Friends of Nancy Nathanson
  July 2010
 Dr. Dave Sanders and a physician assistant show off a framed copy of Rep Nathanson's bill that she passed in February to expand access to health care.
Dr.Dave & PA
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Summer has finally arrived. I've enjoyed a few meals at our little backyard table, watching birds and listening to a bamboo wind chime. For legislators, the summer months are a perfect time for research and meetings as we prepare our ideas for the next legislative session. Just this past week I traveled to Portland for a day full of meetings, including tours of Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and Zoomcare, a new type of neighborhood health clinic. My tours were followed by meetings on jobs and the economy, improvements to our rail system, and health care and health insurance.
I have also spent several days this past month in Salem attending meetings and discussions about the budget. At the end of May the state economist released a new quarterly revenue projection - the basis of our state budget.  He reported an unexpected shortfall of $577 million from the previous forecast. Though this news presents clear and difficult challenges, it is not devastating.
As we continue a slow recovery from the recession, we see hopeful economic signs. For example, Oregon employers added 3,900 jobs in April, more than any month since October 2007. This gloomy revenue forecast does not diminish that good news. The forecast is a look back, as it is the first forecast to include actual tax collections for the 2009 tax year, during the height of the recession, showing that the recession was deeper than the experts understood.  
My priority remains protecting Oregon's most vulnerable and keeping our economy moving in the right direction, through smart spending in education and strategic investments, to put us in position for a robust economic recovery. You are always welcome to contact me at to share your ideas and priorities.
I look forward to hearing from you.


In This Issue
Addressing Budget Challenges
Business, Jobs & Economy, Workforce
I-5 Willamette River Bridge
UO in House District 13
New Office Staff
Join Our Mailing List!
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Capitol News

Addressing Budget Challenges
Rep Nathanson discusses how a bill becomes a law with students at Kalapuya High School.
Following the forecast, the Governor announced his plans to cut $577 million equally (as required by law) across the state budget. That is roughly equivalent to a 9% cut for 2010-11 for all General Fund programs, of which approximately 93% is spent on education, human services & health care, and public safety. A few weeks ago the Governor's office released the lists of proposed cuts compiled by agencies and last week the Governor directed the Department of Administrative Services to take action. 
I spent a day in Salem poring over those cuts with colleagues on E-board (Emergency Board) and budget staff. We must now determine if it is possible to mitigate some of the worst cuts, while also minding the budget challenges for the next budget cycle, 2011-2013. A special session could be used to adjust the budget, substituting targeted cuts for a simple across-the-board calculation.

Meanwhile, we are exploring options to alleviate the worst of the cuts; implementing a fair share of budget cuts for the Legislature, Judicial Department, Secretary of State, and Treasurer, since the Governor's allotment authority doesn't extend to those agencies; and assessing what additional resources we can bring to bear, including reserves and other funds.
Some have called for the Legislature to convene an immediate emergency session, but I believe this is not the right time. We lack information about potential federal government aid to states, which could be significant, and we must carefully assess the scope and long-term impacts of the potential agency cuts. With that information we would be better able to develop a specific proposal or solution that will receive support from the Legislature and Governor, and that makes sense for Oregon families, students and businesses.
Business, Jobs and Economy, Workforce
In May, Business Oregon (the Oregon Business Development Department) gave an update on the Access to Business Capital Act (ABC Act) that passed during the February special session. The ABC Act expanded the existing Oregon Business Development Fund that has helped businesses like Oregon's Only Organics in Lane County. Business Oregon provided a loan to help expand the company's production capacity and add new products to their line. As a result of the expansion, the company plans to grow from 5 to 19 employees -- creating at least 14 new jobs. Business Oregon pointed out that more than 90% of the work they do is with existing Oregon companies to retain and create jobs. 
Senior officials from Business Oregon joined State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and others from the Department of Agriculture, Travel Oregon, state community colleges, Western Oregon University, the Ports of Portland, Umatilla and Morrow, and private individuals on a recent 14-day trade mission to Asia. During the mission, the Oregon delegation visited with renewable energy firms interested in investing in Oregon, worked to solidify relationships to increase Oregon's agricultural exports to Asian markets, and promoted tourism.
State Treasurer Ted Wheeler announced in early June returns of $5 million from the Oregon Growth Account. The earnings will be deposited in the Education Stability Fund and available to help the state cope with the current budget shortfall. The Oregon Growth Account was created to spur economic development by providing seed capital to grow businesses. The fund has committeed $97.4 million to invest in Oregon companies. You can read more about it on the State Treasurer's website.
State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who is based in Portland, has been working hard to build a strong voice for a proactive workforce development system in the state. Commissioner Avakian points out that being proactive is about getting a better return on our investment, and improving our strategic position for future economic declines. He has identified three steps that Oregon can take to strengthen our workforce system: restore career and technical education to all middle and high schools; restructure the Oregon Workforce Investment Board; and look at K-12 education and workforce development as one continuum. To learn more about the Commissioner's work you can visit BOLI's website.
District News

I-5 Willamette River Bridge
Construction of the new southbound Interstate 5 Willamette River Bridge has begun. The bridge is scheduled to open by late summer 2011. Construction will affect travel on Franklin Boulevard, the on- and off-ramps connecting I-5 and Franklin Blvd, and bicycle and pedestrian paths on both sides of the river. This year, each I-5 and Franklin Blvd on- and off-ramp will close once for 8 to 12 weeks. Traffic will use Glenwood Blvd as a detour.

For more information visit the Willamette River Bridge website.
University of Oregon in House District 13
The University of Oregon's College of Education works with every school district in Oregon, including Eugene 4J. The College does more than train educators and school administrators; it's  involved in human development, and providing social services.  One major lo
Rep Nathanson talks with a hometown hero who is helping residents buy their manufactured home park.
Dr.Dave & PA
cal program is EC CARES, providing early intervention and early childhood special education to eligible children in Lane County, currently serving 850 youth.

Another is the Youth Transition Program (YTP), a collaborative transition program for high school students with disabilities around the state. Working with staff and students at North Eugene and Sheldon High Schools, YTP prepares youth for employment and career related post secondary education or training.  North Eugene High also takes advantage of another of the College's programs, the Oregon Career Information System (CIS).  CIS provides information about occupations and industries, post-secondary programs and schools, financial aid, and career exploration tools and planning systems. And for local elementary schools, the College helps with school-wide positive behavior support.
New office staff
Welcome to Brandon Whyte, an intern joining our legislative office. In addition to his experience working in a legislative office, Brandon has four years of political science and economics education and six years of military service.
Representative Nancy Nathanson | 900 Court St NE | Salem | OR | 97301