Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Desert Research Institute and convened in honor of their 60th anniversary. The panel entitled the “Science Behind Smarter Communities” featured Dr. Kristen Averyt, President of Desert Research Institute (DRI), Dr. Missy Cummings, 2016 DRI Nevada Medalist and Director of the Humans and Anatomy Lab at Duke University and Tina Quigley, General Manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. In her remarks, Senator Cortez Masto highlighted Nevada’s place as a leader in emerging technology, talked about the importance of federal investment in Nevada’s communities and research entities to foster and support the states’ developing efficient infrastructure and transportation systems, as well as discussed her efforts to support Nevada with her Innovation State Initiative in Congress.
“I’m excited to discuss how we can support and grow Nevada’s leadership as the Innovation State in order to better our communities. There is immense potential for our cities and towns to transition into SMART communities that harness new technology and provide more efficient, sustainable solutions to our states’ challenges while also ensuring we have the necessary guardrails in place to ensure the safe and responsible use of technology, as well as to protect workers. In the Senate, I’m committed to doing all I can to support and foster Nevada’s innovative leadership.”
The Senator’s efforts through her Innovation State Initiative include the introduction of the Moving First Act, which would expand federal grant opportunities for cities and towns to fund innovative transportation projects, she’s also passed legislation to fund and extend operations at the federally-designated Nevada drone test site, and helped secure over five million dollars in federal grant funding for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s GoMed autonomous vehicle project. Additionally, the Senator has sponsored a host of other legislation including the ACCESS BROADBAND Act and the Drone Safety Enhancement Act. In support of this work, Senator Cortez Masto also successfully included two provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill which will create a Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development and a Rural Broadband Integration Working Group to help identify and address the unique needs of our rural communities.