Rep. Barnhart hosting Global Warming and Jobs
Town Hall 


It's still summer, but little by little, a few leaves are starting to turn orange, showing that Autumn is on its way. Our children are returning to school, preparing to be tomorrow's leaders. Making sure they have what they need to fulfill their potential continues to be my biggest priority.

Last week, the State Economist told the Revenue Committees that his estimate of our revenues is up about $30 million for this biennium. We'll have a bit more money to invest in public services, or save for the next rainy day.

There was other good news too. Oregon's economy is steadily creating jobs, faster than the rest of the country. Eugene and other large cities are doing better, yet rural Oregon is still struggling, and wages continue to stagnate across the state. We have a lot of work to keep this momentum going and bring jobs back to our rural communities too.


Rep. Barnhart's Halsey
Town Hall

Dr. Jenny Liu presenting her research at the Global Warming and Jobs Town Hall

Pathways to Prosperity
Town Hall

Mayor Kitty Piercy presents at Pathways to Prosperity
Town Hall 

Nancy Golden speaks during Education Funding
Town Hall

"Legislative Days"

September 15th to 17th December 8th to 10th

Need a Speaker?

I regularly hold coffees, town halls, and speak to other groups around the district.  If you would like me to meet with your group about Legislative work, you have only to ask.


This was a very busy summer!  Over the last few months I hosted eight town hall meetings and spoke with hundreds of citizens across the district. These gatherings help me stay up to date with what you need from your government, and give me the chance to hear your feedback and concerns. It's a duty I take very seriously, and it is always a pleasure to spend time with people who really care about our communities. In case you weren't able to attend, this update includes highlights from this summer’s meetings and there are links where you can review much of the information we heard from experts about these critical issues.


This was my most popular town hall this summer. Well over 100 citizens attended, and many of us stayed long afterward to continue the discussion. Eugene City Councilor Alan Zelenka gave an overview of why people in this region are so concerned about climate change and how we can make a difference. State Treasurer Ted Wheeler described his efforts to educate investors about the impact climate change will have on investments. Armed with that knowledge, he believes investors will help push businesses to speed up the transition to cleaner fuels.

We also had three extremely sharp economists from the Northwest Economic Research Center, Dr. Tom Potiowsky, Dr. Jenny Liu, and Jeff Renfro. Just last year they completed a thorough study of actual results of policies already in place in British Columbia to combat climate change. They demonstrated that we can get serious about solutions to global warming without harming our economy. Many people wanted to take a closer look at their work - their presentation is available here, and their full report, Carbon Tax and Shift: How to make it work for Oregon's Economy, is available here. Their work is just the kind of hard evidence we need to get past the rhetoric, come together, and figure out the best way for Oregon to make progress on this very important problem.

More than any other issue, making sure the next generation receives a quality education is what motivates me every day. How to find enough funding for that has been an ongoing challenge. Tim Nesbitt, chair of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, explained why some promising young people don’t pursue education, and what can be done to improve their educational opportunities. Nancy Golden, Oregon’s Chief Education Officer, helped us understand long-term education funding trends, and Jamie Moffitt of the University of Oregon discussed how these trends have affected higher education. You can see Nancy Golden's handout here, and Jaime Moffitt's presentation here. This town hall was also very well attended, and if the questions and comments are any indication, education funding continues to be one of our communities' highest priorities. One of the highlights of the evening was Peter Bauer, who grew up in Eugene and now teaches here. He finished up the meeting with his perspective on how school funding has declined over time, and how that has negatively affected our students.


Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy described our region's efforts to help businesses grow and create jobs, such as the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN). Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown talked about helping disadvantaged students reach their true potential. Economists John Tapogna and Josh Lehner talked about long-term trends in Oregon's economy, and strategies for reducing poverty and helping Oregonians find good jobs. We had a very valuable discussion. The presentations we heard are available here: Mayor Kitty Piercy, Secretary of State Kate Brown, John Tapogna, Josh Lehner.


Many of the best ideas for new laws come from citizens' suggestions, so your participation at these events and your contact through email does make a difference.  We are already able to submit bills for consideration in the next legislative session, so please let me know if you have an idea.  This will be the last Legislative E-newsletter until November.  

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