Track Trials Return to Eugene


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,

Yesterday, I was pleased to join with Governor Kitzhaber, Senate President Courtney, and leaders from the University of Oregon and TrackTown USA to announce that Oregon will again host the U.S. Olympic Trials at Eugene’s Hayward Field in the summer of 2016.  This will be the sixth time the Olympic Trials have been held in Oregon.   We also received the exciting news that Eugene will also host the 2015 USA National Championships.

As a track and field athlete in my high school years, and a UO graduate, this is very exciting news.  But even more, it’s important that Oregon continues to make an international name for itself as a great destination for this sort of economic activity.  The 2012 Olympic Trials had a $37 million dollar impact on our local economy.  What a great accomplishment for our state.  I look forward to bringing this event back to Oregon for years to come, and it was an honor to join with so many leaders to enjoy the announcement.

Two-step plan for school funding moves forward

This week saw action on the two key steps toward funding schools at the $6.75 billion amount needed to end the massive layoffs and cuts to school days. 

On Thursday morning, the Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 822, the bill that enacts necessary cost savings in the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).  This bill will generate over $800 million in savings this budget period.  To be clear, more than half of these savings are coming directly from benefits promised to middle-class workers and retirees.  Nothing about these choices is easy.  But if we’re going to turn the corner from the Great Recession and begin to reinvest in the services we all care about, we will all need to do our part.

A stability budget for schools also requires reducing some targeted tax breaks. We are looking at a combination of cracking down on off-shore tax shelters, undoing arbitrary caps on the taxes large corporations pay, and reducing some of the tax breaks for wealthy individuals.  At minimum, we need to identify $275 million in specific tax changes to get to the $6.75 billion for schools. 

Working together, I believe we can achieve a balanced approach to funding schools and the services we all count on.  This process is still in progress.  Please let me know what you think.  Is it worth giving up some tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy families in order to fund our schools?   We need to continue to hear your budget priorities.

Ways and Means Committee goes on tour

Here is a great opportunity to make your voice heard.  The Joint Ways and Means Committee, the committee that produces the state budget each session, will be holding a series of hearings around the state to hear the priorities of Oregonians.  The first hearing will begin this afternoon.  The full details can be found here, but the dates and locations are:

Friday, April 12 – Eugene
Saturday, April 13 - Ashland
Friday, April 19 – Bend
Saturday, April 20 – Hermiston (plus live link available in other eastern Oregon locations)
Tuesday, April 23 - Portland
Thursday, April 25 - Tillamook

Bipartisan effort to benefit Oregonians

I really enjoy working with is Rep. Mike McLane from Powell Butte.  I got to know Mike during his first term when we sat next to each other on the House floor.  Rep. McLane is now the House Republican Leader, and we don’t always agree on things.   But, we’ve recognized commonalities between our districts, and it’s been great to work with him to get things done.   

One example is House Bill 2004.  This bill builds upon work we did together in 2011 (Senate Bill 863).  This session, House Bill 2004 again seeks to help Oregonians who are struggling to make ends meet by providing additional energy assistance in a time when federal energy assistance dollars are decreasing and the economy is still on the upswing.  Passing this bipartisan bill is a very concrete thing we can do this session to help the most vulnerable families in our state. 

Last week the two of us testified together on the bill, and on Tuesday, it passed out of the House Committee on Energy and Environment.  Rep. McLane and I will co-carry the bill on the floor together on Monday.  I look forward to its passage. 

Neighborhood safety bills still alive; housing choice bill on the move

This past Monday was a critical deadline for the House.  All House bills in regular policy committees (not Rules or Revenue) had to have been scheduled for work by Monday night or they were finished for the session.  Both bills introduced on behalf of Hayden Island residents (House Bill 2007 and House Bill 2008) are still alive and have been scheduled for work sessions in the House Committee on Business and Labor.  These two bills are designed to crack down on establishments that harm neighborhood livability. 

Today, House Bill 2639, my bill to improve access to housing for Section 8 voucher holders while also strengthening the program for landlords, was amended and passed out of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing.  It’s headed to Ways and Means because of budget work to complete the bill.  I’d like to thank all the landlord groups, tenant advocates, and representatives from the housing authorities who helped to improve this bill.  I really appreciate the collaborative effort.

As always, it is a pleasure to represent you.

Best wishes,



Representative Tina Kotek

Speaker of the House

House District 44