Legislative Update
HD-15 2014 Review

One of the areas in which my office receives numerous compliments is the manner in which we respond to concerns and issues from our constituents and other Oregonians.  Often times, people are experiencing a problem with a local government, state or federal agency in an attempt to resolve an issue. Most of the time through this office, we are able to find a resolution on behalf of the individual. Often these issues are resolved in a matter of hours or days. Other times due to the complexity of the issue, it may take weeks.  One of the rewards in serving you is to bring resolution to each concern and issue as each is important to us.

 

As the end of the year approaches, my assistant and I review the many issues you have brought to us. This year we recorded an increase of nearly 100 issues.  Some constituents simply want to suggest an idea for proposed legislation in the future while others may need a concern addressed in dealing with a personal matter, or a variety of other situations. Whatever the case may be; below is a list of public agencies we work with to help solve a given issue:

  • Department of Human Services (child services, public assistance needs, etc.)
  • Cover Oregon
  • Oregon Health Authority
  • Public Employee Retirement Board
  • Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Revenue
  • Oregon State Police
  • Department of Justice
  • Bureau of Labor and Industries
  • The Governor's Office
  • Senator Ron Wyden's Office
  • Secretary of State's Office
  • Linn and Benton Counties (District Attorney's Office, City of Albany, etc.)
  • Oregon Housing and Community Services
  • Department of Environmental Quality 

There are many other sources that would include the private sector as well, but I think you get the idea. We try to do our best to represent the residents of this great House District, and in doing so, it is important to have good relations with state agencies, lobbyists, and non-profits so we can work for YOU. Not all constituent issues have the outcome we hope for, but in most circumstance, there is some point of relief.  Should you have a question, concern, or personal issue that my office can assist you with at the State level, don't hesitate to call this office.


 

Governor's Recommended Budget

Historically, every December the Governor produces the Governor's Recommend Budget (GRB). This is comprised of information gathered from agencies, offices, and programs to assist the Budget and Management (BAM) analysts which the Governor in conjunction with BAM compiles the Essential Budget Level (EBL) budget. The EBL usually anticipates Current Service Level (CSL) of the government for the subsequent biennium.; which is adjusted for additional costs due to inflation, new legal requirements, salary increases, etc. Based on the EBL and quarterly revenue forecasts, the Governor develops the GRB, which outlines a balanced budget and new policy proposals for additional programs; which may or may not increase taxes.

 

Based on the GRB and CSL budgets, the Committee on Ways and Means then holds public hearings during the first few months of legislative session to discuss what each department, agency, program, etc, does and why they need the allotted amount of funding. During this time, the committee members are at liberty to ask questions and request additional research and or information to assist in further decisions in accordance to approving the proposed budget.

 

During the last few months of legislative session, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means is working hard to balance the budget with help of the Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO) and the testimonies from earlier in the session. A current budget is proposed, and if passed by both Senate and House Chambers, the budget is adopted. (Source; Dennis Richardson, Budgeting 101)

 

Here are a few highlights in some key categories;

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

  • Additional $53.2 million for community-based mental health and addiction services while encouraging the development of collaborative approaches to mental health treatment
  • $58.5 million for the Justice Reinvestment Grant Program, which funds reentry and recidivism reduction programs at the county level
  • $18.3 million investment to Oregon State Police to maintain fish and wildlife division positions, add 20 new law enforcement openings, and 33 patrol vehicles for patrolling.
  • $98.5 million for seismic rehabilitaions of schools and emergency service buildings
  • $888,248 for Court Appointed Special Advocate programs

EDUCATION

  • 50 percent of the total $18.6 billion proposed budget will go to education, which is over a 10 percent increase in education from the 2013-15 budget
  • $808.3 million reserved for targeted programs, including free all-day kindergarten with the hopes that all children read by 3rd grade
  • $6.9 of the proposed $9.4 billion set aside for education will be going to K-12

ECONOMY

  • $55 million to increase quality and availability of child care programs for working families
  • Mandate paid sick leave
  • $648.9 million to Business Oregon to support job creation

  (Click here to read the full GRB)

 

 HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends. As we approach Christmas, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. As always, that you for the support.

  

Take care,

 

 

Andy Olson
Quick Links: 
 
 
Contact Info:
900 Court St. NE, H-478
Salem, OR 97301
503-986-1415

 
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Legislative Calendar:
Legislative Days: 
 Dec. 8th-10th

Organizational Days:
Jan. 12th-14th

Session Starts:
Feb. 2nd
 



Notable and Quotable:
"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
-Calvin Coolidge
 
"We think that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our homes to remedy this kind of poverty."
-Mother Teresa
 
"Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
-John Wooden
  
   

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