On Feb. 4, Oregon’s 77th Legislature started its official business, and I began my fourth term as state representative.

Since the last Legislature began in 2011, we have made many gains as a state, including lower unemployment, a stronger commitment to education and the second-fastest growing economy in the nation. But of course we have work yet to do. As our economy continues its slow climb back to prosperity, our schools are desperate for funding, too many Oregonians are out of work and nearly one in four Oregon children live in poverty.

We must work hard to address Oregon’s toughest challenges. None are more important than improving education funding, to lower class sizes. As chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, I intend to focus my work this session on improving our economy so we can reinvest in schools. The Oregon Growth Board and the Oregon Innovation Council are examples where the state can boost private sector growth. I also plan to advance infrastructure investments that will support private enterprise, enhance the building blocks all Oregonians depend on, and directly create good, family-wage jobs.

A prosperous Oregon will increase employment, state revenues and enable the long-term investments we need. By improving our economy, we can increase funding for schools to restore the full school year, rehire teachers and reduce class sizes. Education, from kindergarten through higher education, needs a robust economy to support it, and will further strengthen Oregon’s future by creating the smart, talented workforce that will help us realize our full potential.

I am also a member of the Revenue Committee, and the budget writing Joint Committee on Ways and Means as well as the Joint Committee on Tax Credits. I am committed to ensuring the state revenue base is diverse, stable and sufficient to cover the costs of the critical programs Oregonians need and want, especially the education and infrastructure from which all Oregonians benefit.

I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to tackle the challenges and help Oregon live up to its potential. I join my colleagues in the House and Senate, as well as Gov. John Kitzhaber’s office in welcoming you all to the capitol for a visit. We have regular community office hours and town halls scheduled (please email us for details) and as always, I welcome your feedback and input regarding the legislative session and the issues that matter to you. 

State Rep. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton) represents District 27. His email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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