By Catherine Cortez Masto
Nevada is a leader in innovation because we’re approaching it from all angles.
We’re leading the way in groundbreaking transportation technologies and renewable energy production to create more accessible cities and a more sustainable world. We recognize the need to invest in our children and create an educated workforce ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st-century economy. And we know the importance of listening to the needs of our communities and bringing together diverse local leaders to spur development and job creation.
I’ve watched Nevada grow into a technology leader, and it brings me so much pride to see Nevada’s exceptional growth and promise. From issues ranging from transportation to the economy and education, I’ve never been more confident that our state is poised to tackle the challenges of both today and tomorrow.
That’s why it’s been my mission in the Senate to support our state’s leadership and bring the lessons we’ve learned in Nevada to the nation through my innovation state Initiative. This signature initiative promotes the growth of emerging technologies, puts guardrails in place for the responsible use of technology, strengthens environmental protections and creates the jobs of the future.
A key piece of this initiative is advancing Nevada’s unparalleled innovation in transportation. Nevada is home to booming electric vehicle production, electric bus operations, as well as an expansive electric highway that stretches between Reno and Las Vegas. In Las Vegas alone, hundreds of public charging station ports are scattered throughout the city to serve drivers of electric vehicles.
Nevada was the first state to approve rules for testing autonomous vehicles, and Las Vegas is spearheading research into the potential benefits of self-driving vehicle technology. Cutting-edge projects like Go Med are exploring ways to speed travel through autonomous shuttles in the medical district, saving critical time for both patients and medical personnel in Nevada to get to medical appointments and surgeries.
To support projects like these, I recently introduced a package of clean vehicle bills in the Senate, legislation that will invest in clean transportation infrastructure and require a national strategy to promote electric vehicle adoption throughout the country.
I also introduced the Moving FIRST Act, which creates a grant program for cities and communities to fund smart transportation projects that utilize innovative technology, like the ones being led by the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission. Proposals like these reaffirm that Nevada is forging a path forward for efficient transportation throughout the U.S.
Read the rest of the story at lasvegassun.com.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is the first woman from Nevada and the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate. She previously served as Nevada’s attorney general.