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2013 Oregon legislative session makes major accomplishments

Margaret Doherty provides list that includes jobs, tax law, education


On July 8 we adjourned the 77th legislative session, and I am proud of all that we accomplished. It's been a busy few months, and I couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you to everyone who called my office, sent me emails or came to town halls during the session - your opinion matters to me, and I appreciate your efforts to improve the future of our community and our state.

Working with my colleagues in the House and Senate, we were able to get some fantastic things accomplished for our state. Here is a brief rundown of what we have done.

Education:

After a lot of hard work, the Oregon Legislature was able to pass SB5518, which makes the largest investment in our schools in the history of the state to the tune of $6.75 billion. It was almost a billion dollars more than the last biennium. With this money, we can start to reinvest in our schools.

We also passed HB2305, which redirects corporate kicker money to community colleges, helping to ensure that our state can continue to develop our work force.

We found more money for schools in other places. I was proud to pass HB2632, which, through a change in urban renewal law, will raise millions of dollars for our local schools and other services.

Jobs:

As chair of the Business and Labor Committee and a member of the Transportation and Economic Development Committee, I made jobs a top priority this session. We passed HB3459 that establishes the Office of Small Business Assistance to help small businesses navigate the regulatory system.

We passed key bills to spur growth in the rural parts of our state. This included HB2992, the food-to-farm bill that helps clear the way for local farmers to team up with schools and other services to stimulate economic growth and provide healthy food.

My Bills:

I had a successful legislative session this year, moving a number of good bills through the process.

As I already mentioned, I sponsored HB2632, which changes an error in urban renewal tax law that took money away from local option levies. By solving this problem, we will be able to generate millions more for schools and other services.

I also sponsored HB2973, which ended a way-over-budget privatization pilot project on Hwy. 219, a project that was more than $1 million over budget when the full cost of the project should have been about half of that. We need to work to save money where we can.

In this new evolving digital world, it is important that we act to protect the privacy of people online. That is why I was proud to sponsor HB2654 and SB344, which forbid employers and colleges from demanding digital login information for social media websites from employees and students.

I am proud of all the work we accomplished this session. I think we have done a lot to help Oregon become an even better place to live.

Margaret Doherty (D-Tigard) represents Dist. 35, which includes Summerfield, in the Oregon Legislature.