Heller's address to Nevada Legislature

Heller Dean (R-NV) (U.S. Senate Photographic Studio)
Heller Dean (R-NV) (U.S. Senate Photographic Studio)
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Updated: 3/28/2013 6:03 pm
(Washington, D.C.) – At 5 p.m. PT today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued his address to the Nevada State Legislature. Below are his full remarks, as prepared:

Address to the Nevada State Legislature:
“Back to the Basics”
March 28, 2013

Good evening. I’m truly honored to have this opportunity to address you tonight. I am mindful of the busy schedules each of you have, and I realize you are all working very hard on the critical issues facing our state. I appreciate your time, and I thank you for having me here this evening.

Governor Sandoval, Speaker Kirkpatrick, Lieutenant Governor Krolicki, thank you for having me here. Majority Leader Denis, Minority Leader Roberson, and Assemblyman Hickey, thanks to you as well and all that are assembled in the Chamber this evening.

To the Constitutional Officers and Members of the Court, I appreciate your attendance tonight, thank you for being here.

Now it’s been a while since I’ve spoken to the legislature, so I asked a few colleagues for some input on what to include, and how long to spend with my remarks. Senator Paul of Kentucky was kind enough to share his strategy, but I promise I won’t follow Rand’s advice because I don’t want to keep you here through the weekend.

I thought I would ask Congressman Amodei what he would suggest, since he was here on Monday. He told me the key to an effective speech is to keep it short and then sneak out the back door. But isn’t that always Mark’s advice?

In any case, I’ll try to find some middle ground between the two approaches tonight. But before I do that, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the tragedy that took the lives of 7 Marines last week during a training exercise at the Hawthorne Army Depot. On Monday, I had the honor of visiting 5 Marines and a Sailor, who are currently being treated at Renown Hospital. What I find most remarkable about these men is their positive, upbeat attitudes, and their tenacity for life. We owe these soldiers a great deal of respect.

I’d also like to commend the professionalism and commitment from our first responders at Care Flight, the doctors and nurses at Renown, the Army Depot, Hawthorne, Southwest Airlines and all of the other entities who did an outstanding job attending to those who were injured. Thank you for supporting our servicemen and women.

I know that yesterday you all took time to honor a friend and mentor to many of us, Senator Bill Raggio. Tonight, I also want to remember another friend who I, like many of you, deeply respect, and that is Assemblyman John Marvel. No question, John was as much a statesman and leader here in this body as the esteemed Bill Raggio was in the Senate. Nevada lost great public servants with the passing of both of these men.

Coming back to Carson City is particularly special for me, not just because this is where I began my time in public office, but because I grew up here. I’ve made a lot of memories here in Carson City and this is familiar territory for me.

This is where I began forming the philosophy that I bring to my role in public service. This is where I learned what it means to work hard, to play by the rules, and how one committed person can make a difference with perseverance and dedication.

I learned a lot of those values from my father - a mechanic - who owned and operated an automotive shop just across the street. I spent a lot of time at that garage as a kid working with my father, sweeping floors and fixing transmissions. I watched him wake up early, and stay at the garage late.

That’s where I learned the values of hard work and responsibility. It’s where I saw first-hand what it takes to run a small business, the sacrifice and discipline involved, and sometimes the tough decisions that have to be made in order to succeed.

Many here have heard this story before. But I like to tell it because I think it’s important for us all to remember what brought us into public service. At a time when our state is still struggling, when our constituents are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn, we need to get back to the basics and focus on the reasons why we decided to serve.

That perspective will help us identify opportunities for state and federal collaboration, in order for us to do the most good for those we represent, and I’d like to share some thoughts on that partnership with you this evening.

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