Testifying on a measure that would urge Congress to reduce corporate money in elections

Please join me tomorrow night for a special town hall meeting on higher education.  We will be discussing the issues concerning higher education before the Oregon Legislature, as well as answering your questions.  I hope that you can join us this evening!

City: Eugene
Date: May 7th, Tomorrow Night
Time: 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
Location: Erb Memorial Union, Walnut Room, 1228 University Street Eugene

Please Click Here to RSVP

Town Hall Schedule

Please join me at one of these following times/dates, as we discuss the issues facing Oregon's 77th Legislature.

We had great town halls in Halsey on March 19th, Springfield on April 9th, and Creswell on April 23rd.  I am so glad to have had the chance to discuss Oregon's future with these communities.

City: Eugene
Topic: Higher Education
Date: Tuesday, May 7th
Time: 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
Location: University of Oregon Campus-Erb Memorial Union-Walnut Room (1228 University St, Eugene)

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City: Marcola
Topic: General Information
Date: Tuesday, May 14th
Time: 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
Location: Mohawk Valley Rural Fire District-92068 Marcola Rd, Marcola

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City: Eugene
Topic: Overview of the Budget
Date: Tuesday, May 28th
Time: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Location: LCC Downtown      Campus-
Room 112-101 W. 10th Ave, Eugene

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City: Coburg
Topic: General Information
Date: Tuesday, June 11th
Time: 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
Location: Coburg City Hall-91069 N Willamette St, Coburg

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Follow me on Facebook

Join me on Facebook by clicking on the below image.  Please "Like" my Facebook page, so that you can follow what work we are doing in the Legislature.

The Olympic Track Trials in Eugene

I was thrilled to learn that Eugene will host the 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials, and the 2015 USA National Championships.  This is a tremendous honor for Eugene, and for Oregon.  TrackTown USA has already hosted the Trials five times, and we are excited to see that Eugene is once again the track and field capital for the country.

The Olympic Track and Field Trials not only brings prestige to Eugene, but also economic activity.  The 2012 Trials brought in almost $40 million to our community.  As we recover from this recession, I am glad to see that Eugene's prominence is providing jobs and helping local businesses.


We are involved, here in Salem, in a struggle to protect our public education system.  I worked hard on a bill to more adequately fund our state's education, health care, and public safety budgets.  Unfortunately, the House failed to pass that measure.  Instead we passed only the piece of that bill that would crack down on income hidden in offshore tax havens in places like the Cayman Islands.

We successfully sent this small tax compliance bill to the Senate in hopes that the Senate will find a compromise that will go further to help fund the budget.  Stay tuned!

Also, please read the article below to learn about some things we can do when both parties work together.


Some Bills that You Should Know About

In these reports, I often talk about the larger issues in this year's Legislative Session, such as school funding, revenue reform, and protecting and growing the middle class.  These issues are critical to our state, and we are still working on them.  But the House has also passed some simple, common-sense bills that are worthy of mention.  And while these bills are sometimes overlooked, they do a great deal in helping solve the problems Oregonians deal with on a day-to-day basis.
    House Bill 2158, for instance, would allow all veterans to pay in-state tuition rates for public colleges and universities in Oregon (a similar concept to the Tuition Equity bill that passed earlier for undocumented students raised in Oregon).   A service member may be stationed anywhere and may become a resident there.  But if that veteran wants to go to college at the University of Oregon, the veteran must pay out-of-state tuition costs.  Even though the military will pay the in-state tuition rate, the veteran must pay the remaining costs charged for an out-of-state student.  This can be two to three times more expensive than for Oregon residents.  Our veterans have served our nation.  They often leave their friends and families behind to serve in danger on the front lines of battle.  We as a state should honor them by giving them access to affordable higher-education.  House Bill 2158 passed the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
    I sponsored House Bill 3296, which protects student athletes from predatory athlete agents.  Currently, an agent or a go-between for an agent could contact a middle or high school athlete, and sign the athlete as a client.  The agent can make over-the-top promises (such as guaranteeing a contract with a professional team) or even offer expensive gifts in a bid to lure a young person who would not know better otherwise.  The problem is that if the student then signs a contract (or simply accepts the gift), he may lose his standing and lose out on playing in high school or in college.  And many times an athlete is unaware of this fact when signing the contract or accepting the gift.  This bill would require the agent to register with the school before contacting the student, to ensure that a knowledgeable, third-party can keep an eye out for the student.  The bill also makes it easier to prosecute these predatory agents.  House Bill 3296 passed the House and Senate unanimously, and was recently signed by the Governor.
    Finally, House Bill 3079 will help students in the college-application process.  HB 3079 would require that colleges and universities provide their applicants with fact sheets about their costs, loans, graduation rates, average salaries for graduates, loan default rates, and other data.  A young person applying to a college is essentially purchasing a product.  Before making that large purchase, one should be able to know exactly how much tuition will cost, whether the school is accredited, and how successful the school is at teaching and placing its students in jobs.  Just as you are able to find out if the car or the house that you buy is a worthwhile purchase, you should be able to make an informed decision about an education.  This bill also made it out of the House, and now awaits consideration in the Senate.
    All of these bills make simple but crucial changes to our laws, and come with strong bipartisan support.  To me, this is part of the job of the Legislature: finding common ground to pass laws that make sense, and help people.  We will have plenty of other similar bills down the road. 
Stay tuned.



May 6, 2013