Around the State
Oregon is a state with regional differences between the Coast, Valley, Central and Eastern Oregon. Potential solutions to address the challenges facing our state need to be reflective of those regional differences and the potential unintended consequences that might be experienced by citizens living in those regions. Key issues that do impact all regions and do need a statewide solution.
Funding for education in Oregon continues to be inadequate to ensure our students have the best opportunity to succeed in the world of work. Increased state funding is needed to provide more early learning opportunities, reduced class size, high school Career and Technical Education, expanded Community College and University class offering, and a stabilization in in-state tuition costs. Additional funding for increased educational opportunities is needed across all regions and requires identifying a statewide solution.
Oregon’s economy and job growth continue to improve. We need to make sure we focus on policies that reduce barriers and provide incentives for businesses to expand and create new jobs. Minimizing the burden of government regulations should always be a focus while ensuring rules are in place to protect workers and their families.
Rising home prices is a major challenge for renters and potential new owners. Families should be able to afford safe and comfortable housing. Working in all our communities to identify ways to create more affordable housing is key. The State, Counties and Cities all have a role to play, but certainly the state needs to lead. No single solution will work, but existing programs that provide incentives, subsidies and family support are helping.
There are more Oregonians that have health care coverage than ever before, but coverage does not mean access to treatment equally. We need to continue to look for ways to reduce the cost of healthcare and what we expect those to pay who can least afford it. We see see costs rising for insurance coverage, prescription drugs, hospital costs and the list goes on. Our health care reforms in Oregon are helping, but much more needs to be done.
All Oregonians have a deep appreciation for our wonderful natural environment. We must acknowledge that our actions can have damaging effects on the environment, and we can take steps to mitigate this damage. All of this can be accomplished while at the same time continuing economic opportunities, especially advocating for areas of green technology.