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Legislative Watch

Mark Amodei

 Mark Amodei

District: Capital Senatorial District
Political Party: Republican
Current Job/Position: Attorney at Law
Born: 1958
Hometown: Carson City
Family: Wife, Michelle, children, Ryanne, Erin.
Education: Carson High School; University of Nevada, Reno, B.A.; University of the Pacific; McGeorge School of Law, J.D.
Interviewed By: Lea Moser
Interview Date: 5/21/2008

Mark Amodei represents the Capital Senatorial District (Portions of Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties, and portions of Carson City).  He is also an attorney and has been for 25 years. Amodei is also a member of four committees, leading the Judiciary, and a member of Natural Resources, Taxation, and Transportation and Homeland Security committees.

Q & A

Q - How did you get to where you are?
“Well I wish I knew. I think growing up in Nevada, I had always had an interest in my community and my state and things that were important to it, and that led me to some level of public service.”

Q - What other jobs did you have leading up to this one?
“I practiced law for 20 years dealing with business and resource issues. I worked with entitlements in terms of development. The 20 years kind of made where I’m at now a logical extension.”

Q - Did you always want to be doing what you're doing now?
“I hadn’t really thought about it.  I thought that I would be a lawyer.  But in actuality I always wanted to be a pilot.” 

Q - What are your goals for your regular career or personally?
“Probably both kind of the same. I’d like to work for 10 or so more years.  Then take a look around on whether to keep working or cut back. I hope to get to that point, (where) I’m almost 60, the age where you’re thinking do I want to keep doing this?”

Q - What are your hobbies or interests?
“I like messing around with old trucks. I like antiques, I like history, yard work, gardening.”

Q - What unusual event have you been involved in, or unusual or memorable people ahve you met?
“Unusual even being apart of the Nevada Legislature. Many people, Bernice Mathews, Bill Raggio, Maurice Washington. To get to see them in action in some tough times is pretty amazing”

Q - How did you become successful at what you do?
“It’s not a secret, I’ve had a blue-collar work ethic. You have to get the job done.  Most things in business and government are team sports things, and sometimes you run into people who don’t want to play, but you have to learn how to work together.”

Q - What are your favorite causes?

“History, or anything that promotes the interest of preserving history. I also appreciate the environment. Trying to think of things in terms of our state dynamic and keeping it healthy where you can raise your family and start a business.”

Amodei stated that in terms of the judiciary, the concept of due process was most important, as well as fairness.  In terms of taxation, the senator suggests to find a balance for the state and perform, to try and get people to stay in Nevada and do business. The senator also stated that there is a cycle of taxes every 10 or 12 years, and now that the population is bigger, the cycles are getting harder. In terms of transportation, Amodei wants to get a policy right to support the growth of buses. In terms of natural resources, Amodei wants to preserve Nevada, and its rural settings.

Q - Who or what are your inspirations?
“I think I take a lot from my kids…”

Amodei has two children, one 25 and one 22, the youngest is attenting the University of Nevada, and the oldest is a lieutenant in the Navy.

Q - What are your legislative goals next session?
“Cleanup on terms of water issues.  Revisit water and public lands. Continue to work on due process stuff. I don’t think there is going to be a lot of tax stuff to vote on, but we need to work on it for a couple years down the road…I was and am a supporter of term limits, and I think they need to know how to play well.”

Amodei stated that in terms of the sterilization in hospitals, a couple of areas are becoming more political -- health care, and education -- and when they do, you lose the substance. Amodei stated that the politicalization of it upset him, because it made it increasingly hard to have any discussion about policy change and that the Legislature’s members spend too much time fighting with each other and don’t get stuff done.

Q - What issues facing Nevada do you think are most important?
“I think resources (are) at the top of the list. It’s a growing state..the quality of our air and growth. (The) Legislature is a constant challenge to affectively and fairly fund our government. We don’t want to become California. Many people came here because they got tired with regulatory schemes and regulatory tax scheme. “

Q - How do you view the slim Republican majority in the Senate?
“It has never felt slimmer. I mean let’s face it, the political cycles, also cycle, and right now, there are days that are pretty tough to tell people you’re Republican because of what’s going around. I’m not ashamed, but it is tough, and there will be some tight races, and the voters will decide..We’ll count those up and go from there.”

Q - How do you view the large Democratic majority in the Assembly?
“It’s just kind of always been that way since I’ve been there. So it’s kind of the normal factor. Same stuff different day.”

Q - On what issue will you not budge?
“I don’t think I would every vote for a gross receipt tax in Nevada. I was pretty hard about that in 2003, and I don’t think that that’s changed.”

Did you Know?

- Amodei was a captain in the U.S. Army.
- Amodei was one of the yes votes that gave Nevada the Governor Guinn Millennium Teaching Scholarship Program. The bill passed 14-7.
- Amodei holds associations with four different state bar associations: the American Bar Association, Clark County Bar Association, First Judicial District Bar Association, Washoe County Bar Association.

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