You're invited to our Constituent Coffee!
Along with Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson and Representative Chris Gorsek, I’ll be giving an update on the session and listening to YOUR priorities for the future. Come join your friends and neighbors for some light snacks and a hearty discussion.
I look forward to seeing you there,
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and 2016 is treating you well! As I head into the thirty-five day legislative session on February 1st, I wanted to share a few of the laws that went into effect as of January 1st. I also want to share the details for my next Town Hall with Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson.
I hope you can join us for a post-legislative session update and learn about what is next as we head into the spring and summer.
New Protections for Working Families
On January 1, 2016 many of the bills passed during the 2015 Legislative session went into effect, providing much-needed protections for working families in Gresham and every corner of the state.
Here are just some of the highlights:
Earned Sick Leave: Senate Bill 454
No one should have to decide between taking care of their health and keeping their job. This law will be a big help to low-income workers who currently have no earned sick time protections. Applies to companies with 10 or more employees.
Wage Transparency: House Bill 2007
This law protects employees who inquire about, discuss, or disclose information about their wage or the wage of another employee. Allowing for wage disclosure among employees encourages pay equity.
Ban the Box: House Bill 3025
Prevents employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on their job application. This law will help those who have served their time have a better shot at getting their foot in the door for a job.
Personal Injury Protection: Senate Bill 411
Auto insurance consumers will now be able to receive up to the full amount of uninsured motorist coverage (and underinsured coverage) if they are injured by an at-fault, uninsured driver. But in order to take advantage of the law, consumers will have to act, as it only applies to insurance policies issued or renewed on or after that date. In order to get full coverage, consumers will need to call or email their auto insurance company and say they want all of their auto policies renewed or reissued effective January 2, 2016.
New Motor Voter: House Bill 2177
HB 2177 expands access to our democracy by making sure that every eligible voter receives a ballot. While other state legislatures are working to limit voter participation, Oregon is moving in the opposite direction by removing unnecessary, outdated barriers to voting.
Expanding Access to Birth Control: House Bill 2879 and House Bill 3343
HB 2879 allows pharmacists to prescribe birth control, reducing the need for women to visit a doctor for their contraceptive prescriptions. HB 3343 requires insurers to cover a full year of birth control, reducing gaps in coverage and access.
Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers: Senate Bill 525
Aligns Oregon law with the federal Violence Against Women Act to keep firearms away from domestic abusers.
Clean Fuels: Senate Bill 324
Reduces the carbon intensity of transportation fuel by 10 percent over the next 10 years, leading to cleaner air, fewer emissions of greenhouse gases, and the development of a homegrown alternative fuels industry. The law is being phased in beginning in January, with full compliance measures starting April 30, 2018.
Protecting College Students from Unfair Fees: House Bill 2832
Requires all contracts between public universities and third-party financial institutions for disbursement of student aid moneys to comply with federal consumer protection guidelines; prohibits transaction fees, inactivity fees, and revenue-sharing policies.
These important protections are in addition to the bills that have already gone into effect in 2015, like closing the background check loophole for firearm sales, all-day kindergarten for every children, and strengthening ethics laws.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to my office with any thoughts or concerns during the short legislative session. You can reach me and my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 986-1450.
I wish you and your family the best in 2016 and hope to see you at the Town Hall on March 19th.
Dear House District 50 and beyond,
I want to thank everyone that has contacted me regarding the K-12 education budget for the 2015-2017 biennium. I have heard from school administrators, district employees, teachers, parents, students and other concerned community members.
Most important, I know the $7.255 billion for K-12 is not enough. I understand the impact of inadequate school funding as a legislator, school board member and as a parent.
On March 23rd, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President announced they were pushing forward with the $7.255 billion K-12 budget. It came to the House on March 31st. The purpose of approving this budget early is to protect it from potential cuts after the next revenue forecast in May. I voted yes to push forward to secure the highest level of K-12 funding now, without putting our public safety and human services budgets in peril, in case the May forecast does not provide additional revenue. This budget provides a necessary floor, and promises that the K-12 funding will not dip lower, something we could not promise without passing this bill.
