Nancy being sworn in.
Dear Friends & Neighbors:
The 75th Legislative Session convened in Salem on January
12. Committee work has begun and we are starting to work on key legislation that will help Oregon families during these difficult times.
With the national and state economy at its worst in decades, we have a lot of work to do in order to make things easier for Oregonians. I
know we need to roll up our sleeves to work on getting our economy back on its feet.
This session, as the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, I
will devote much of my time developing a balanced state budget. My fellow committee members and I understand that this will not be easy. I
invite you to share your ideas and priorities with me.
Click here to share your views using my online survey
As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please
don’t hesitate to contact my office at (503) 986-1413, or toll-free at 1-800-332-2313, or write to me at email@example.com
Around the Capitol
Nancy speaking on metal theft.
Putting a Stop to Metal Theft: legislation
On January 22, I joined several of my colleagues in a news conference to
address the rampant problem of metal theft. Every week, metal thieves hit communities across Oregon: stripping cars of catalytic
converters, yanking out power and telephone lines, dismantling irrigation systems, and stealing public artwork. Repairing the damage is increasingly
costly, and some of the stolen works are irreplaceable. When lights and phones are out, metal support structures dismantled, and grounding wires
removed, public safety is immediately at risk. I’m the chief sponsor of one of several proposals aimed at increasing penalties and drying
up the market, including prohibiting on-the-spot cash sales, and requiring records of sales that law enforcement will be able to access.
Protecting affordable housing
This week I presented a bill to help residents in manufactured or mobile
home parks. In the last 10 years Oregon has lost 70 of these communities as they are sold for some other kind of development -- wiping out
neighborhoods and displacing several thousand Oregonians from their homes, often with no way to move those homes to another park. This
affordable housing is often home to struggling working families, people on a fixed income, and those who depend on neighbors for help with daily
needs. When these neighborhoods close, social networks are wiped out and critically-needed affordable housing is lost. House Bill 2383
provides residents in this situation a short period of time, allowing residents the right of first refusal to pool their resources to buy the park.
Last week I focused attention on metal theft; Earned Income Tax Credit;
protecting residents of manufactured home parks; funding additional services for veterans; and encouraging use of alternate energy for
vehicles. In Ways and Means I’m asking for more detailed information explaining money spent and outcomes achieved or
“cost-benefit” on information technology projects; full-cost review which includes cost savings or offsets in addition to the initial
cost to that program; buildings owned and leased for state offices; old rules that need to be changed to get out of the way of doing business more
efficiently; and programs for the same or similar purposes but housed in different departments.
A Day in the Life
I thought it might be interesting for you to see the variety of
topics I’ve heard about, discussed, and/or worked on in just one day. Wednesday, January 28: 7:50 AM, reviewed meeting
requests. 8:00 AM, attend first meeting of the day, Joint Ways and Means, where we reviewed department and agency budget overviews
for transportation (highway, rail, public transit, safety, motor carriers, etc.) and economic development (business and trade development, community
and infrastructure development, unemployment insurance, workforce, child care division, housing and community services; veterans’ services;
building codes; occupational safety and health… and more). Then on to other topics for the rest of the day.
By 3:00 PM, I had already discussed: “cap and trade” to address global warming, bill drafting procedures, work hazards for
firefighters, funding for Lane Community College, Oregon Wireless and Interoperability Network, flotation devices for river recreation safety, funding
for local economic stimulus projects, telecommunications (phone, cable, internet), reducing use of smokeless tobacco, strategic
economic stimulus projects, mental health treatment, and serving food grown or processed in Oregon schools. Amongst all of these
conversations, I found time to plan for committee hearings, had several quick hallway conversations to coordinate bills, testimony, or committee work,
and organize my first bill that is scheduled for a hearing this week. I arrived home at 6:40 PM, where I spent
another hour reviewing messages and meeting requests, and scanning newspaper clippings. At the end of the day, when I'm preparing
dinner, I reflect on all of the day’s activity and realize that everyday is exciting and interesting, offering many new challenges and
adventures for my staff and me.
In the District
Ian Foster & Dorothy Waller
Who’s in the office
It is my pleasure to introduce you to my 2009 Legislative
Ian Foster is my legislative assistant for policy, and will manage my
calendar. If you want to set up a phone or office meeting with me, he can help. Ian served as the Chief
Legislative Aide for Representative Betty Komp in 2007, worked on the 2008 Merkley campaign, and previously held an internship with Congressman Earl
Blumenauer in Washington D.C.
Dorothy Waller is my legislative assistant for constituent matters,
including community outreach and casework, and also assists with policy. Dorothy has worked in job training, customer service, and
as a campaign field organizer for Oregon League of Conservation Voters.
Will Pilon recently joined us as legislative intern to help maintain bill
and committee work files, track down information, and generally assist Dorothy and Ian. Will is a junior at Willamette University,
and is planning on applying to law school next year.
Saturday chat: Feb. 21
On Saturday morning, February 21st,
from 11 to 12, I will be at Brewed Awakening in the Cal Young area. Please come and share your thoughts
and concerns. In the coming months I will plan weekend “chats” in other neighborhoods.
Questions? Contact my office at (503) 986-1413.
2532 Willakenzie Rd., Eugene
(across from Sheldon High School)