RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Teresa Benitez-Thompson got the word last week--she would be assembly majority leader for the 20-17 Nevada Legislative Session.
“Codified law how exciting is that?” says Benitez-Thompson as she opens up a box of books.
Within days, staff had moved her office from upstairs to one of the most cherished spaces in the building.
She unpacks a box of framed pictures and puts them on a shelf.
“Got to get my kiddos up first. They are really excited about the office too,” says Benitez-Thompson.
Representing Assembly District 27 here in Northern Nevada, she was one of the few to vote against the stadium bill during the special session a month ago.
That bill was an effort to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.
“Very hard vote. There was an incredible amount of pressure to continually reconsider my vote. The building was swarming with people. It felt like a regular session. I don't feel comfortable with tax payers, individual tax payer dollars going to individual investment projects,” she says
She has served six years in the assembly.
These boxes she says, contain copious notes of all her meetings, hearings and discussions.
“I hold on to all of that,” says the new majority leader
With such organizational skills, there was probably no question she would be part of leadership in the assembly.
As majority leader she says her goal is to keep things moving along, and knowing the outcome before it even happens.
“In a lot of ways that the trains run on time. This session is going to be about decorum and respect regardless of what party is speaking on the microphone at the moment. We have to get back to that mutual respect especially in this institution,” says Benitez-Thompson.
They'll be tackling a lot of tough issues, like a budget deficit of $400,000,000.
She is the first majority leader from Northern Nevada in years.
And while she says she will represent her district she will also look at issues on a much larger scale.
“First and foremost I represent my district, and the people who live and work in Assembly District 27. But secondly I represent the overall wellbeing of this state,” she says.
She can't wait to get started.