Oregon legislative update

Mid-November saw a flurry of activity in the Capitol as we convened for Legislative Days. In addition to attending hearings on a variety of subjects, meeting with advocates and reviewing the new revenue forecast, legislators submitted their bill proposals in preparation for the month-long “short” legislative session in February. Representatives are limited to two bills, while senators get just one.

I’ll have more information on my legislative priorities as we get closer to February. But for this update, I’d like to highlight the many things we have to be thankful for in House District 10.

Student Success

In the 2019 session, the legislature passed the largest investment in early learning and our K-12 students in Oregon’s history. The Legislative Fiscal Office has published initial estimates of new funds each school district is expected to receive from the Student Success Act.  

House District 10 includes parts of four counties. Our schools are estimated to receive nearly $19 million in new education investments for the 2019-2021 biennium. That includes a total of $7,872,332 for Lincoln County Schools.

Cultural Trust

Also in the 2019 session, the legislature extended the cultural trust tax credit for six more years. Cultural credits are a great way to double investments across our communities.

The program works like this: Donate to one of the more than 1,500 nonprofit Cultural Trust partner organizations in Oregon. Next, donate the same amount to the Oregon Cultural Trust. Finally, reduce your taxes by that same amount. It's a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. This way, you're essentially doubling your impact — at no added cost to you.

Investments across House District 10 from the Cultural Trust for 2019-2020 included:

  • Lincoln County Cultural Coalition, $10,847;
  • Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, $29,178;
  • Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival Association, $8,986;
  • Tillamook County Cultural Coalition, $8,789.

To learn more about the Cultural Trust, check with your accountant or visit the Cultural Trust webpage.

Buy Small and Buy Local

Last week, I joined Martin Golden, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Dave Price from the Oregon Small Business Development Network and Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson to tour a few of the vibrant small businesses spread across the Oceanlake neighborhood in Lincoln City. We’re blessed on the coast to have some of the finest local retailers, restaurateurs, artisans, grocers and entrepreneurs anywhere in the state. From toys to books to seafood and everything in between, small businesses have you covered for everyday and holiday needs.

According to the 2018 Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, approximately 67 cents for every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community. That means local jobs, local families, support of local charities and causes, and a stronger more vibrant community. So not only can you find great deals, you can rest assured that you’re helping your friends and neighbors by keeping it small and buying local.

A heartfelt thank you to Senator Roblan and Representative McKeown

Our Senator Arnie Roblan and neighboring Representative Caddy McKeown have both announced they do not plan to seek re-election in 2020. I will be losing dear friends and close working partners in the Capitol. The coast will be losing champions for our special part of Oregon.

I’m grateful to Arnie and Caddy for all they have contributed and their many, many accomplishments. We will miss them terribly but will long benefit from their years of service.

Though the days are getting shorter, I'll stay busy over the next couple weeks with events across the district. If you see me out and about, please come say hello.

David Gomberg is the state representative for Oregon House District 10 on the central Oregon coast.


More In Opinion