LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The more things change, the more they stay the same. That was part of the message from U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who addressed the Nevada Legislature on Tuesday.

Titus ticked off a number of issues that the Legislature is working on this year that were just as challenging when she was a state senator for 20 years, beginning in 1988. Reproductive rights, growth, LGBTQ+ protections — and even wild horses were common threads.

“In 1997, I had a bill called ‘ring around the valley.’ They called it ring around the collar, ring around the rosy, they put a picture of me on the cover of a magazine with a noose around my neck,” Titus remembered as she spoke to a joint session in the Assembly chambers.

“But nonetheless, that was about sustainable growth, and today you are still dealing with the issues of the consequences of growth, especially in relation to our declining water supply,” she said, thanking State Sen. Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas) for working with her.

She mentioned that while the issues were the same, Nevada’s lobbyists had gotten a lot younger — but they are from the same families who were at the Legislature during her time there.

Titus took a moment to celebrate the Biden Administration’s designation of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., speaks Tuesday at the Nevada Legislature.

She also thanked Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (D-Las Vegas) for her work to fight for reproductive rights. On Alumni Day, Titus made mention of former Democratic Sen. David Parks’ work to secure the first LGBT protections in Nevada in 1999 — and work by Sen. Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas) this year.

She even had a remark for Democratic Sen. Julie Pazina, who introduced a bill naming the wild mustang Nevada’s state horse: “Go for it.”

“So, we have a lot in common. We’ve worked on a lot of the same issues. We’re good partners, I do believe,” Titus said in her trademark southern drawl.

But she didn’t stop there, advising Nevadans to spend the infusion of federal money before the government comes to take it back.

We are never going to get that amount of federal funding again, no matter how good of a job we do with grants and matching. So I urge you to invest it in sustainable projects. Substantive, but sustainable, that can create really major systemic change in Nevada.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.

“Don’t hand it out in a piecemeal, one-off fashion. Because that can be very popular in the short term, but in the long term, you know as well as I do how hard it is to take away a benefit or stop a program that people want and like once the money runs out. And I have a feeling that there’s not much of a mind to raise taxes to cover those programs here in the state,” she said.

Dina Titus arrives at the Nevada Assembly on Tuesday.

Titus said Nevada’s total share of federal programs is about $43.5 billion — and that’s on top of unemployment and small business assistance during the pandemic

She said she will continue to work to bring funding for Interstate 11, connecting Las Vegas to Phoenix. The Brightline project to build high-speed rail to Southern California is also something she supports — and has for a very long time under different names and different companies.

Among the issues Titus said are most important on her agenda in Washington: equal pay for women, STEM education and workforce investment, and environmental justice.