Rep Thatcher December 2011 Newsletter

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Legislative Update

December 2011


ODOT $ Pot Holes
Tax Credits for Appliances End Soon
Mortgage Assistance
Thoughts for Thatcher

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Rep Thatcher’s Legislative Website […JYH4=]
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Welcome to Newberg- Portland Community College!

Thenew 16 acre campus […ifg==] is just of Highway 99 W at the corner of Bruscher Street and Fernwood Road. Nearly 700 students have enrolled in classes since the facility opened this fall. It was one of the first projects built under a $374 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008. Click here for more details […T2GNP] ~ ~ ~

Congratulations to Ken & Joan Austin, co-founders of
A-dec […2-NM=] in Newberg

This fall they received four awards […WJlo=] for their charitable work in the community including:

*The Governor’s Gold Awards […7mKU=] for helping to keep the Special Olympics of Oregon’s State Games in Newberg. *The Meritorious Leadership Award […Yjw==] by the Cascade Pacific Council for Boy Scouts of America.
*The Tom McCall Leadership Award […Tbw==] from SOLV, a well known community organization.
*The History Maker’s Medal […Ji7qW] from the Oregon Historical Society.
As we close out 2011 and look forward to 2012 there are many critical issues which may see significant changes in the months ahead. Major reforms are being developed for education, public safety and health care at the state level and proposals in each of these areas may be submitted to the Oregon Legislature when the month-long session begins in February. I realize change is never easy, but I am cautiously optimistic about what’s ahead for our state.

For education […otw==], lawmakers gave Governor Kitzhaber the green light to start working on a plan to better coordinate academic services pre-kindergarten through college under the umbrella of a new Education Investment Board […BPQ==]. The intent is good and the Governor talks about "streamlining" and "consolidating" programs for efficiency and saving taxpayer dollars. However, I fear there will be more bureaucracy created […baS0=] with a new education czar in addition to allowing each university to have their own governing board.

The Governor also has a Commission on Public Safety […nrg==] looking at suggestions for how to save the state money […yLg==]. We know Oregon’s prison costs are higher than other states, but our violent crime rate has dropped […FsQ==] in recent years. I worry about more Oregonians being victimized […W2hJK] by the bad guys if we don’t maintain a strong system for punishment.

This year the legislature called for a comprehensive review of the way the state provides health care services […AXQ==] to low income residents and penciled into the current 2-year budget an estimated $240 million in savings from a new Health Care Transformation […rYA==] effort. If you want to share your thoughts on this topic there is a legislative hearing on December 20th at the State Capitol […mNzQ=]. This is a massive undertaking and there are many unanswered questions […7f6yN

By Representative Kim Thatcher

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