Representative Nancy Nathanson
March 2011
Uo Ducks

The Legislature celebrates the achievements of the UO Ducks Football team with the passageof a resolution.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The last several weeks have left me with great concern for the tragedies in Japan and the Middle East.  Some of you may know that I have visited Japan twice, as part of exchange visits with Eugene's sister city, Kakegawa, which is 365 miles from the area most heavily impacted by the earthquake and tsunami.  On those trips I stayed with host families part of the time, visited their community center, participated in the fall festival, and saw tea fields, shinto shrines, and the nuclear reactor at Hamaoka.  The impacts of these ongoing and developing crises in other countries on our nation's and state's economy are not yet known, but disruption in manufacturing and agriculture are already having an effect.  And the increasing cost of energy from foreign-supplied fossil fuels will impact our costs, and our economic recovery. 

Meanwhile, the legislature is in full swing taking care of business here, having hearings and committee meetings and passing bills. Here's a link to the bills I am sponsoring.  Several have already been passed in committee or by the House.  It's exciting to see the work coming together, and to welcome people to the Capitol to testify in support of the bills. 

I've been posting occasional updates on my Facebook page  Find us on Facebook. To receive updates whenever I post something new, click "like" at the top of the page.

In This Issue
Committee Work Update
News from around Salem
Foreclosures & Neglected Homes
Redistricting: Drawing new Legislative Districts
Local Events & Open Houses
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Capitol News

Committee Work Update

As a Co-Vice Chair of Joint Ways and Means and a Co-Chair of a Ways and Means subcommittee, I am almost always immersed in budget work from the first day of session up until the very end. Already this session ten agencies have made their budgets and agency presentations to the General Government Subcommittee of Ways and Means that I co-chair with Representative Garrard and Senator Johnson. The budgets range from the State Library to the Board of Tax Practitioners, the Employment Relations Board, and the Secretary of State.

Backflow device

Rep Nathanson hears about problems with a statute regulating who can fix a backflow device.

I have also had the opportunity to take part in a number of policy discussions and to vote on several interesting bills in the Transportation & Economic Development Committee. Here are a few examples:


  • The committee heard from a variety of individuals about a bill that will modify the green jobs program, originally passed in the 2009 legislative session, to change the definition of green jobs to include forest products and expand analysis of occupations to include the forest products sector.
  • The Department of Transportation presented information on the Road User Fee Task Force and a bill that would require persons operating electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric cars to pay a vehicle road usage charge; since they don't currently contribute to road maintenance through the gas tax.
  • Peer-to-peer car sharing enables private car owners to make their vehicle available on a temporary basis to a car sharing company for rental. In return, the vehicle owner gets a substantial portion of the rental revenue from the car sharing company. When not rented, the vehicle owner can continue to use their car as before.  The House recently passed a bill to help this kind of program by establishing insurance standards for these rentals.
  • News from around Salem

    Governor Kitzhaber announced a web-based resource designed for Oregonians as well as people outside the state who are interested in doing business here. The "Oregon Advantage" web-portal categorizes industrial properties, businesses, and business resources in Oregon. This will help Oregon businesses work together and show outsiders why this is such a great place to create jobs. With just a few clicks, you can find information such as Facebook's new facility in Prineville (the greenest building of its type), the best places to travel, and visa information for doing international businesses. Check out  Oregon Advantage.

    Also this month the Department of Justice released their annual report. I want to make sure you have a chance to see the report which highlights a number accomplishments such as:

  • The new Mortgage Fraud Task Force prosecuted numerous defendants, banned crooked companies from doing business in the state, and recovered roughly $1.6 million in fines and penalties from unprincipled loan modification and foreclosure relief companies.
  • The Consumer Protection Unit recovered more than $22 million for Oregon consumers, workers, and investors.
  • Foreclosures & Neglected Homes

    In January the Register Guard highlighted how the problem of neglected homes has worsened with increased home foreclosures. These homes are often an eyesore and detract from the neighborhood. The article struck a chord with me especially because it featured local residents in the district who have been dealing with a neglected home in their own neighborhood. I have signed on to co-sponsor a bill (HB 2957) that will require owners of foreclosed property - usually banks - to keep the property in shape and not allow it to become a neighborhood problem.

    Whether the problem is abandoned pets, piles of trash, or needed repairs becoming worse, home foreclosures can have a substantial impact on the neighborhood. We need to stop unfair foreclosures and banks need to do a better job working with homeowners to save their home by refinancing or other means.

    District News 

    Redistricting: Drawing new Legislative Districts

    Every ten years after census data is released, Oregon must initiate a process to redraw the state's 60 House districts, 30 Senate districts and 5 congressional districts.  As required by the Oregon Constitution and the US Constitution, the lines are redrawn so that districts are of roughly equal population (approximately 63,000 per house district). The recent census data showed that House District 13, which I represent, is only slightly under the population mark (about 2%) and it is possible the district will not have dramatic changes. While some districts are in similar situations, others will likely experience significant boundary changes in the redistricting process. For example, House District 33 in Washington County has a population over by 24.5%.

    The Legislature has begun to hold public hearings around the state so that citizens have an opportunity to provide comments. A public hearing is scheduled in Eugene at the University of Oregon Knight Law Library, Room 175, on Saturday, April 16th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. For more information please visit

    Local Events & Open Houses

    I-5 Willamette River Bridge Open House

    Town Hall

    Representative Nathanson speaks to a packed room of constituents during a lunch with your legislators event.

    The new Willamette River bridge project will include some design enhancements intended to represent the historical and natural features of the area. On April 7, the Oregon Department of Transportation will hold an open house for the public to review those: Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Ave., Bascom/Tykeson Meeting Rooms, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. ODOT will also be taking comments from those unable to attend in person. For more information visit the I-5 Willamette River Bridge website.

    Perhaps your neighborhood group would like to make an outing of it and see the new bridge taking shape.  Tours of the project site can be arranged by contacting John Lively at or calling (541) 484-7052. Tours are also regularly scheduled on the second Wednesday of each month at 10AM and are limited to a maximum of 15 participants. Advance sign-up is required.

    Free Medical Clinic

    Cascade Medical Team will host a free health clinic for people without health coverage. No appointments are necessary. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis. More information is available at  here or call United Way 100% Access at (541) 741-6000x141.

    When: April 16-17th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

    Where: PeaceHealth Medical Group, 1162 Willamette St
     � block south of 11th and Willamette in Eugene. East Entrance