Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Just last Saturday, I joined Senator Chris Edwards and Representative Val Hoyle for a town hall at Willamette High School. We spent just 5 minutes each talking about recent legislation, and the rest of the hour and a half was a discussion based on questions raised by the audience including the environment, job creation in Oregon, comprehensive reform to the state’s revenue structure, and government accountability. If you were not able to attend this event, I will be hosting smaller, more personal coffees with constituents around the district. Look for more information in next month's newsletter.
This newsletter is following closely after my last newsletter to continue to highlight some of our work during the February legislative session. During the period 60 days prior to a primary or general election, an elected official running for re-election is limited in the way they communicate with their constituents. The intent of this rule was to limit using public resources for mass production of information that might be perceived as campaigning. I will use campaign funds to produce and send this newsletter during this period.
Representative Nathanson answers questions at a town hall.
February Session Highlights: Part Two
Supporting Oregon families and protecting consumers
We worked to make a real difference in the lives of Oregonians, especially families who are struggling during these difficult economic times. Key legislation includes:
Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) restored, adding nearly $13 M, benefitting 5,500 kids and 2,900 working families and keeping 1,800 care providers employed (HB 5100)
Extended benefits to 19,000 unemployed Oregonians until mid-April to make ends meet while they search for employment. (HB 3655 - Unemployment Benefits Extension)
Legal protection for consumers against unlawful trade practices by banks and other financial institutions, including national and out-of-state lenders (HB 3706 - Unlawful Trade Protections Act)
Protection for borrowers of “80/20” home loans from being sued for the second loan once their home has already been taken by foreclosure. (HB 3656)
Saving core programs
Allocated the full $200 million contingency for K-12 schools
to guarantee the total of $6 billion pledged to our school kids for this biennium. (SB 5565)
Connecting Oregon Business to New Customers
Business Oregon, the state’s economic development department, recently launched a new, web-based business development tool that will help Oregon companies easily find and connect with potential partners and customers. The Northwest Connectory is an on-line database that contains detailed profiles of Pacific Northwest companies across all industries at every level of the supply chain. It provides companies with access to a free online service to share their products and services and highlight unique technical skills. The system is proven to be effective in generating new sales leads and identifying potential business partners.
The Northwest Connectory will help many Oregon businesses in the following ways:
- Link Oregon businesses to opportunities around the region via a robust, searchable, online “buyer-supplier” database that will contain detailed, verified profiles of Pacific Northwest companies across all industries.
- Access to the only business-to-business tool of its kind at no cost that has been successfully deployed in Southern California to promote companies and foster business-to-business interaction.
The Northwest Connectory is accessible via the Business Oregon Web site - www.oregon4biz.com
– and over 500 Oregon businesses have already posted profiles.
Representative Nathanson joins high school students from Eugene in a discussion about school based health centers.
Community Forum: Oregon Department of Human Services & Oregon Health Authority
The Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority are hosting a series of statewide public forums this spring. They are inviting Oregonians to come share their ideas about local needs and priorities for the 2011–2013 budget and beyond. DHS and OHA will host a forum in Eugene on May 12th from 1 – 4 PM at Lane Community College’s Center For Meeting and Learning. For more information, visit www.oregon.gov/dhs or www.oregon.gov/oha. If you can’t attend the forum, send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gardening Tips from OSU Extension Services
OSU Extension Services has a free monthly e-newsletter full of gardening tips and information. One of the featured articles in March’s newsletter teaches how to “Garden on a dime
.” Some of their tips include:
- Save kitchen scraps (coffee grinds, egg shells, vegetable cuttings) for compost.
- Large, clear plastic containers that salad greens come in make good mini-greenhouses for starting plants both indoors and out. The "bottom" is the dome, and the lids become the base, catching runoff water.
- An inexpensive way to avoid over watering: use a five-gallon bucket that can be purchased for as little as 50 cents. Drill a 1/8-inch hole in the side of the bucket near the bottom, fill it with water and let a gentle stream of water flow next to the plant that needs watering. You can also add fertilizer or other nutrients to the water in the bucket and have a controlled means of dispensing it.
- Use clothes hangers for plant stakes.
- Use popsicle sticks and larger rocks to mark what’s growing.
- Place soda bottles filled with dark liquid near heat-loving plants in early spring to absorb heat during the day and re-radiate it at night.
Other articles in this month’s newsletter include recommended vegetable varieties for 2010 and planting dates and regions for growing Oregon vegetables. To read the newsletter you can visit the E-News for Northwest Gardeners website
. You can also subscribe
to receive the newsletter on the website.