Representative Nancy Nathanson
Rep Nathanson tours the construction of
the I-5 Willamette River Bridge.
I-5 Willamette Bridge Construction
October 2010
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With the arrival of fall in Eugene the leaves begin to turn, there is a certain crispness in the air, and we take advantage of the end of season good-weather weekends at outdoor community events and high school and Ducks football games. This is also a busy time for staff and me, preparing bills to be considered in the next legislative session. Many of the prospective bills I am preparing are geared to improve government efficiency and save money without sacrificing service.  I'm also working on ideas from constituents and meetings around the community, including health care and improving the rail system.
The spirit of efficiency and service is embodied in the recently-released report from the Government Efficiency Task Force that I chaired. The Task Force has worked hard over the past year developing recommendations to improve the delivery of vital services and save money for the state, county and local governments. The report contains practical, achievable ideas that are already being turned into action. For a copy of the report, go to the task force website.

Oregon is facing severe budget cuts for state government, and we keep making adjustments to balance the budget. My priority remains protecting vital services for Oregonians, while improving the efficiency of government. Rather than accept all of the Governor's across-the-board "allotment" reductions, the bi-partisan Legislative Emergency Board (E-Board) has already made some targeted changes to offset some of the planned cuts to education and public safety. 

As always please stay in touch. Don't hesitate to contact me with any suggestions or assistance that you may need.


In This Issue
Protecting Critical Services
Oregon: A Leader in Health Information Technology
Good news for Businesses
Transportation Projects in District 13
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Capitol News

Protecting Critical Services: E-Board takes action
On September 23rd, I joined my colleagues on the bipartisan Emergency Board in voting to protect funds for K-12 schools, the Oregon State Police, District Attorneys and the Oregon Youth Authority.
Rep Nathanson discusses ways to make government work smarter with the Government Efficiency Task Force.
The latest report from the state economist indicated a $373 million decline in state revenue. State economist Tom Potiowsky said Oregon's woes largely mirror what's happening nationally. Given these trying economic times, some use of the state emergency fund was necessary to maintain service in these critical areas:
-Funding for K-12 was maintained at $5.7 billion
-$4.4 million was used to restored service to the Oregon State Police.
-$3 Million as been appropriated for the recipients of Employment Related Day Care
Another E-Board meeting will be held in December to make more adjustments. Meanwhile, federal funds have been received to help offset cuts in human services, including seniors, people with disabilities, and healthcare.
Oregon: A leader in Health Information Technology
Oregon was awarded the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society State of the Year Award for leadership in health information technology.
Oregon leads the way in adopting and using electronic health records -- five times the national average, growing and improving. The Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Human Services continue to promote new information technologies to modernize and lower the costs of healthcare. Effective and efficient use of technology helps lower healthcare costs and improve care. 
Good news for Businesses
The Department of Consumer and Business Services has announced that Oregon's worker compensation premium rates will again decrease. This is an important factor to business success and recruiting new businesses to Oregon.
Although the state's unemployment rate remains constant at 10.6%, over the past 12 months, the
Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi Brewery explains the brewing process to Rep Nathanson.
number of employed Oregonians increased by nearly 30,000. We continue to hear bits of good news about business and job growth. A few examples from around the state include:
  • ReVolt Technology, a Swiss-based company that develops zinc battery technology, will make their North American headquarters in Portland.
  • Garmin, a satellite navigation company, will be expanding its operation in Salem. They currently employ 230 people and aim to hire 200 more workers.
  • Facebook will be doubling the size of their data center in Prineville. The expansion is projected to have 150-200 construction workers on-site daily and lead to 35 long-term jobs.
Right here in Eugene, we have our own examples of job growth and business expansion.
  • Bulk Handling Systems, a manufacturer of equipment that sorts recyclables, has landed two new contracts that have returned their payroll back to pre-recession levels at 140 employees. The company was recognized this week for their work in green technology by receiving the Emerald Award in Innovation from the Eugene Chamber of Commerce.
  • Our village brewer, Ninkasi Brewing Company, located right in House District 13, has risen to become the seventh-largest brewery in Oregon in just four years. They have nearly finished their $4 million expansion in west Eugene. This growing and thriving company, offering good jobs with benefits, contributes to the Whiteaker neighborhood, and helps support the local and state economy.  Ninkasi was also recognized this week, receiving the Emerald Award for Growth. 
District News
Transportation Projects in District 13
I-5/Willamette River Bridge Project
The I-5/Willamette River Bridge project is proud to be green. Park land under the new bridge is being improved and the number of piers in the river will be reduced from 26 to 2. Further reuse and recycling of materials are cornerstones of the project. Some 50,000 tons of concrete have been recycled, as well as all the rebar and steel girders of the old bridge ... saving money, energy, and materials. More information is available on the ODOT website.
A view of the new I-5 Bridge 
 construction and plans.
Delta Ponds
 Safety on Delta Highway
In order to reduce congestion and prevent accidents, the Oregon Department of Transportation will soon be installing a Variable Message Sign (VMS) on northbound Delta Highway between the Valley River and Goodpasture Island Interchange. I have been informed that the sign will be about 30.5 feet wide and 8.25 feet tall, 23 feet high from the ground, placed south of the bridge just before the curve - about mid point between the Valley River on ramp and the bridge. 
The new sign will use smart technology to warn drivers of congestion, accidents or other hazards ahead at the Delta Highway interchanges with Beltline and Goodpasture Island. Unlike the current signs that have flashing beacons turned on at the same time every day, the new VMS sign will be connected to traffic sensors along Delta Hwy and will activate only when needed. As you may recall, I have pressed hard for safety improvements for Delta and Beltline, the area of many reported and un-reported crashes, and a fatality. The Delta Hwy VMS is part of a larger Delta/Beltline Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvement project aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion.