(SALEM, OR)- In a floor speech on Tuesday, Representative David Gomberg encouraged legislators to support House Bill 2316, a measure that would open up Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to Oregonians that had less than $60,000 in retirement savings.
The Oregon Individual Development Account Initiative provides Oregonians access to financial counseling as well as the opportunity to save for education, start a small business, purchase a home or repair an existing home through matching funds. It is a proven approach which helps lower income Oregonians assert and realize their goals.
Gomberg said, “In my district, there are 25 open accounts and 15 graduates from the program. Among the graduates, several have attended Oregon Coast Community College and have used their saved and matched funds to further their education. Other graduates have realized their dream of starting their own business, contributing to the local economy while creating jobs. Finally, some graduates of the program have been able make vital repairs to existing homes that they would otherwise be unable to afford.”
To continue building financial health for Oregonians, the IDA Initiative needed to remove barriers and disincentives for those who wish to participate in the program and save for retirement. House Bill 2316 adjusts current limitations to allow eligibility for program participants that have modest retirement savings.
Gomberg concluded, “We need to empower Oregonians to build pathways to financial wellness. As a small business owner in a district that is struggling to develop and maintain its economic foundation, I am especially pleased to see this bill moving forward.”
House Bill 2316 passed on the House floor, with a 52-2 vote. Now it will move on to the Senate.
For more information about the Oregon Independent Development Account Initiative or to see if you qualify, please contact: (503) 226-3001, x109. Locations in House District 10 include: Food Roots (Tillamook), Community Housing Services (Lincoln City), Housing Authority of Yamhill County (McMinnville), Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians (Siletz) and the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority (Warrenton).
Coast Rep. David Gomberg Addressing Newport Chamber of Commerce Friday at Shilo Inn
Addressing the Friday luncheon of the Newport Chamber of Commerce Friday, Coast Rep. David Gomberg said one of the biggest issues facing the legislature is getting more funding for K-12 Education. He said the critical question is, where is the money going to come from? At the moment, he said the target seems to be the Public Employment Retirement System by removing out of state income tax supplement payments to retirees who don’t pay personal income tax in the state they live, limiting cost of living allowances based on the size of one’s retirement check and others. And of course, raising taxes.
Gomberg said robbing Peter to pay Paul on K-12 funding is not the way to go. He told chamber members there are many Oregonians who haven’t paid state income taxes in years. There are also back taxes owed, still on the books and tax credits and incentives being given to green energy generators, some of whom are receiving excessive benefits – these and more totaling over a billion dollars that are still on the table. He said the Oregon Department of Justice should sue the Wall Street banks and investment houses who defrauded Oregon’s retirement accounts out of $150 million in connection with the Wall Street crash. “We ought to go after that money before we hit up PERS retirees and the taxpayers,” Gomberg said.
Gomberg said Oregon’s commercial and recreation fishing industries were recently abused in Salem when the staff of the Land Conservation and Development Commission, after three years of public hearings and recommendations on where to put wave energy machines, surprised everyone by insisting another area be added to the fishing grounds withdrawal list without conferring with anyone – an area of Pacific City in the Netarts area. Gomberg said the move was unexpected and flies in the face of all the hard work completed up and down the coast by the fishing industry, wave energy interests and local government leaders constructing the now complete Territorial Sea Plan.
Gomberg said he has a few bills that he’s introduced which include requiring that any salmon sold in Oregon should be labeled whether it’s natural salmon versus genetically modified salmon (GMO). Another bill – local brewers like Rogue Ale should be able to retail sell their beer in more than just one other location. Gomberg said it should be at least five. Another bill – setting aside funds to ensure that when the Research Vessel Oceanus is retired that marine scientists can have a replacement craft; not only for the Hatfield Marine Science Center but for other scientific agencies and institutions to use. And finally, a bill that will create a new Oregon license plate that features the Oregon Coast. (more…)
Congressman Kurt Schrader will be making a two day stop in the Newport area today and tomorrow. At 6pm Tuesday, Schrader will appear at a community town hall meeting at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Congressman Schrader says he’ll provide a brief update on his work in Congress and will take any and all questions from the audience.
Wednesday morning at 8:30am, Schrader will host his annual “Fishers Roundtable” to talk about issues affecting Oregon’s fishing industry. He’s likely to get an earful of complaints about what fishermen call unproven wave energy technology that is already demanding a reduction in commercial and recreational fishing grounds off the Oregon Coast. That session takes place in the Gleason Room at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Then at 10:15am Congressman Schrader will take a tour of the nearly completed Port of Newport International Terminal where logs are expected to be the main export commodity when operations begin this Fall.
