Proud to focus on students, businesses and jobs
The Oregon Legislature recently wrapped up the 2014 session, and Im proud to report on the progress we made in supporting Oregons recovering economy and expanding opportunities for our local community. Legislators from both sides of the aisle joined to create meaningful policy that will strengthen our schools, support local businesses, and help get Oregonians back to work.
This session, I focused on passing legislation that will provide better support for our students. Currently, more than half of school children in Oregon qualify for free lunch services at their local schools. However, those critical services disappear with summer vacation. Thats why I co-sponsored new laws that will increase students access to summer lunch programs and create new summer learning programs at high-poverty schools throughout the state.
Like so many Oregonians, the course of my life was changed by education its why I became a professor. Its also why it is a major priority for me to make higher education more affordable and accessible for students from all backgrounds, and Im thrilled to report that my Aspirations to College bill House Bill 4116 passed with unanimous, bipartisan support. Modeled after Portland Community Colleges successful Future Connect Program, House Bill 4116 will now provide students from low-income backgrounds, or those who are first in their families to attend college, with access to the scholarships and tools needed to excel in their post-secondary education.
As the economic engine of the state, Washington Countys economy is showing signs of recovery, but its not growing fast enough. This session, I was proud to support laws to encourage job creation and support Oregons economic vitality. To develop growth in our regions booming tech industry, we passed House Bill 4005 to help technology companies create jobs here in Washington County, as well as Oregons Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund (Senate Bill 1563) which increases access to capital for local businesses.
To respond to the needs Ive been hearing from unemployed Oregonians and local employers, and to address the skills gap in Oregons rapidly developing bioscience industry, I sponsored the Dislocated Worker Training Bill. Passing with bipartisan support, Senate Bill 1527 will establish a pilot program tailored to retraining unemployed and underemployed engineers getting Oregon talent back to work in the jobs that are available right now.
This session, I focused on meeting the needs of Oregon students, creating opportunities for Oregonians to get back on the job, supporting local businesses and protecting our states most vulnerable. My Protected Persons Special Advocate Bill will expand safeguards to some of Oregons most vulnerable residents by targeting protections for seniors with cogitative impairments and adults with developmental disabilities. In re-balancing the state budget, we protected critical services and boosted investments in supplemental nutrition assistance meal programs, bonding for affordable housing, and emergency housing and homelessness assistance to give Oregonians the tools needed to climb out of poverty.
My office and our government always works better with your input. Please contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas you have. Im available at 503-986-1430 or via email at email@example.com.
State Rep. Joe Gallegos (D-Hillsboro) represents Oregons 30th Legislative District.
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