- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Mobbed by well-wishers, supporters and family members, Nevada state Sen. Debbie Smith returned to the Legislature two months after having a malignant brain tumor removed.

The 59-year-old Sparks Democrat took her place in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday morning, and she returned to applause and cheers during a Senate floor session.

Smith said she was excited to return to the Legislature and is still recovering after undergoing surgery in February in Houston. She said she plans to work half days until her health fully returns.

“I want to thank my family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across Nevada and the country who have been a source of strength throughout this process,” she said in a statement.

Smith said she closely followed developments in the statehouse during her absence. She weighed in on the progress of legislation she sponsored, such as a bill preventing domestic abusers from having guns.

Smith was first elected to the state Assembly in 2000 and won a seat in the Senate in 2012. The Reno Democrat has won several lawmaker of the year awards and is the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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