At 11:15am, Schrader will take a walking tour of the Art Deco District of Newport, and will discuss the general economy and retail sales in particular and how both are such a challenge in Newport.
At 1:30pm Schrader will tour the Whale, Sea Life and Shark Museum in Depoe Bay. Schrader will be joined by marine biologist Carrie Newell and Depoe Bay Mayor A.J. Mattila who will no doubt bend his ear on issues related to tourism and concerns for commercial and recreational fishing off the Oregon Coast.
State Rep. David Gomberg D-Central Coast
State Representative David Gomberg, D-Central Caost, will also be in the Newport area this week for a whirlwind tour on Friday. At 12 Noon, Rep. Gomberg will speak before the Newport Chamber of Commerce for their weekly luncheon – this time at the Shilo on Elizabeth Street. He’ll then hustle over to Toledo for a public forum with residents and local government officials of Toledo. The 2:30pm forum will be held at the Toledo Public Library. Gomberg will also be meeting with government officials in Waldport and Lincoln City.
Rep. David Gomberg Oregon House of Representatives
I finished my first week in the Capitol testifying on a pair of bills I’ve co-sponsored to help small businesses create jobs.
“So often in Oregon we talk about big bills for big companies. But what we know is that across the state, most jobs are being created by the smallest entrepreneurs. These are people who use their initiative, their creativity and their economic courage to make something out of nothing. INTEL started on a kitchen table. NIKE started in a garage. And we need to make sure that the next generation of success stories have the opportunity to thrive and grow as well.”
Earlier this year, I approached local county government about the zoning of home based businesses. I urged them to remove disincentives and arbitrary rules that made it harder to get a small business started – as long as it didn’t create noise, traffic or smells in a neighborhood.
I’ve also talked about enterprise zones. Those are the areas where we provide some tax incentives for creating jobs. But the old maps bear little connection to where we now have empty lots, empty buildings and empty storefronts. Let’s update those maps and focus efforts where we really need them!
I concluded my testimony Friday, saying, “Too many small companies are flying under the radar – intimidated or discouraged by a plethora of fees and forms. So they don’t properly register. And when they do, the first thing they get is a bill for a license, a requirement for conditional zoning or a personal property tax form for the business. What we really want is for their first letter to be from the local Small Business Development Center offering to help them succeed.”
I’m a huge supporter of the Small Business Centers in our Community Colleges. They offer essential tools, classes and advice to new and growing businesses. But funding has been declining in recent years and my job is to make sure they get the money they need to do their job well.
I intend to keep talking about small business. Whether you own a restaurant, a fishing boat, a small farm or sell crafts on EBay, we need to make it easier for you to succeed. So I’m going to talk about licenses, permits and fees; I’m going to talk about focusing help programs and resources; I’m going to talk about the transportation networks that brings us customers or takes our products to market; I’m going to talk about Community Colleges that are crucial to our economic health areas outside the valley population centers; and I’m going to talk about buying local to support each other and help sustain local jobs.
I don’t have the answer to all these questions. But I do believe that working together we can make things better.
Rep. David Gomberg
To contact Representative Gomberg with further questions, concerns or issues, please e-mail: Rep.DavidGomberg@state.or.us.
(SALEM, OR)- On Wednesday, the Oregon Transportation Commission resolved to move forward with plans to finish the long delayed Highway 20 Project from Newport to Corvallis.
For the past six weeks, ODOT has been considering a series of five options which range from continuing the project, to abandoning all improvement work. The Commission voted unanimously to support “Option 2” which would delay completion of the work in order to definitively study hydraulics and potential landslides.
“We call this the ‘Take a bit longer and get it right’ option,” testified Representative David Gomberg, who has appeared twice before the Commission. “We want to ensure that this project will be completed properly, but we also want it done as soon as possible. This is the most dangerous stretch of highway in the state and taking unnecessary time will clearly cost lives.”
Gomberg was joined by County Commissioner Doug Hunt, Newport Mayor Sandy Roumagoux and former Newport Mayor Bill Bain.
“The public safety element is central,” continued Gomberg, “but I also want to focus on the economic ripple effect of delaying repairs. We have an active paper and cardboard mill in Toledo and a new international terminal at the Port of Newport. Because vehicles over 53 feet cannot navigate turns on Highway 20, an average of 50 log trucks a day will be forced to detour through Lincoln City, Depoe Bay and downtown Newport. The result is continuing problems with congestion, affecting tourism, safety and livability along Highway 101.”
