January 16, 2014
CONTACT: Michael Gay
Senate Republicans release February agenda
Salem, OR - Senate Republicans announced a set of proposals that protect and empower vulnerable Oregonians who are being left behind in Oregon's slow recovery. Republicans will advocate for these proposals during the 2014 short legislative session that begins February 3rd.
"We want to make Oregon a safer place where every Oregonian has the chance to find a job, save for the future and realize a dream," said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). "Our agenda focuses on diverse groups of people who have been forgotten by the ruling party. We hope to be their voice in this legislative session."
The first three planks of the agenda focus on helping vulnerable populations of unemployed find work by 1) helping community college students better connect core curriculum with technical and vocational programs; 2) giving small businesses tax and legal equity 3) removing regulatory barriers to job creation in communities with sustained high unemployment.
"Young people and new families continue to find it incredibly difficult to find a job," said Senator Betsy Close (R-Albany/Corvallis). "We want to remove the barriers between young people and available jobs through practical, targeted, technical and vocational education the first year of community college."
"Small businesses should have the same competitive advantages as bigger businesses," said Senator Alan Olsen (R-Canby). "Ma and pa businesses should have tax equality with larger operations. We also need to protect small and large Oregon businesses from predatory patent litigation."
The Republican agenda also works to 4) provide greater educational opportunity for Oregon students through the Education Equity Emergency Act, which provides vulnerable students (foster, special needs, and low income) with a scholarship for tutoring, private school or college savings.
The agenda also includes 5) the creation of "Silver Alerts," which would require law enforcement agencies to adopt response protocols for missing seniors, especially those with dementia.
"Amber Alerts have proven an effective way to protect the vulnerable of our youngest generation, we believe Silver Alerts make sense to protect our older generation as well," said Senator Jackie Winters (R-Salem).
Senate Republicans will also introduce 6) a crop donation tax credit, which will help food banks and farmers to put more food on the tables of the hungry.
"More than a half million Oregonians are hungry," said Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River). "This proposal will put food on the table for Oregon families.
The Senate Republican agenda document can be read and downloaded here.