Here in 2010, a lot has happened since I last ran for re-election: The Bush recession has devastated our economy doubling Oregon’s unemployment rate and leaving many friends and neighbors out of work.
Jobs: A major task for the regular legislative session in 2009 and the February legislative session this year was to work on job creation and infrastructure development. Oregon responded quickly in 2009 through construction on state sites and community college campuses that had important projects ready to build. We were able to hire Oregonians who were idled by the recession. We also got more than normal for your buck because materials costs declined from their highs in 2007. For example, Lane Community College built new and refurbished modern classrooms just in time for the influx of students who are out of work and need to upgrade their skills. We are also working to BOOST business development through loans and other supports that help put other Oregonians back to work. Economic development and jobs will be a major part of my work in the next Regular Session in 2011.
Oregon’s Budget: We face a grim budget outlook because of the recession that goes on and on. Our tax revenues that pay for schools, health care, and public safety have fallen and will be up only a little in the next biennium. I will work to increase the fairness of Oregon’s tax system without increasing taxes on the poor or middle class. We begin a major review of Oregon’s tax credits that tend to benefit those in the know and not Oregon workers. I will also push to review and revise our other tax loopholes to bring more revenue to pay for education, health care and public safety without affecting most Oregonians. The passage of the tax measures by the people in January makes the task a bit easier and brings in dollars our children, and the sick, need us to have to support Oregon’s most basic budgets. Most of the new corporate tax increases are paid by out of state corporations who usually take their profits to pay high executive pay in other states or dividends to stockholders in New York and London. I will also work hard to establish a Rainy Day Fund to protect Oregonians in the next recession.
Government Restructure: Campaign finance reform is dull but vitally important. Should our elected officials represent you or the special interests that pay for campaigns? I am working on getting the big dollars out of Oregon politics so that your interests are paramount and not those who can pay the most. Even now most of the time the interests of the people come first, Oregon is very clean compared to other places, but we can lead the way to a more responsive government meeting the needs of Oregonians rather than those of large out-of-state businesses.
In future posts I will talk about other issues and how they affect your well being. Let me know what you think. Comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can make a difference.