Thank you for visiting my legislative website.
I am honored to serve residents of southern Jackson County for a fourth term in the Oregon Legislature. House District 5 spans from the Applegate to the Greensprings and includes Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, a southern portion of Medford, Jacksonville and Ruch. I'm convinced my district has the state's most passionate and involved constituents.
In the wake of multiple crises brought on by the pandemic, catastrophic wildfire, social inequities, and a housing shortage, I am committed to taking bold and transformative action in support of all Oregonians—for our health, our environment and our economy.
In the 2023 legislative session, which takes place from January 17 through the end of June, I am honored to serve as Chair of the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment, shepherding policies to promote energy efficiency, energy affordability and environmental justice; and focusing on meaningful policy for waste prevention and wildfire mitigation. In addition, I am serving as a member of the House Committee On Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water, House Committee On Revenue, Joint Committee On Legislative Policy and Research, and Joint Committee On Tax Expenditures. I will also continue my role as House Democratic Leadership Team as Assistant House Majority Leader.
My Priorities during the 82nd Legislative Session
My legislative ambitions in 2023 will focus primarily on these four core policy areas:
Climate: This will include: 1) Legislation enacting recommendations from the Resilient Buildings Task Force; 2) Legislation supporting the development of renewable energy sources, including project siting issues; project funding; and strategic use and development of specific renewable energy sources; 3) legislation affirming the state's climate goals and the executive order; 4) legislation addressing resilience in the face of climate disaster, including both utility resilience and support to local communities to build emotional/community well-being that will enable residents to prepare for and respond to disaster.
Homelessness: I expect Governor Kotek to set the strategic direction for homelessness, but it needs to include: 1) Operational funding for Project Turnkey and the Navigation Centers created in recent sessions; 2) Additional funding to create more of those facilities to give local communities a foothold for providing services; 3) A grant system to allow local communities to hire case managers for outreach and support, with emphasis on families, veterans and youth; 4) Shelter and campground support, including development of best practices for use by local communities; 5) Capacity building for local communities/nonprofits/CAAs that provide services; 6) development of an approach that avoids sweeps or mandates to homeless individuals.
Affordable housing: Statewide we have a deficit of 140,000 housing units, which is the factor driving the lack of affordability, increasing homelessness, workforce shortages, and economic expansion. The agenda for housing production needs to include: 1) DLCD recommendations re UBG and contained in the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis; 2) Investment in capacity to enable local cities and counties to plan and permit housing; 3) Innovative production strategies, including investment in modular/manufacturing housing as both a housing production and wildfire recovery strategy; 4) Funding to address capital gaps for workforce housing; 5) development of a housing finance agency and/or governor's housing council; 6) Investment in affordable preservation, including manufactured home parks; 7) Ongoing affordable housing development funding.
Wildfire recovery: More than 2 years out, our communities are still struggling to recover from the devastation of the September 2020 wildfires. Wildfire mitigation, response and resilience are paramount in rural communities across Oregon—I am committed to advocating for policies and funding that will help us to reduce risk and respond to the devastating impacts of smoke and fire. In this session, I'll continue to pursue housing investments to make sure that every family that wants to return to our community is able to do so.
Please Participate in the Legislative Process!
Public engagement is vital for making laws and developing policy that supports and benefits Oregonians across the state. Please note that the Capitol is undergoing an extensive construction project for seismic upgrades that has closed many areas of the building. However, in the aftermath of the pandemic, it's easier than ever to testify remotely at a public hearing, and without driving to Salem. To learn more about how you can search for and follow bills, watch committee hearings or floor testimony, and submit testimony remotely or in person, please use this Legislative Session Participation Guide.
A thousand thanks for your support – I'm so honored to be your voice for Southern Oregon. You can stay informed about my progress on these priorities and constituent news by signing up for my newsletter.
As always, please be in touch with your concerns, questions and feedback.
Representative Pam Marsh
Oregon House District 5