One of the first official actions taken by newly elected Gov. Tina Kotek was to declare that much of Oregon is in a state of emergency due to homelessness. She signed three executive orders on her first afternoon as Oregon governor, all aimed at reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness in the state. She will also be asking the Oregon Legislature for $130 million in funding to tackle this issue.

We applaud the fact that Kotek took fast action to address this increasingly serious issue. However, we sincerely believe the governor needs to take a broader view in terms of how to address it. While one of the executive orders directs state agencies to prioritize the reduction of homelessness in all parts of Oregon, the state of emergency itself applies primarily to the metro areas along the Willamette Valley.

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