After months of preparation, long hours on the House floor, and consideration of thousands of bills, last week the Oregon Legislature finished the 2015 session a few days ahead of schedule.
I’m extremely proud of the work we accomplished and even happier to know that my top priorities—to strengthen career and technical education, to protect pollinator health, and to make East Portland safer—will all be signed into law soon.
As a legislature, we worked together to pass bills that directly benefit thousands of Oregonians. We began to repair the K-12 funding gap that was created during the recession by budgeting an historic $7.4B for public schools. We invested $35M in career technical education and science, technology, engineering and math so that our students are prepared for the high-tech jobs of their generation. We asked universities to find a way provide students with a meaningful degree for an affordable price.
It’s been a chaotic week in Salem. As most of you know by now, Governor Kitzhaber announced his resignation this afternoon and Secretary of State Kate Brown will be sworn in as his successor next week.
Governor Kitzhaber served Oregon for decades, bringing to Oregonians policies that changed the way we think about state government. Beginning as a State Representative in 1978, he has given 35 years in service to our state. As Senate President, he increased access to the health care for vulnerable Oregonians with the Oregon Health Plan. More recently, he was able to bring party leaders together to keep Oregon’s legislature productive despite a divided House. Governor Kitzhaber has always remained passionate about serving the best interests of all Oregonians.
Rather than focusing on investigative findings and rumors, it is important to remember the leadership Governor Kitzhaber has given us over the years. I share his vision for a better Oregon and will continue to work toward policies that are good for Oregon citizens.
Freshman Rep. Jeff Reardon recently summed up his views of the 2013 legislative session in a newsletter to his constituents, where he talked about increasing education funding, increased support for the middle class, and rebuilding infrastructure in East Portland.
NEW TROUBLES FOR SHERRY HALL AND OTHER ELECTION TIDBITS — Election controversy, appearances, and activities are attracting our attention this weekend in Clackamas County. Once again, County Clerk Sherry Hall is in trouble for a shoddy elections job. Some 800 Clackamas County voters in the Aurora Fire District, which spans the border between Marion and Clackamas Counties, didn’t get any information in their voters’ pamphlet on their district’s race this month. The Marion County voters’ pamphlet had the material, but not Clackamas. At least one candidate is scratching his head over this.
Voters in the River Grove area of Lake Oswego, that portion closest to I-5, are sometimes confused as to where to cast their ballot — on the Lake Oswego municipal bond measure or for directors of the River Grove Water District. Democratic volunteers working door-to-door for write-in candidate Larry Kitchen found several homeowners who said they were Lake Oswego customers and had never voted on a Lake Oswego water measure. One gentleman waved his bill in the face of the canvasser and said, “I’ve been paying these guys for 40 years and haven’t seen a ballot yet!” Volunteers contacted both Lake Oswego city and County Elections staff and brought this, ahem, oversight to their attention. Continue reading →