Media Room

JULY 16, 2015

Good afternoon, and thank you for inviting me to join you today.

Today is my 149th day serving as your Governor. On my first trip as Governor, I traveled to Medford where my first stop was at The Orchards Assisted Living Facility. I had breakfast with two wonderful residents, staff, and the facility owner Todd Wollard (note: Todd is OHCA member). It was a great experience for me to get a better understanding of the important services your members provide daily for seniors.

Since Feb. 18, I jumped into legislative session, and have been quite busy focusing on three overarching principals:
o Enhancing the well-being of working families, expanding opportunities for all Oregonians to thrive.
o Fostering sustained economic growth statewide
o Restoring public trust.

While improved economic conditions may have Oregonians breathing a sigh of relief, many working families still struggle to make ends meet, to access opportunities that engender upward mobility – for themselves or their children.

This session we took important steps to change that, starting with education.

I’m proud to say that more Oregon families will have access to affordable, high-quality child care and pre-school options. We are fully funding full-day kindergarten statewide for the first time in Oregon history.

We have funds to support the academic success of students from communities of color and in families where languages other than English are spoken at home.

We’ve invested a record-setting $7.3 billion for K-12 education for reasonable class sizes and numbers of school days, plus $300 million to address seismic issues in school buildings.

We’re also focusing on the well-being of working families with paid sick leave, increasing affordable housing options, and expanding a number of tax credits so families can save.

In your health care world, SB 886 will be an important step to creating a streamlined and effective regulatory and oversight framework between the state and the health care industry. I look forward to the progress made by the work group that my office is leading.

I want to thank you for your commitment to serving the people of our state. I hope that as you move forward, we can work together on improving the lives of Oregonians.

Though the 2015 legislative session has just wrapped, I’m already looking forward to next year.

What issues should I be aware of leading into the 2016 session?