From Senator Arnie Roblan
Thank you so much for the privilege of representing you in the Oregon State Senate. I am honored to serve the people and communities of the Central Coast, which includes Coos Bay to Oceanside and parts of Polk and Yamhill counties, including Neskowin, Otis, Blachly, Grande Ronde, Siletz, Eddyville, Swiss Home, Ada, Pacific City, and parts of Fall City, Willamina and Sheridan.
After years of budget cuts that have hit struggling communities hard, in this 2015 Legislative Session, we made a positive difference in the lives of Oregonians. As Oregon’s economy grows and recovers from unprecedented challenges, I worked with my legislative colleagues to make historic reinvestments in services that Oregonians rely on, including, increases in K-12 education funding, grants for community colleges, affordable housing investments, and public safety upgrades.
As your voice in Salem, our region was well represented in the state budget process. I worked hard to protect and bolster the services that our coastal communities rely on. This includes services for seniors, public safety investments, and support for small businesses. I am also delighted that we were able to deliver on key projects for the Central Coast, like the expansion of the Hatfield Marine Science Center and funding for a new Tillamook County Courthouse.
As a former high school principal, our investment in K-12 education remains my number one priority—a commitment reflected in my work as Chair of the Senate Education Committee. I leave this legislative session proud of the work we did to make government work for you. I feel honored to serve as your Senator and I look forward to working for you to make our communities a great place to raise a family, own a business, or retire for many years to come.
2015 Legislative Accomplishments – a budget that reflects our values
This session, I focused on a state budget that protects investments in education, health care, and public safety, while leaving enough for a rainy day. I am proud I helped to secure funding for our central coast priorities Including expanding marine studies education and critical transportation infrastructure. I helped to secure:
$7.9 million for the Tillamook County Courthouse
$1 million for the Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility
$25 million for OSU Hatfield Marine Studies Campus Building in Newport
$8 million for the Health and Science Center at Southwestern Oregon Community College
$10 million for the Coos Bay rail line
$90 million in statewide transportation projects, including $7 million for Highway 126 between Eugene and Florence
$300 million to make seismic upgrades and other improvements to schools across Orego
$30 million to seismically upgrade emergency services buildings across the stat
$198 million for cancer research at Oregon Health and Sciences University, bringing the total raised for the Knight Cancer Challenge to $1 billion.
HB 2734 and HB 5030: Cleaning up Polluted Sites for Business Development
Contaminated and polluted brownfield properties are a problem that affects every area of our state. This session, I sponsored HB 274 an innovative new tool that allows local governments to create land bank authorities that would be able to acquire derelict brownfield properties, clean them up, and revitalize them for productive use. House Bill 5030 allocates $7 million for these efforts.
SB 612: Dyslexia Screening & Training
Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities, but often goes undetected holding students back. This session, I sponsored SB 612, legislation creating a statewide dyslexia specialist, increasing teacher training, and promoting early screening to ensure every student gets the best opportunity for success.
HB 2960: Retirement Security for Oregon Workers
House Bill 2960 creates the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, which will create a program to ensure every Oregonian has access to a portable retirement savings account starting in summer 2017. Crafted in response to the nation’s looming retirement crisis, this simple savings tool will help Oregonians save for their future.
HB 5005, HB 5030, and HB 5040: Transportation Investments
These measures fund important transportation needs around Oregon, including $45 million to upgrade rail, air, marine, and other transportation infrastructure; $10 million to continue Amtrak service in the Willamette Valley; and $21 million for some of the most urgent highway safety upgrades around the state.
HB 5016 and HB 3072: Expanding Career and Technical Education, STEM Education
To get students ready for apprenticeships, community college, and family wage jobs, House Bill 5016 doubles our investment in Career Technical Education and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education (STEM) to $35 million. This investment more than doubles previous funding, and will fund teacher training and mentorship, grants to schools to expand CTE programs, and grants to help ensure school programs connect to industry-recognized credentials.
HB 5017: Full Day Kindergarten Funding & Stability for Oregon Classrooms
The Legislature approved the budget for Kindergarten through 12th grade education in the first week of April. This early approval set the baseline for school funding and included a $600 million increase over the last budget cycle, which provided stability for most school districts while also funding full-day kindergarten for children throughout Oregon for the first time in state history. Following the increase in revenues in the May economic forecast, lawmakers added an additional $117M to the state school budget.
HB 5525: Supporting Oregon Businesses
House Bill 5525 invests in programs to support Oregon-grown businesses, including support for successful manufacturing partnerships, small business assistance, innovation and industry competitiveness programs, and promotion of Oregon products in international markets.