By Michelle L Price
LAS VEGAS — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Monday that she’s deeply against a plan to store the nation’s nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.
The Democratic presidential candidate said she “vehemently” opposes the plan, which the Trump administration has revived.
Nevada has long fought the effort to store the waste about 100 miles (161 kilometers) from Las Vegas, arguing that the site is unsuitable to safely store radioactive material.
Gillibrand is one of six presidential candidates who have signed onto legislation from Nevada’s two senators that would block the waste from being stored in the state.
“I oppose it vehemently. I think it is so vital that communities and states get to decide if they want to house nuclear waste,” Gillibrand told reporters during a campaign stop in Las Vegas.
The senator from New York, speaking at the offices of the local Service Employees International Union, also pledged to make it easier for union workers to organize and to fight against so-called “right to work” laws in states that prevent unions from automatically deducting dues from members.
“I think the ability of a worker to be able to unionize, to organize, to have collective bargaining, is the greatest economic engine that exists,” Gillibrand said.
Gillibrand also said a method of streamlining union elections known as card check would be another way to bolster labor.
The senator, making her second visit to Nevada this year, was also asked about raising the state minimum wage to $12, which the Legislature is considering, instead of the $15 that the SEIU and many progressives are pushing for.
“It’s not enough,” Gillibrand said. “I think $15 is the minimum.”
The senator supports a national $15 minimum wage and says it should be indexed to inflation.
Gillibrand also met late Monday afternoon with immigration advocates to discuss the challenges faced by those living in the country with legal permission and without.