Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio files for eighth term

Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, on Wednesday filed for election to an eighth four-year term.

Raggio, who is completing his 28th year in office, would become the longest serving member of the Nevada Senate in state history if elected to another term. At present, he and Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, are tied for that honor at 28 years with William Dressler, who left office in 1946. Neal is also expected to seek another term in the Senate.

Raggio said reapportionment and basic funding of state government are the key issues facing the 2001 Legislature.

Reapportionment, which will redraw legislative and congressional districts to equalize representation, could be difficult this time because the Assembly will almost certainly remain in Democratic control while he expects the GOP to keep control in the Senate.

Funding the operation of state government, he said, depends significantly on the recommendations that come out of Gov. Kenny Guinn's fundamental review of state government. But he pointed out that revenues don't appear able to keep up with growth needs under the state's current system.

"These are problems without ready solutions," he said.

"Last time, revenues were not sufficient to deal with state workers," Raggio said. "We can't go another session without dealing with that."

He said he has major problems with the teachers' union initiative that would create a business tax and mandate that 50 percent of the general fund go to public school education.

Raggio said K-12 now gets about 36 percent of the general fund so that would be a major increase.

"The problem is where do you take that from," he said.

Raggio's district includes west Reno, west to the state line at Verdi and the north valleys including Stead.


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