to develop jobs in the manufacturing that goes with it.”
He said the gaming and hospitality industries that had been key to Nevada’s growth in the past are not going to expand as they have in the past.
“What we see now is what we’re going to have for a while,” he said. “Entrepreneurs are the ones who are going to create jobs in Nevada.”
Krolicki announced that he was forming a task force to examine where the best direction for the state’s economic development, both in the near term and down the road.
“We’ll look at what we need to over the next month and the next six months, but we also can’t lose sight of where we want to be in the next five, 10 or 20 years.”
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