We are nearing the end of our eventful 2015 Legislative Session and have made some positive changes that will improve the quality of our schools, health, and economy. We stood up for extended gun background checks, equal pay, contraceptive rights, and tax reform.
When I started this session, my top two priorities were to make our thorny tax system more stable, and to provide Debt-Free Community College to Oregon high school graduates at no cost.
As I often ask my colleagues, if Oregon was just admitted as a new state – and now we have to write a tax code – would we create the system we have today? Most of us would agree we would not.
I've worked with bipartisan coalitions to work towards a more stable tax code and ease the volatility of our general fund.
Others have failed to make headway on this quest and because of that I've been warned to steer clear. But I'm not willing to let another session go by without at least trying to address one of the most serious problems facing Oregon.
I even pleaded with my colleagues in the Senate to make hard votes on the politically thorny issue of tax reform:
SB 81, my Debt-Free Education bill, is making great strides this session. We are closer to improving the lives and opportunities of our students.
It addition, I am sponsoring legislation that will help more Oregon high school students gain more college credits. This legislation is designed to help all students – not just those in the top tiers. With college credits "in the bank" these students are more likely to seek post-secondary education and succeed in life. It's also a great way to reduce the growing burden of student debt.
As always, I'm happy to hear your feedback and to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Just send me an email or give me a call.
Thanks for the continued honor of representing you in the Oregon State Senate.