Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update on my work as your State Representative.
Don’t forget! On Thursday, April
20th, Senator Kim Thatcher, Representative Bill Kennemer, and I will be hosting
a town hall meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the
Wilsonville City Hall, located at 29799 Town Center Loop East, Wilsonville, OR
97070. We will provide a mid-session
update to highlight issues involving the 2017-19 budget, education,
transportation, housing, and public safety. We are interested in hearing your input and we hope you will join us!
received a public hearing in the House
Committee on Transportation Policy on April 5th. I introduced this bipartisan bill to address
the overwhelming number of constituent concerns I have received about traffic
congestion. HB 3231 would allow city and
county governments to form special districts to plan, design, finance,
construct, and operate limited-access highways if they and the communities they
represent wish to do so. During the
hearing, I explained my constituents’ frustrations with traffic congestion and
the success that another state has had building roads using this concept. KOIN 6 provided coverage of the hearing,
which you can view here. Last Friday, I was informed by the committee
chair that HB 3231 would not receive a work session by the April 18th first
chamber deadline, which prevents the bill from moving forward this session. Looking ahead, I hope to work with Chair
McKeown and the rest of the Joint
Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization to pass a
statewide transportation package to ensure that we are taking proactive steps
to address Oregon’s long-term transportation challenges.
HB 2004, which would lift the state’s ban on rent control, passed the House on April 4th and moves to the Senate for further consideration. Although there is no question that Oregon faces significant housing challenges, I voted “No” on this bill because I am concerned that it will not have the positive effect that some believe it will. Economists generally agree that rent control affects tenants negatively by reducing the amount of available housing. I believe that our state’s housing issues will be best resolved by increasing the housing supply through market-based incentives and similar ideas. That is why I introduced HB 2210, which directs the Department of Housing and Community Services to provide grants to owners of multifamily rental units so they can provide housing at affordable rates. HB 2210 passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing and has been referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means for further consideration.
relating to transient students, has passed unanimously out of the House
Committee on Education and will now move to the House floor for a vote. The bill directs school districts and public
charter schools to waive extra graduation requirements for students who are in
foster care, homeless, or runaways, helping to remove barriers to earning their
high school diplomas. As a foster and
adoptive parent, I have seen first-hand the challenges that at-risk youth face as
they work to achieve academic success. I
am proud to serve as a Co-Chief Sponsor of this bill alongside fellow freshman
Representative Janelle Bynum.
, of which I am a Co-Chief Sponsor with Representatives Janeen Sollman and
David Brock Smith, relates to proceeds from the sale of unclaimed property. Currently, Oregon is safekeeping approximately
$595 million dollars in unclaimed assets—savings bonds, stocks dividends, tax
refunds and uncashed checks. State law
requires businesses and organizations to send all unclaimed funds to the Department of State
Lands (DSL) if the owner cannot be contacted after a certain amount of
time, usually three years. Each year, about $50
million is remitted to DSL and about half of that amount is returned to
rightful owners, usually around 20,000 people or entities. All unclaimed funds are held in Oregon’s Common School Fund until
claimed. Interest earnings from the fund
are then sent to Oregon schools twice a year. HB 3430 would allow DSL to distribute certain
moneys that have been in the Common School Fund Account for 25 years or more,
allowing us to open another stream of annual revenue to support our schools. It is innovative thinking like this that will
help us balance our state’s budget and ensure that K-12 education receives the
funding it needs. This bill is currently in the House
Committee on Revenue and is awaiting a public hearing.
Do you have unclaimed
money? You can check to see if the state
is holding money or property that belongs to you, a family member, or your
Friday, I had lunch with members of the Wilsonville
Citizens Academy during their visit to the Capitol. This program is organized by the City of Wilsonville for residents
who are looking to take a more active role in their community. It seeks to prepare participants for positions
of leadership by teaching them how the city government operates and interacts
with local and state government. A
special thanks to those who participated!
Last Saturday, I met at the Aero Air
facility to tour properties north of Hillsboro that the Northwest Hillsboro Alliance, a group of land owners in the area, is advocating to be included in the Urban Growth Boundary. This property is ideally situated to provide additional residential capacity for a rapidly growing
Washington County. As our communities
continue to expand, I am committed to advocating for the efficient and
responsible use of developable land.
Thank you, Northwest Hillsboro Alliance, for making this tour possible!
We are near the halfway point in the 2017 Legislative Session. The April 18th first chamber
deadline will decide the fate of many bills.
Policy committee bills must receive a work session in their chamber of
origin by this date to remain viable.
Although some of the most difficult discussions and votes will come in
the months ahead, I remain focused on seeking opportunities to engage my legislative
colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to find common ground and common sense
solutions to the challenges before us. I
appreciate each of you who have taken the time to write and shared your
thoughts, concerns, and ideas these past few months. Thank you for remaining engaged and active in
the legislative process. I look forward
to your continued feedback in the weeks and months ahead.
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1426
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-484, Salem, Oregon 97301