Recapping the 2013 Legislature


Representative Tina Kotek
D-North/NE Portland
District 44

Phone: 503-986-1444    900 Court St. NE, H-269, Salem Oregon 97301
Email:     Website:


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2013 Legislative Session adjourned “sine die” (Latin for “without another day”) on Monday afternoon, five days before the constitutional deadline for adjournment. I believe all Oregonians can take pride in the good things that were accomplished.

After years of cuts to education and other vital services, and dramatic job losses throughout the state, the work of the 2013 Legislature focused on turning the corner to reinvest in schools and put Oregonians back to work.

This session was about moving past the Great Recession to renew our schools and our economy.   We made education a priority by adding $1 billion in funding for schools. We made economic growth and job creation a focus by authorizing close to $1 billion in bonding for capital construction projects around the state.

This session was about reinvesting, rebuilding, and rehiring. And with legislators from all over the state working together, we took steps that will benefit families in every corner of Oregon.



Investing in Education

We made education a priority with a $6.75 billion reinvestment in public schools, including a total $1 billion increase from the previous biennium, allowing many school districts statewide to begin rebuilding after years of cuts and layoffs.

This session included a PERS savings bill that will yield over $800 million system-wide this biennium, $200 million of which will be used by school districts statewide.

To strengthen our workforce and ensure today’s students are ready for the jobs of the 21st century, we made investments in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. We also improved access to higher education by passing tuition equity (an effort ten years in the making) and holding down tuition increases.

Another focus was on early childhood education. We are now on a clear path to improving how vital early childhood programs work together so we can ensure children arrive at school ready to succeed.



Growing Jobs and Strengthening the Economy

The Legislature took a number of steps to speed Oregon’s economic recovery. We started the session positioning Oregon to make critical investments in the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project. We wrapped up the session leveraging nearly $1 billion worth of bonding capacity to put thousands of Oregonians to work on construction projects in every part of the state. We invested in critical infrastructure and jobs programs (such as Connect Oregon, industrial lands readiness, and Small Business Development Centers), supported local agriculture by dedicating $1 million to the Farm to School Program, and bolstered growing industries with support for fermentation sciences research at Oregon State University.


Improving Public Safety

A bipartisan joint committee successfully put together a package of public safety reforms that will curb prison growth over the next five years and invest in community public safety and victims’ services. We improved the safety of Oregon’s roadways by helping more people access driver’s cards and auto insurance. We also significantly increased investments in mental health care and alcohol and drug treatment, especially for children and adolescents.



Supporting Oregon Families

We took a number of steps this session to make sure we were doing everything possible to strengthen Oregon’s middle class and help families thrive. We strengthened programs to help families get back on their feet, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Employment Related Day Care Program. We renewed the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit so low-income Oregonians continue to get some tax relief on their Oregon income taxes. We stood up for middle class families against Wall Street banks, helping them avoid home foreclosure, and we took steps to ensure Oregonians get fair treatment from insurance companies.

One of my top personal priorities this session was ensuring fair housing practices for Oregonians who have Housing Choice/Section 8 housing vouchers. The Housing Choice Act (HB 2639) passed both chambers and will be signed by the Governor. The bill ends “source of income” discrimination in rental housing and creates a statewide Landlord Guarantee Program to support landlords who rent to individuals with vouchers.  

We also took a number of steps to support Oregon veterans, including dedicating new funding for veterans’ housing and making it easier for veterans to afford college.



Special Gift to the District

On the last day of the session, the Speaker of the House traditionally gets a gift from all members of the House. This year, my fellow legislators personally donated to the effort to support scholarships for successful Lady Rough Riders at Roosevelt High School by contributing $1,200 to the Theodore Roosevelt Women’s Scholarship Association.

I was very touched by the generosity of my colleagues. More importantly, I’m thrilled to see such a wonderful contribution being made to help high-achieving women graduating from Roosevelt. My dedication this session to passing the strongest K-12 budget possible came from my desire to strengthen our local schools. This gift is like icing on the cake. Go Riders!

In the end, legislators made a lot of tough decisions in order to deliver on the top priorities of Oregonians. Oregon’s best days still lie ahead, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to deliver for our state.


Have a great summer and stay in touch.


As always, it is a pleasure to represent you. 


Best wishes, 



State Representative Tina Kotek

Speaker of the House

District 44