Legislative Update and Upcoming Town Halls

Representative Pam Marsh

January 2018

Dear friends,

Happy New Year!  The holidays are already in our rear view mirror and 2018 is careening forward.   Over the next few weeks, I’ll be holding several town halls to preview the upcoming legislative session.  As always, I will look forward to hearing your views on the issues facing the State of Oregon. 

You may not know that the short session that will convene February 5 will be just the third such session in the state’s history.  Until 2012, the Oregon legislature met only in the first year of each biennium, or in emergency special sessions.  However, in 2010 voters approved a constitutional change to allow annual sessions.

The original intent of the even-year session was to simply to balance the budget and make minor adjustments to state law.  However, urgent and complex public policy decisions cannot always be placed on hold.  This year, as in the past, we will consider several legislative proposals that are far-reaching in nature.

Climate change

The Clean Energy Jobs bill is at the top of that list.  During the past year we’ve experienced horrific hurricanes, voracious forest fires and unstable weather patterns that are more evidence (as if we needed it) that our climate is in terrible trouble.  Clean Energy Jobs legislation will establish a statewide, market-based cap on greenhouse gas emissions.  Over time, that cap will be reduced, creating incentives for the use of innovative, renewable technology and the development of good, family wage jobs. 

There is no time to waste.  The concepts underlying Clean Energy Jobs were first introduced in the 2007 legislature.  During the past year, my colleagues and I have spent hours refining the bill.  Now it is time for the Legislature to step up and affirm Oregon’s commitment to the climate work we know is critical to the planet. 

Other issues at stake

Much of our work over the past year has been in response to changes in federal policy, and I expect that trend to continue in the short session.  We’ll be talking about protections for our Dreamers, the future of our cannabis industry, and the implications of federal tax reform on both taxpayers and the state’s coffers. 

Each House member is allowed to sponsor two bills in the short session.  My personal legislation will focus on 1) establishment of an incentive program for homeowners and landlords who install energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy systems, and 2) clarifications to the collection of transient occupancy.

However, it is critical to note that plans for the session depend in large part on the results of the January 23 special election.  If approved, Measure 101 will affirm legislative decisions and maintain revenue for the state’s Medicaid program.  If the measure fails, healthcare funding decisions that we made in 2017 will be undone.  In that event, it is likely that the 2018 legislative session will be dominated by debate over the future and funding of health care.

If you have already cast your ballot for the special election – thank you.  If you need more information, I recommend this online publication from the League of Women Voters, always an excellent source for objective election material: http://lwvor.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/BM-101-VG-12-5.pdf

As always, I am grateful for your support and feedback.  If you can attend one of my upcoming town halls, I will be glad to see you.  If life gets in the way, I’m always available via email or phone.  Please keep in touch.

My best,

Representative Pam Marsh

State Representative
Oregon House District 5 - Southern Jackson County

Upcoming Town Halls

Ashland Town Hall

When: Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 2 pm

Where: Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 4th St, Ashland


Phoenix Town Hall

When: Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 3 pm

Where: Phoenix Library, 510 W 1st St, Phoenix


Jacksonville Town Hall

When: Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 1 pm

Where: Jacksonville Library, 340 W C St, Jacksonville

The Honorary Page Program at the Capitol

Middle and high school students are invited to serve as honorary pages during the upcoming legislative session. It's a great opportunity to see the legislative process up close and personal.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Need Help Finding Help?

Dial 2-1-1 !

Oregon provides a wide range of services to help citizens with everything from foreclosure to health care, but sometimes it's hard to find what you need. 211info is the resource center for anything from SNAP (food stamps) to mortgage counseling. The center is here to connect you to the resources you need! Please click here to find the Community Resource Directory.

Call ADRC (Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection)

The ADRC is a welcoming place for individuals, concerned families or friends, or professionals working with issues related to aging or disabilities to come for information tailored to their situation. The ADRC provides information and assistance on a broad range of programs and services, including long term care options. You can reach ADRC of Rogue Valley at 541-618-7572.

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1405

District Phone: 541-282-4516

Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-375, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Rep.PamMarsh@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/marsh

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