Nancy observing an Urban Search & Rescue Training. OWIN funds will allow emergency personnel state wide
communicate with each other, so crews, like these
firefighters, can do their jobs faster and save lives.
At the Capitol
The Emergency Board met in late September to consider budget
adjustments, spending requests and requests to submit federal grant
proposals. The most noteworthy actions authorized: five more bank examiners to
assure the continued strength of Oregon-chartered banks; $4 million in
additional funds for scholarships to help people afford college tuition and
prepare for better-paying jobs; support to eradicate a huge grasshopper
infestation in Eastern Oregon threatening the agriculture industry; launch of the first phase of construction for the Oregon Wireless
Interoperability Network, which will better
enable public safety agencies around our state to communicate during emergency
situations; and a renewable energy project to create biofuels from grass straw
grown in Oregon rather than from corn imported from other states. The Rainy Day Fund and Education Stability
Fund remain untouched.
State Employees Excel in Commuter Challenge
Reducing energy use - especially non-renewable fuel and
electricity - continues to be a priority of mine, so I was pleased to see the recent
success of the Governor's State Employee Commuter Challenge. This challenge did not create a new state
transportation benefit or program, but rather encouraged state employees to use
the current options available to them, such as biking, walking, carpooling or
using mass transit to commute work.
State employees in the Salem
area were able to reduce their carbon emissions by nearly 600,000 pounds and
save an estimated $125,118 in gas money over the summer by simply altering
their commute for a few days each week.
My own Legislative Assistant has enjoyed the bike ride to the office and
hopes to continue riding through the fall.
The success of the Commuter Challenge supports the State's
efforts to reduce carbon emissions and is a part of the Governor's Transportation
Initiative. A central focus of the
initiative is to arm Oregonians with information about ways to reduce their
carbon emission, including helping local governments expand transportation
options for Oregonians' interested in reducing their drive-alone commutes. I will look forward to seeing how this effort
will help commuters in Eugene
save money and streamline their commutes.
Around our State
Financial Information website launched to aid Oregonians
To assist Oregonians worried about the security of their
finances, the State recently launched a website designed to answer questions
for consumers concerned about bank accounts and insurance policies. The website, available at http://egov.oregon.gov/dcbx/save_money.shtml,
addresses common questions about bank and credit union deposits, insurance
policies, brokerage accounts, mortgages, and other investment areas. The site also includes links to state and
federal financial regulators and other resources.
I hope that you find this resource valuable and would
appreciate hearing any other ideas you might have about information that the
state could provide to better serve your family during uncertain economic
In the District
Acting to Curb Metal Theft
Metal theft has been in the news almost weekly here in Eugene. In the last month or two we've
stolen wire that left hundreds of homes in a central Eugene neighborhood without
phone service for two days; lights out on a section of the Willamette river
trail; another $10,000 to replace the underground
wire that left Amazon park ball fields without lights, and canceled the end of
season games; and tens of thousands of dollars to replace copper wire at
We need to toughen penalties and dry up the market to
make it harder to sell the stolen metal goods. I'm proposing legislation
that says no more paying cash on the spot, and mailing a check instead; tougher
penalties for theft of metal from utilities and theft that interferes with
public safety; and having a photographic record of the seller with the material
Additional Housing for Veterans Opens in our Community
The Oregon Housing and Community Services department and the
State Housing Council recently approved additional funding for affordable
housing, including funds to help St. Vincent de Paul build affordable housing
for veterans with special needs.
Affordable housing funds have a multiplier effect, in that
every dollar contributed by the state yields five to seven dollars of
additional investment. So, this small,
but important project will provide both needed help for veterans and a positive
Nancy enjoyed the opportunity to leave my mark at the Youth Mural Project at
WestTown on 8th apartments.
Meetings and Visits
Another sampling of activities, meetings or events attended
from the past few weeks: Eugene 08 Volunteer Celebration; Youth Mural Project at
WestTown on 8th apartments; American Lung Association; American Heart
Association; Eugene International Film Festival Award Presentation; Sheldon
High School Principal for a Day; UO Explore Oregon; Oregon Connections
Telecommunications Conference; Senior and Disabled Services Advisory Council Legislative
Forum; EC CARES regarding early childhood education; I-5/Beltline Flyover
Ribbon Cutting; Healthcare for All-Oregon and Archimedes monthly meeting; Urban
Search and Rescue training.
I'm starting to gear up for the 2009 session already,
waiting to hear which committees I'll be serving on, and working with Jessica
Criser, my legislative assistant, on preliminary legislative concepts. I have
my new office assignment now, and am pleased to let you know that it is NOT the
closet shown a previous newsletter!
State Representative, District 13
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