Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
2019 OBC Retreat
November 1, 2019

Good afternoon everyone!
OBC has worked hand in hand with Governors for many years, and I’m happy to be able to continue that tradition.
We share a lot of the same goals. And we’ve worked together in session to do some great things:
Funding for schools (SSA)
PERS reform
Stabilizing Medicaid funding
Juvenile justice reform (SB 1008), bipartisan bill championed by late Senator Jackie Winters
And some smart investments for the state. This includes some key information technology investments that we found (sourced?) thanks to the CIOs at some of your companies.
Looking ahead, here’s what I’m focused on:
After the Senate Republican walk-out and the collapse of the cap and trade bill, I did a lot of reflecting on how we can accomplish climate change reform.
After countless meetings and listening sessions, I’ve recommitted to the view that that cap and trade is the right policy.

It’s the most flexible and economically advantageous system. I know many of you share this sentiment.
And let me be clear, I view this undertaking more broadly to include funding for wildfire risk, and I want to set us up for success in improving urban mobility.
And if I can ask you only one thing, it would be for your help to set up a cap and trade structure for the 2020 legislative session in February, whether you want to do it as OBC or representing your individual companies.
I need your buy in, and so does our struggling planet.
I’m happy to talk to you more about my other policy goals for the rest of my term, but I’m having a hard time seeing past the short session right now. When I do look ahead, here are the important policy futures that stand out.
Oregon has had a string of committed Governors that have worked to cover Oregonians’ healthcare. We have to maintain that commitment by doing three things:
1.  Stabilize healthcare funding through the cigarette tax referral in November.
2.  Manage rising healthcare costs. I have appointed a panel to accomplish this and thank you to the folks in this room who will be participating.
3.  Take a comprehensive approach to behavioral health. This includes addressing substance use, domestic violence, and their relationships to being chronically unsheltered.
And speaking of housing, this legislative session we tackled the whole spectrum of challenges, from homelessness to stable rental housing, to increasing home ownership.
But while we focus on both long-term and short-term ways to house all Oregonians, I’d love for folks here to work on the housing shortage — and that means supply, supply, supply.
There are two major efforts we know can break the cycle of poverty, encourage equitable communities, and create a healthy, thriving Oregon:
1.  Access to CTE and higher education
2.  Attention to the criminal justice system. Issues like pre-trial detention and community corrections where Oregon must better utilize data and best practices so those that are involved in the criminal justice system are both held accountable and given the tools to turn their lives around.
I look forward to working with you on these issues and am happy to answer your questions.