It has been a wonderful fall here in
Eugene, we have had great weather with brilliant colors and allowing more time outside. Below you will find information about our upcoming
legislative session next February, the issues I have been working on during the legislative interim, and information on how Oregon can help you or
your child attend college.
The Capitol under construction.
At the Capitol
As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, in an effort to improve safety and bring the
building up to code the Oregon State Capitol is receiving its first major remodel in over 30 years. All of our offices have been demolished and
construction crews are working in my old workspace. As all this occurs interim committees are beginning to meet and we’re preparing for the
upcoming legislative session in February.
As some of you may be aware, an independent body, the Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature
made a number of recommendations to meet the needs of a 21st Century society. One of those was to move toward annual
legislative sessions. As a result of the Commission’s recommendation the legislature made a commitment to hold a short
session in February 2008. To view the commission’s finding please click on this link http://www.leg.state.or.us/pcol/.
This “supplemental” session will be new to everyone involved so many of the details
are still being worked. The short session demands focus, efficiency, and effectiveness. I hope the session is used to (a) fix
legislation that doesn't work as intended, fix drafting errors or unintended difficulties in implementation, etc. - which otherwise would have to
wait another year; (b) make budget adjustments, including the possible allocation of additional funds identified through updated revenue forecasts
and other audits; and (c) consider a few important policy issues that are critical and should not wait another year. We should demonstrate how an
effective, efficient legislature can accomplish business, and that the state is well-served to make mid-course corrections instead of waiting 18
months to respond to regional, national or global changes.
Representative Nathanson enjoys a conversation at a meeting of retired business leaders
Interim Committee Assignment Update
In my last newsletter, September 07, I mentioned that I would be continuing
my work as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, and taking on responsibilities as a member of the Legislative Emergency Board.
Ways and Means is scheduled to meet twice before the February session to handle any pressing business and continue our work for the
interim. E-Board will likely not need to meet until after February. Since the last some new interim
committees: Court Facilities, and the Education System Design Team. I look forward to beginning work on these critical
Recent Meetings - In the District and Elsewhere
Another sampling of activities, meetings or events attended from the past few weeks:
representatives of 4J teachers, public safety communications, senior and disabled programs, microbusiness development, Lane Transit District, Lane
Community College, UO, and Department of Environmental Quality; also two downtown service clubs, Eugene International Film Festival, Oregon
Business Magazine tour of various sites including Port of Portland and several businesses in Corvallis and Eugene highlighting sustainability and
innovation, Riverloop project kick-off (also part of the Willamette River corridor improvements for the Eugene 08 Olympic Trials), railroad
yard cleanup site, Trainsong and River Road neighborhoods, and the new urban village in Harlow neighborhood.
From Left to Right: Rep. Phil Barnhart, Sen. Vicki Walker, Rep. Terry Beyer, Rep. Nancy Nathanson, and
Rep. Chris Edwards at the grand opening of their shared District office.
Interested in transit and public transportation? There's an open position on the Lane Transit
District Board of Directors. The area represented by this position covers much of the Ferry Street Bridge neighborhood west of Coburg Road, and
includes most of River Road and Santa Clara. To fill out an online interest form click here, or to talk with staff about the application process and requirements of the position,
call LTD at 682-6100.
Students, parents, and other family hearing about assistance to attend college.
Thinking of College? Oregon wants to help
On Oct. 29th, in conjunction with the 4J School District I
hosted a forum to describe to students and their families some of the ways that Oregon is providing more help and more money to make college
affordable. Presenters included representatives from the State Treasurer’s office, the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, and Lane
The Treasurer’s office reviewed the Oregon College Savings Plan, a program that allows
parents, students, family and friends to contribute up to $4000 a year “tax deductible” to an investment account that will grow tax
free for education expenses. OSAC highlighted the Oregon Opportunity Grant and scholarships, especially since the Legislature more than doubled the amount of money available for financial aide. And LCC provided
valuable information on the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid . To find out more contact my office or click on the links in the text above.
While juggling work with Orbis Cascade Alliance and as your State Representative can be
hectic, the schedule is exciting and fun with terrific staff assistance and your help. I have enjoyed seeing many of you in the community. From
activities like attending a Sheldon football game, walking to Autzen stadium, and visiting at an afternoon house party in the River Road neighborhood,
I appreciate having the opportunity to meet so many people and talk with you about our community.
Please click here to access my legislative web page.