Bi-Partisan Candy for 4th of July

4th of July Parade in Monmouth & Independence

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!  I was in the Western Days parade in Monmouth & Independence.  Folks from all around the Mid-Willamette valley come to see this parade and this year was no different.  We were fortunate that the weather was cool (last year was over 100 degrees).  Senator Winters, our State Senator and I, had a wonderful time handing out candy to folks along the parade route from our joint float.  The joke of the day was we may be Republicans but this is “bi-partisan candy.”   

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ODE Oversite Committee – Can’t Give Us Benefits of Energy Tax Credits

As a member of the Joint Interim Committee on Oregon Department of Energy Oversite we met the new director of the department, Michael Kaplan.  The Legislature created the to engage in a full and open review and make recommendations for the restricting of the department.

One of the most troubling things about his testimony was that he could not provide the committee with return on investment figures.   When asked about Oregon’s return on investment on the Residential Energy Tax Credit, Mr. Kaplan responded, “I don’t find the information (that the ODE has) reliable and I am reluctant to say it shows the true ROI.”

When asked what Oregon’s benefit for a $4 million dollar investment in credits for manure and Woody Bio Mass Mr. Kaplan responded, “I have to point back to a theme I keep hitting on all of these programs.  I have a really hard time, based the data that we have, demonstrating ROI.” 

To his credit, Mr. Kaplan was very forthcoming with his department’s shortcomings.  That is refreshing.  The committee will meet again next month and dive into more details about each tax credit program.

Small Business Growth Committee – Lack of Qualified Workforce a Concern

As a member of the House Special Committee on Small Business Growth we met earlier this week.  The committee heard testimony from representatives from the Bio Science, Recreation and Outdoor and Apparel industries and several Chamber of Commerce’s from around the state including Salem. A concern that was voiced several times was Oregon’s lack of a qualified workforce.  This is a direct reflection of Oregon’s quality of education and low high school graduation rates

This is a great example of the need to stay invested in education and infrastructure.  I look forward to the passage of legislation that addresses Oregon’s workforce needs and business growth.

DMV accepting credit cards by end of summer

Cash or check only?  That is all changing.  By the end of this summer the DMV will start accepting credit cards. 

Click HERE to read more details. 

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