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Legislative Update: Rep. Linda Flores

Newsletter, 2008 Volume 1 (January)

Dear Friends,
As we enter 2008 and look to the future, I wanted to give you an update on some of the important things going on in state government. Many of the new laws the Oregon Legislature enacted in 2007 will impact our state in the years to come; many will have a positive effect, some perhaps not so good.

The Legislature also meets for a Special Session in February this year. While I’m not convinced there are 100 emergencies facing our state which justify this session, I’m hopeful it will be brief and the political games will be kept to a minimum. Oregon faces many challenges ahead such as escalating traffic congestion and a growing population of senior citizens. We need to look for creative solutions that don’t always involve raising taxes. There are also opportunities in front of us to enhance public safety and education accountability. I’m proud of some of things we’ve accomplished but also concerned about the future.

Our state budget saw a record level of revenue — up nearly $3 billion — thanks to hard working taxpayers. That’s allowed us to reduce class size, add more police to our roads, and fund other critical services. We now have money set aside for a rainy day, but the legislature diverted tax dollars owed to businesses in order to create that fund. I opposed that move and voted against more than $600 million in new fees. State spending is also up over 20% and I’m concerned cuts will be made if the economy takes a turn for the worse. It’s rewarding to work with residents of my legislative district to solve problems and make Oregon a better place to live for everyone.

My top priority is to work on the issues that matter most to you. I hope you will find this newsletter helpful and you’ll send back the survey on page two. Your comments are always welcome.

Linda Flores

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