As we enter
the 80th legislative session, I would like to tell you a little bit
about what I’ll be working on over the next few months.
year I was honored to be appointed to the Joint Student Success Committee which
has been tasked with the monumental goal of significantly increasing the
funding for our schools and to identify and fix the systemic problems that have
been keeping our students from receiving the support they need. After spending
a year touring the State and listening to parents, students, and teachers from
across the State, the committee is moving forward with policy and revenue
proposals. The top priority for me is the reduction of class size and the
increase in pay for teachers and other vital school employees. For too long we
have prevented teachers and students from having the tools they need to succeed.
We must do better.
I am honored to serve as the Chair of the Agriculture and Land Use Committee. This
committee is one of the most important ones that we have here in the Capitol.
The charge of protecting and promoting the family farms that we have here in
Marion County is one of the most important priorities that we have. The
agriculture sector is the backbone of the Oregon economy and I am proud to
stand up for our farmers. In addition, I have also been appointed to serve as a
member of the Business and Labor committee. As a small business owner, I
believe in the power of small businesses and the vital role that they play in
job creation and community development. I also believe in the benefit of labor unions
and in the role of collective bargaining that ensures our public employees
receive a fair deal for their work.
of my committees, once again I’ll be introducing legislation to expand the Farm
to School program which helps to streamline our locally produced agricultural
products into the classrooms where our kids can enjoy our local and healthy
fruits and vegetables. I’ll also be re-introducing a resolution calling for an
end to the unlimited campaign contributions (Citizens United) by special
interests looking to buy influence and access. Simply put, money is not speech
and the people must be protected from this erroneous court decision.
also pleased to re-introduce two separate pieces of legislation on annexation
reform that will allow my constituents in East Salem to have a greater say in
how and when they can be annexed and will stop the city from forcing you out of
the county and increasing your taxes, without your input. These bills are House
Bills 2108 and 2109.
I will be a diligent guard against any legislation aimed at our retired public
employees. Our teachers and police officers, caseworkers and classified
employees signed a contract with the state many years ago and we cannot go back
on our word and break that contract. I have always and will always vote against
any unconstitutional attacks on our PERS.