TOP STORY: Legislative Updates, May 10 2013
The past two weeks have been busy, both personally and professionally. Since my last newsletter, our family welcomed a new addition (see below for details), and the legislature has continued to hear, amend, and move legislation. We are also getting ready for the upcoming revenue forecast on May 16, which will inform our spending levels for the biennial budget.
As always, your input and questions are always welcome, and you can reach us at the Capitol here. We would also be happy to help you arrange a visit to Salem and a tour of the Capitol. Pictured here is one of the many beautiful views from inside the building, and you can also take a tour up to the Tower where the Oregon Pioneer stands.
This week, the House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, which I chair, had an informational hearing on Bicycle Tourism in Oregon. The Oregonian covered the hearing in a great article, and we had an impressive panel of experts and activists at the hearing to present.
The hearing started with an overview of a Travel Oregon survey released earlier in the week, which shows that tourists "who participated in bicycle-related activities while traveling in Oregon spent nearly $400 million in 2012 - representing about 4.4 % of the direct travel spending in the state."
Panelists and committee members talked about ways to promote bicycle tourism in Oregon, and the infrastructure additions that would support this important industry. I look forward to continuing to work with the cycling community throughout Oregon to take full advantage of this opportunity for economic development.
Oregon FIRST Robotics
Legislators in Salem had visitors this week from Oregon FIRST Robotics. These young people learn valuable communication, teamwork, and leadership skills while exploring their interests in robotics and engineering. By building robots with the help of mentors, they are able to reinforce and apply what they're learning in the classroom.
These impressive young people exemplify the need for strong STEM education in our schools. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills will allow our students compete for the jobs of the future and support our innovation economy.
Oregon FIRST is part of a national network of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) programs, students, volunteers, mentors, and competitions. This is truly a worthy program for our young people. If you have the capacity, please consider getting involved.
My wife, Heidi, and I are proud to welcome our newest family member:
Ellis James Read joined our family on Thursday, May 2. Both mom and baby are doing well.
Posted on May 15, 2013.