[In December 2018], nine Assembly members and five state senators came together to discuss the current and future state of technology-driven economic development happening in Nevada.
Composed of lawmakers from the north and south, the newly formed Tech Caucus is a bicameral, bipartisan group focused on enlightening the Legislature on emerging technology and business-related issues in the upcoming session.
The group met Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 to tour the facilities at Tesla, Switch, Blockchains LLC — all located at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) — and the Truckee Meadows Community College Applied Technology Center in Reno.
The NNBV spoke with Tech Caucus member Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, about the initial goals of the group heading into the 2019 Nevada Legislative session, and the opportunities and challenges facing Nevada as it continues to attract companies steeped in tech and innovation.
NNBV: WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THE FIRST DAY MEETING AS THE TECH CAUCUS?
Kieckhefer: What I’ve learned, primarily, is that we’ve got a great group of legislators interested in the subject and want to work on it. And that’s the best takeaway we could probably have. What we need is … not even political will, but policy will to support young companies to support entrepreneurs, to really commit ourselves to that ecosystem development that will allow those companies to thrive. And I think what we’re seeing is a group of Republicans and Democrats from both ends of the state, in both chambers of the legislature, who interested in ensuring that that happens. And that’s exciting.
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