|As many of you are aware, this is my sixth term serving you as the State Representative from Albany.
After working in the legislature these past ten years, I've learned how to best advocate for funding needs in my district.
At the end of each biennium, the legislature creates a last minute 'Christmas Tree' bill, which contains funding for specific projects or organizations. Generally, the bill is proposed towards the end of session because the main budget has finally been passed and now the legislature is deciding where to put the last bits of money that is left over.
In previous newsletters this year, I explained how Senator Gelser, Representative Rayfield, and I wrote a letter to the Co-Chairs on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means requesting more funding for Trillium to better assist our youth suffering from mental health issues.
Additionally, I am working on another letter requesting more funding for Oregon's 17 Community Colleges. Having had two daughters attend Linn Benton Community College (LBCC) and having taught Criminal Justice classes at LBCC, I have seen the impacts of decreased funding first hand. Did you know that Oregon is one of only six states that has had more than a 30% decrease in funding per student? I want you to know I am advocating for our Community Colleges...they've been under-funded too long.
Throughout this session, I have kept track of funding requests that include agencies, special projects, private sectors, and federal government matches. I would really like to support some of these funding requests as I learn more about them. For example, I would like to see the Department of Human Services (DHS) Fraud Investigative Unit, increase their total number of fraud investigators. This money is well spent as the fraud and abuse they discover saves tax payer dollars. It also ensures their efforts will get the dollars to the families that truly need the support.
These are just a few examples, but you get the gist. I will continue learning and moving forward with my "wish list" as I do my best to work for YOU!