WILDFIRE & SMOKE
I support full funding for the Oregon Department of Forestry. I have chief-sponsored legislation that would allow ODF to partner more effectively with the Forest Service to put out forest fires before they grow into mega-fires.
We must bring back responsible logging to restore the health and resilience of our forests. Responsible forestry will create much-needed family-wage jobs and provide revenue to our county and city budgets, reducing the tax burden on families. By leaving our valuable, renewable resources to lie fallow in overgrown, unhealthy forests, we leave them vulnerable to disease, infestation, and mega-fires. This is devastating to our watersheds and wildlife habitats. When we don’t use it, we lose it.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES
Since arriving in Salem in 2019, I’ve sponsored multiple pieces of legislation designed to make your prescription medications affordable. After several unsuccessful attempts, in 2021, I was able to successfully partner with other legislators to navigate and pass SB 844. This bill creates a pilot program to determine which drugs are the most prescribed, the most necessary, and the most expensive at Oregon pharmacy counters. We anticipate that prices on medications like insulin and epinephrine will be addressed by the new program. The bill has safeguards to prevent scarcities for patients and contains mechanisms to monitor whether the program has a positive, negative, or neutral impact on the prices patients pay at the counter.
After a year and a half of seeing our schools closed for the Covid-19 response, many of our kids are falling behind. I proposed legislation to allow schools to focus on teaching the basics and making sure kids keep up so none of them lag behind. My proposal would reinstate graduation standards that were reduced at the request of the OEA. We all deserve schools that prepare students to think critically and learn the fundamentals. Reducing standards may create a better-looking “school report card”, but it disguises very real deficiencies in student success. We don’t need to blame teachers, parents, or students! We just need to take an honest look at where students are in their skills and close the gap on the learning they’ve missed.
HEMP & MARIJUANA
Southern Oregon has seen an explosion of illegal marijuana and hemp growing operations recently. Out-of-state groups have set up grows near schools and parks and in protected forest lands. Most are operating without proper licenses, without legal water rights, and many are attempting to grow marijuana under the guise of being hemp. In the course of investigating crimes associated with these grows, law enforcement has uncovered evidence of supply chains for other illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, squalid living conditions and human trafficking.
I proudly sponsored HB 3000 to help law enforcement address the various unauthorized activities with funds and personnel to identify and remove illegal growing operations. Successful raids have already been carried out under this important legislation. I am continuing to work with state and federal agencies to tighten up marijuana growing laws and make sure law enforcement has the tools they need to fight this scourge.
I fully support and stand with our law enforcement officers. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have the opportunity to learn about and question bills that seek to reduce the ability of law enforcement to keep our city safe. I support efforts to conform current law to the high standards already achieved and performed by our officers. I support efforts to increase, not decrease, budgets for law enforcement.