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Thomsen, Johnson to serve on education committees

Senator, Representative plan to make a difference in Oregon's education


Both State Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, and State Representative Mark Johnson, R-Hood River, have been appointed to committees that will give them more of a say in education and workforce development in Oregon.

Thomsen, who is entering his fifth year serving Oregon Senate District 26, including parts of Hood River, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, has been newly appointed to the Education Budget Subcommittee.Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Thomsen

He plans to focus on raising Oregon’s quality of education through increased funding for Oregon schools.

"This is a new role that will help me make the changes I think Oregon schools need,” Thomsen said. “Until now I have only been in minor positions to address school funding, but now I have a seat at the table. All of the ideas are in place but few have been funded."

Thomsen, who also was reappointed to the budget-writing Full Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Business and Transportation Committee, said his previous experience has helped him foster economic growth but he has always been concerned with education.

“I wholeheartedly support Governor Kitzhaber's concept of full-day kindergarten and a better third grade reading level strategy,” he said. “However, for too long, the legislature has had flat funding for education. I'll fight so schools are funded first. I always have, but now I'm in a position where I can have more of an impact."

Originally elected to office in 2010, Johnson, who represents House District 52, similarly encompassing parts of Hood River, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties, will be sworn in for a third term on Jan. 12.

Mirroring Thomsen’s assignment, Johnson was selected to serve on the Higher Education, Innovation and Workforce Development Committee. Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Johnson

This year, Johnson received the Howard Cherry Award for his legislative work on behalf of community colleges and said he will continue to support community colleges as well as increased career and technical training for youths so as to allow them to find stable jobs.

Johnson also will be returning as Vice Chair for the Energy and Environmental Committee. In addition, he will serve on the Revenue Committee and the Joint Committee on Tax Credits.

“I’m very pleased with my committee assignments and am excited to be taking on some new roles in addition to my previous ones,” Johnson said. “I look forward to continuing to have a leadership position on the important Energy and Environment Committee and I’m ready to bring some fresh ideas from my district to strengthen our state’s higher education and workforce innovation programs.”

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