Oregon’s economy is holding somewhat steady, but Oregonians have real needs. Our families need an affordable and safe place to live, one that is near where they work and play. Our students need a good education, one that starts early, prepares them for the real world. We also need to reform our tax revenue, finding the balance of holding corporations accountable to contributing their fair share, enabling small businesses to flourish, reducing the tax burden on everyday Oregonians, and funding our schools at a higher quality.
Safe and Affordable Housing Options
Every resident has the right to a safe and affordable place to call home. However, for much of Oregon’s population, that isn’t reality. Many residents are unable to afford a home for themselves and their families with the income they receive at work.
District 48 is experiencing a high level of concentrated poverty at epidemic proportions—but poverty is felt all over Oregon—in both rural and urban communities. Jeff is supportive of efforts to give families and those in the community the tools they need to elevate out of poverty. Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, protecting tenants of rising rent costs and protections from no-cause evictions, and supporting first-time homebuyers are just some of the ways Jeff is working to keep people in safe and affordable housing. There is still work to be done, and Jeff is dedicated to do more.
Educating Our Students Right
The need for Oregonians to prioritize education funding is clear. Education starts, or should start, before kindergarten, when young children are developing their educational habits. A good education continues through high school, community college, and/or university.
As a former shop teacher, Jeff knows that teaching technical skills to students gets them excited about school, gets them thinking critically, and prepares them for good jobs, college, or university– whichever they prefer.
Jeff has put heavy emphasis on career-technical education (CTE) classes and their extra-curricular counterparts, career-technical student organizations (CTSOs), during his time in the legislature. CTE received almost $10M in funding in 2013, thanks to HB 2912 and SB 498, with a portion earmarked for CTSOs. Jeff continued his work in the 2015 session by obtaining $35M for CTE revitalization grants and Career Pathway development. Oregon voters approved Measure 98 in 2016. Upon the measure’s consideration in the 2017 session, Jeff lead a coalition to build upon the passage of the measure and secured $200M for the program. The return on investment of these programs is too significant to ignore.
Keeping Oregon Green and Clean
Jeff spent two terms serving as a Vice-Chair for the House Energy and Environment Committee, and during this time he worked diligently on the Coal to Clean and Clean Fuels bills to create goals for Oregon to curb it’s carbon emissions by 2030.
Oregon is working on the future of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and Jeff supports reducing our dependency on Carbon, while also increasing sustainable jobs in the clean energy sector.