As the 2016 legislative session began on Monday, the Oregon House Democrats unveiled their agenda for the coming year.
“Oregon House Democrats have a long history of standing up for Oregonians in every part of our state,” said House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson. “In 2016, we will continue working to create real and lasting opportunities for all Oregon families.”
Among the top priorities for House Democrats in the coming year will be strengthening pre-college education. Democrats called for better access to strong early-childhood programs, including preschool, child-care and full-day kindergarten.
The agenda also called for “more good paying jobs,” and “innovation” surrounding small and growing businesses. Democrats also pledged to work for “Affordable high-quality health care” for “all Oregonians,” an end to discrimination and a transparent government.
“We must secure adequate funding and work to build the strongest possible K-12 classrooms, community colleges, career training opportunities, and universities for students across our state,” the agenda states.
The House Democrats’ agenda announcement was paired with a video describing House Democrats’ “Vision for Oregon’s Future.”
VIEW VIDEO BELOW:
GOP Calls for Tax Relief, Education Reform
Oregon State House Republicans rolled out their agenda for the 2016 Legislative Session last week. The agenda highlights tax relief, education reform and government accountability measures among the GOP’s plans for 2016.
“House Republicans believe every Oregonian deserves an equal opportunity at success,” said House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte). “The agenda we’ve created will ease financial burdens on working Oregonians, help them achieve their educational and professional goals, and ensure that their state government operates in a more transparent and accountable manner. I look forward to these bills receiving hearings and passing the Legislature to help Oregon’s working families.”
In the agenda, Republicans proposed allowing low- and middle-income Oregonians to keep more of the money they earn by reducing and modernizing Oregon’s lowest and middle income tax rates, some of the highest in the nation. They also plan to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, “putting more dollars in the pockets of working families by encouraging and rewarding their hard work.’
For education, Republicans plan to eliminate the sunset on Oregon’s open enrollment law, establish the Student Loan Interest Tax Credit and “invest in our best and brightest educators by implementing a merit pay system that rewards teachers for their successes in the classroom.”
Republicans say their plans will “put more dollars in the pockets of working families, strengthen and encourage family choices in Oregon’s education system, increase oversight and transparency in state government, reduce red tape for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and provide a mechanism for clear and consistent measurements of carbon emissions.”
Related Slideshow: The 20 Least Effective Legislators in Salem
GoLocalPDX analyzed the success rate for bills put forth in the 77th Legislative session -- in the 2013 long session, and the 2014 short session. Legislators were ranked by the percentage of bills they introduced that passed into law during the session.
Note: This metric does not reflect the ranging complexity of bills introduced.