Commission Chairman Pat Egan noted the strong community support before the vote. “Often we examine numbers and reports,” he said. “What we’re seeing here is strong and sustained interest from the community and people ready to drive over from the Coast to meet with us.”
Gomberg concluded his testimony, pointing out that any option short of proceeding with improvements, would likely result in as much as $130 million being returned to the Federal Government which was part of the funding for the Highway 20 upgrade. The motion at Wednesday’s meeting was to provide an additional $142 million to complete it.
The completion of the Highway 20 Project, otherwise referred to as the Pioneer Mountain-Eddyville Project, will provide a safe and direct route from the Willamette Valley to the Central Oregon Coast, helping to support economic development on the Central Coast as well as turning the most dangerous stretch of highway into one which will increase opportunities.
Lawn signs have been picked up or blown away. The radio ads have stopped. And mailboxes are filling with holiday catalogs instead of candidate brochures. Everyone is glad the election is over. On a personal note, I am relieved to no longer see my face in trash-bins at the Post Office.
For me, the real work starts now. I will be representing an area stretching from Waldport to Tillamook and inland to Sheridan. It is a large district blessed with natural beauty and wonderful people. I am proud to have been elected, humbled by your trust, and ready for the responsibility. I am more grateful than I can say.
Those Portland representatives with a district they can see from their own doorstep have no idea. I now represent eight cities, portions of four counties, two tribes, a Federal penitentiary and 100 miles of beach. We are a diverse collection of communities and not everyone here will always agree with me. I respect those with opposing views and will actively seek out common ground wherever I can find it. I believe that working together, we can make things better.
Oregonians are tired of politicians who see everything through a partisan filter. We all know that no person, group, or political party has a monopoly on the truth. Oregonians have a right to expect their elected officials to work together, even when they disagree, to achieve meaningful results. And twenty-five years of marriage has taught me that compromising isn’t losing…
The new legislative session will convene in January. My priorities as a legislator are the same as those I talked about as a candidate: education, job creation, and health care. These are broad issues but there are finite and specific programs which can help address each.
· We have struggled to fund K-12 education. Our kids and grand-kids deserve the best education we can provide! And we can do better to support community colleges where funding has been on the decline. I intend to be an advocate for rural community colleges, two of which are in this district.
· In a tourist based and production economy, transportation is critical. We need to focus on the highway and rail systems that bring customers to the coast, and transport fish, timber, and dairy products to market.
· I want to be a champion of small businesses. I understand that small businesses create most new jobs in this region. And I also understand how small business can be burdened by a plethora of special taxes, fees, and regulations. (Our company was named Business of the Year in Lincoln City for 2012.)
· The availability, affordability and quality of health care are particularly important outside Oregon’s metropolitan population centers. Here on the Coast, even people with health insurance often can’t afford to use it because of high deductibles. And we need to focus on helping keep seniors safe, healthy, and secure in their own homes.
· There is a delicate balance here between preserving our magnificent environment, and creating or maintaining jobs. Coastal legislators have taken a lead in working to protect our forests, oceans, parks, and waters, and also our people and our local industries.
I’m a small business guy in a small business district. By that I mean that most people here either work for or retired from smaller businesses in tourism, farming, fishing, dairy, forestry or health care. The decisions I make will each be tempered by my small business experience. How will businesses and employees of businesses like mine be affected? How will communities like mine be affected? How will families like mine be affected??
Here on the Coast, we face big issues. But we also need to be aware of small ones. Regulations affecting beach use or fireworks; rules designed for large businesses that burden smaller ones; power outages and communication black-outs; beach clean-up. A legislator from the Coast needs to stay on top of small issues so they don’t become big problems.
For the past six years, the Central Coast has been well represented by Jean Cowan. We owe her a debt of gratitude for her lifetime of service and good work. I’ll have to work hard to earn the respect and the effectives she has exercised on our behalf.
I also want to thank my former opponent, Jerome Grant. In a year characterized by negativity and attack politics, we never once exchanged a disparaging word. I shared my ideas; he shared his. And then the voters made their decisions.
In the next few days, I’ll be assigned to committees, get an office, finalize staff, and complete local and Salem phone numbers. Angie Allbee will be working as my Chief-of-Staff and district liaison. I welcome visits in the Capitol and comments on legislation or issues.
Thank you so much for the honor of representing you.