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Carson’s biggest convention

Pat Patera

A convention of 1,000 people, 4 months long, that needs every service in the book that’s the 73rd Nevada State Legislature that convenes in Carson City February 7.

The Nevada Legislative Council adds 200 jobs to serve the session, says Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Nevada Counsel Bureau.Many move over from their regular state employment, retired people come back into the workforce temporarily, while others use the opportunity as a foot-in-the-door for state employment.

Secretaries and clerks, legal and research, janitors and police are hired, starting in September.

Jobs are filled by year end.

Salaries are set by state statute, based on a daily rate for 120 days, says Malkiewich.

Pay ranges from $8,000 for a bill clerk or page to $21,000 for a ninth session veteran executive assistant.

Average starting pay is about $67 a day for 7 days a week.Workers must be on call weekends; however, the seven-day work weeks tend to come at session end.

The legislative police force adds 18 new hires, swelling its normal staff of eight to 26.

Almost all are former cops,many of them retirees from other agencies, says Fred Rembold, chief of police.

Starting pay is $14 – $15 an hour.

The state normally employs 6,000 to 7,000 full-time employees, says Greg Bortolin, press secretary to the governor.

State employees who work temporarily for the legislature have their regular jobs held open for them.

The event brings a $3 to $7 million boost to the Carson City economy, estimates Larry Osborne, chief executive of the Carson City Area Chamber of commerce.A formal study of the economic impact has not been done.

The economic infusion is difficult to calculate because lawmakers and lobbyists tend to rent apartments rather than room nights.

Restaurants and hotels enjoy a bump in business, but so do drug stores and dry cleaners, grocers and garages.

“We feel it particularly in our restaurants, like the Station Grill, says Jackie Behan,director of sales and advertising for Capitol City Entertainment.

No additional staff is hired to handle the 10 percent business increase at the Carson Station and Pinon Plaza although the additional business during the winter can avert worker layoffs, Behan says.

Adele’s, the restaurant with a reputation for being popular with politicians, sees a 10 to 15 percent business increase, says owner Charlie Abowd.


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