Rep Thatcher September 2011 Newsletter

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Legislative Update

September 2011

IN THIS ISSUE

Back-to-School
Government Transparency
New Oregon Stamp
Thoughts for Thatcher

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UPCOMING EVENTS

September 11th
Who: Keizer Fire District

What: 10th Anniversary Remembrance of 9-11 Tragedy

When: 7 am Sunday
September 11th

Where: Keizer Fire Station 661 Chemawa Road NE in Keizer

Contact: 503.390-9111

www.keizerfire.com [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…S-g==] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IMPORTANT LINKS

Oregon Transparency Website [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…VEIxS]
How You Can Make a Difference in the State Legislature [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…CIVA=]
Searching for Legislation? [] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It was hard to commemorate Labor Day this week knowing there are still so many Oregonians looking for work and having a tough time putting food on the table. Recent reports show Oregon’s economic picture is getting worse, not better.

The unemployment rate is hovering around9.5% [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…9Ap0=]and has actually gone up from9.3% [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…3Cg==]a couple of months ago. In fact, experts say only a few hundred jobs [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…BgA==] have been added to payrolls around the state this year. If you include all the people who ran out of benefits or took low-paying part time jobs the unemployment figure goes up to nearly 20% [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…Fdps=] in Oregon. It’s just sad.

Compounding the jobless problem, one third of all home sales are fromforeclosures [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…xOmU=]andone in five Oregonians [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…qQYg=]receivefood stamps [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…rvg==]to help make ends meet.

Looking at job trends, it’s interesting to seegovernment [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…waQ==]has the second highest category of workers in Oregon with 293,000. Trade, Transportation and Utilities is the sector with the largest number of employees at 311,000. What’s wrong with this picture?
Clearly we need to encourage more job growth in the private sector. I am working with other lawmakers todraft proposals for the 2012 Legislative Session [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…twXpj]to help produce a more business friendly atmosphere in ourstate and we welcome your input.
These stagnant economic conditions mean there is less tax revenue for the state to provide services. Thenew revenue forecast [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…ZV28=]shows a $193 million drop in the amount of General Fund money expected to come in tothe state budget over the next two years.
As a member of the legislature’s budget committee I was glad to see a healthy reserve fund of$460 million set aside [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…iVDq6]just in case the economy didn’t improve as quickly as some had predicted. That coushin will help avoid drastic cuts in funding to schools, public safety and other critical programs. However, I believe there are more rocky times ahead.

One final thought. Since there has been a lot of talk at the federal level about how to "stimulate" the economy with government actions.

I thought it would be interesting to look back and see what happened with the so-called "stimulus" [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…c8MQ4]program implemented at the state level two years ago.

According to a new report [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…bJ9U=], the number of "newly created" jobs that resulted from this $175 million bond package fell short of the number anticipated by supporters [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…AeJU=]. And the program ended up costing Oregon taxpayers an additional $100 million in interest [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…VeKnh].
Around 550 deferred maintenance projects [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…tHA2t]were listed in the original plan approved by legislators. Many only created temporary jobs, were slow to get off the ground [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1107528519…3Pg==]and some still aren’t completed.

I hope the legislature looks back and realizes these kinds of government subsidized programs don’t produce the kinds of long-term jobs Oregonians need. We should learn from this mistake before embarking on another failed experiment in the name of "stimulating the economy." I will continue to push for common sense and fiscally responsible actions to help get Oregon’s economy back on track.
Sincerely,
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Back-to-School Changes

You will probably hear stories in the news this fall about budget cuts in school districts across the state. There are three districts within Representative Thatcher’s leg

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By Representative Kim Thatcher

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