OTHER. In addition to the Emergency Board, I have continued working hard to improve the state’s public safety
communication system, which is badly in need of repair, consider redesign of our education system, address the
latest squeeze on human service funding and health care due to a reduction in federal Medicaid funding, and review
the state/county court facilities.
In The District
I like to spread the word about state programs that can help people in the district save money and access critical
services. This time, I will highlight two programs that the legislature recently invested in and are paying huge dividends for
The Oregon Opportunity Grant provides financial aid to Oregonians seeking a college education. The 2007
legislature doubled the funding for the program, and thanks to the new Shared Responsibility Model, more students than ever have access to the
money. For more information visit to www.getcollegefunds.org or call my office.
The Oregon Prescription Drug Program is a state purchasing pool. The 2007 legislature opened the program to
Oregonians without prescription drug coverage or who consider themselves underinsured. Enrollment is quick and easy, and thousands are already
taking advantage of the benefit. Since July 1, 2007 the program’s enrollment has jumped from only 4,000 to well over 70,000
Oregonians. For information about signing up, click
Finally, by initiating Oregon’s first-ever general reserve fund (the “Rainy Day” fund), we continue to get
good news about positive benefits right now. For example, as bond rating agencies upgrade Oregon’s “score,” reducing the
interest rate on bonded debt, we save money on the cost of big projects (such as bridge and road repair).
Meetings and events. Just a few examples from last week: Task Force on Veterans Services;
discussion about metal theft and climate change; briefing on the Public Utilities Commission’s 2009 agenda; and a ride-along with a State