Top issue: Adopting balanced, sustainable and wise budget

by: Submitted Photo,

What do you see as most important issue of the 2007?

To adopt a balanced, sustainable budget that makes wise investments in education, addresses the needs of vulnerable citizens, reduces crime and delinquency, improves our investments in infrastructure and protects our natural environment.

List three other issues that you think must be addressed:

* To expand healthcare to all Oregon children.

* To expand Headstart to serve all eligible children.

* To pass meaningful renewable energy legislation.

What issue do you fear will get MORE attention than it deserves, and why?

We will spend far too much time deciding whether we should raise the corporate minimum tax. This tax has not been adjusted since the 1930s. When some large corporations pay only $10 and young families struggle to make ends meet it is clearly a matter of equity to raise the corporate minimum. Unfortunately, we will spend more time deciding whether to raise this tax then determining what an appropriate minimum tax should be.

What's one issue that won't rise to the top of the Legislature's agenda that you will champion, and why?

Establishing funded mentoring programs for new teachers and school administrators. Well-structured mentoring programs have been shown to improve teacher retention and the quality of instruction. Mentoring programs for administrators will help produce the principals and superintendents we will need to improve Oregon's public schools.

What's one issue of particular interest to your constituents in our readership area (Lake Oswego specifically) that you will be monitoring. Please explain the issue and your initial thoughts on what needs to be done.

We need to improve the adequacy and stability of school funding. In the coming biennium, we need to reinvest in public education. This means that an adequate budget would allow you to provide not just the same, but improved educational opportunities to students. We also need to improve the adequacy of the School Stability Fund.

How do you think the change in legislative leadership will affect the overall session?

I believe there will be far less posturing by both legislative chambers. Major issues will tend to be worked out and there will be less disagreement between the House, Senate and governor.

How do you think the change in leadership will affect you, personally?

I have always worked on issues in a bipartisan manner. I am always more concerned about the quality of proposed solutions than who is proposing them. I believe the change will help move the Legislature towards moderation rather than polarization.

Complete the sentence: We'll know Gov. Ted Kulongoski is having a good session if by March 1, the governor's budget and policy proposals are being actively debated and gaining broad support.

Complete the sentence: We'll know you are having a good session if by March 1, I still believe we can produce a balanced, sustainable budget.

What's one thing you learned from this most recent campaign that you'll take with you to Salem?

That Oregonians want us to find positive solutions to Oregon's problems and avoid the politics of blame.

BONUS! Gaze into your crystal ball: the 2007 Oregon Legislature will adjourn on what day?

June 27, 2007