Staying in Touch
I can't believe August is already here and before you know it, school will be starting again.  As we gear up for the fall season, please keep these key dates in mind...
  • Lebanon Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, August 26th - I will discuss topics of marijuana and potential upcoming legislation.
  • Legislative Days, September 21st-23rd - Committee meetings in preparation for the 2017 Legislative Session.
  • Albany Business Extravaganza, September 21st - I have a booth this year, be sure and stop by, say hi and chat, and share any concerns you might have.
  • Deadline to submit legislation, September 26th - This is the last day for legislators to submit any potential legislation into Legislative Counsel without using a priority bill for the 2017 Legislative Session.
  • Town Hall, October 19th - Save the date, details to be announced!
 

Transportation Update
As most of you know, I have been assigned to serve on the newly created Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization. The committee has been assigned the task of building a comprehensive transportation package to be voted on during the 2017 Legislative Session.
 
In order to create the best package for ALL of Oregon, the committee has scheduled a series of public meetings and tours throughout Oregon. Touring around the state has been very beneficial and helpful. Learning about specific transportation needs will greatly help with crafting a package that is good for Oregon. Currently, we have visited Portland, Ontario, Hermiston, and Eugene. In the near future, we will tour Central Oregon, Medford, Newport, and Hillsboro.
 
Locally, I have been busy discussing priorities in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Highway 20 between North Albany to Corvallis continues to be a hot topic. Highway 34, from Seven Mile Lane to Corvallis also brings its own congestion and problems as well.
 
During the last committee meeting, I had the opportunity to give a short presentation regarding issues on I-5 between Salem and Eugene. I am advocating to increase the freeway from four lanes to six lanes for some of the following reasons...
  • Just north of Albany, the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) is over 60,000 cars and trucks a day. Just 18 miles further north near Kubler, the ADT is over 72,000 vehicles per day.
  • ODOT has labeled mile post (MP) 234 near Knox Butte to be over capacity.
  • The four main counties (Marion, Linn, Benton, Lane) along the I-5 corridor have a combined population base of nearly one million people.
  • The average road closure on I-5 in our area lasts over an hour.
  • In 2014, there were 237 motor vehicle accidents between Eugene and Salem.
  • The estimated economic impact cost for one hour of unexpected delay for vehicles operating in the Albany area is $67,100.
One can easily conclude the need for an additional lane on I-5 in each direction. It seems like every week there is an incident that ties up traffic between Albany, Eugene and Salem.

Obviously, the big question is funding. How do we maintain the transportation system we currently have, meet future needs, and balance the budget? 

Law Enforcement Data System
In 2009, I introduced House Bill 3466 with former State Representative Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukie). The bill required the Oregon State Police to create a medical/mental health database system to better aid law enforcement agencies in assisting people who are suffering from medical or mental health issues, through the use of the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS). 

The intent of this legislation is to give law enforcement the tools they need to best assist and protect Oregonians suffering from medical/mental illness. It's nice to see this legislation has proven to be a successful tool for law enforcement.

This legislation was developed after hearing from both law enforcement and concerned family members.  Frank Moore, Linn County Mental Health Director, was instrumental in developing the components of this bill.  With my background in law enforcement and Director Moore's experience with people suffering from medical/mental health issues, we saw the need to move forward with this type of system. Recently, the Statesman Journal wrote a great article illustrating the extreme importance of this system. Read the full article here.

Enrollment in the LEDS Medical Database is voluntary and written consent by the individual must be given. For more information how to enroll, please click here. 
 

STAY CONNECTED
503-986-1415
Oregon State Legislature, 900 Court Street NE, Salem, OR 97301
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