In this video, Rep. Peter Buckley, the Co-Chair of the legislature’s budget-writing committee, talks about the budget, what it pays for, and how we can fight for more funding for our schools. You can click HERE to watch.
Through more is needed, the proposed budget includes a lot of funding additions. These increases and improvements include:
- The proposed budget includes a lot of components and funding additions, though not the funding additions I know would be ideal. These increases and improvements include:
- $7.255 billion is $305 million more than what former Governor Kitzhaber proposed, and $600 million more than the 2013-2015 K-12 education budget
- Funding for full-day kindergarten—for the first time all school districts in Oregon will have full day kindergarten. This is big deal for working families and early education.
- An additional $12.5 million to improve outcomes for English Language Learning students
- A $2.5 million increase to ensure that every student who qualifies for reduced price lunches qualifies for free lunches
- $17 million more for districts to help support students with disabilities
Included in the $7.255 budget is a protective trigger that will increase school funding if there is more money available after the May revenue forecast—40% of any new revenue will go to the State School Fund.
In addition to the 40% trigger, I am also joining several colleagues to discuss what we can do this session to create more revenue in our state. Revenue reform is the only way to have a significant impact on the current funding situation. It is the only solution to the inevitable budget crunches we will face in the future if we continue to patch together a state budget through a system that never allows us to fully prioritize education.
There has been a lot of rhetoric in the Capitol over the past few days about needing to make tough choices when it comes to our budget. Voting to support a base budget of $7.255 billion for K-12 education was a tough choice, but I think we have avoided even tougher choices down the road by passing this budget early and protecting K-12 funding in event that the next forecast does not supply more revenue.
Education has been and will remain a priority of mine and that is why I voted to protect K-12 funding with a base budget of $7.255 billion. Moving the K-12 budget now was a first step, not a final step.
I would like to close out my week by sharing with you some of what has been happening here in Salem.
From the Floor
Some big things happened on the House Floor over the past few weeks. Some particularly newsworthy items include bills dubbed “Motor Voter” and “PIP”.
This bill will be signed into law on March 16th. The aim of this legislation is to increase voter registration by removing barriers and making the process more simple, convenient and secure. Currently, more than 300,000 citizens are eligible to vote, but are unregistered. These people are very often students and working parents, who move often and simply do not update their voter registration. This does not require anyone to vote and the ability to opt of registration is also available. This bill removes the barriers that exist to voting, ensures a more democratic process and elections will truly reflect the voices of Oregonians.
This bill was signed into law yesterday by Governor Kate Brown. Currently, 500,000 Oregonians are paying for uninsured motorist coverage on their auto insurance. Due to a loophole in the law, they will never be able to collect on this coverage. SB 411 closes that loophole by allowing an injured person to access the maximum available liability coverage in addition to their underinsured motorist coverage. This ensures that families will not face undue financial hardship after an auto accident.
East Multnomah County Legislation
I had the honor to Co-Chief Sponsor two bills with my colleagues Senator Monnes Anderson and Representative Gorsek that will bring much needed resources to east Multnomah County. Both of these bills are with the Senate awaiting a work session, but I am hopeful for their passage and for what they will mean for the Gresham area and our neighbors.
This bill would contribute funding to the Boys & Girls Club Rockwood to establish a permanent facility on the site of the former Drake’s Seven Dees Nursery. This site is visible, centrally located and by re-purposing the facility the cost of construction is much lower than it would be otherwise. The Boys & Girls Club is a well-respected organization and they bring important programs to youth who are often underserved. This facility will allow children and teens a place to build healthy relationships, receive academic support, prevention and intervention services for those impacted by violence, drugs and alcohol, or mental health issues, along with a whole host of other benefits. The Boys & Girls Club Rockwood also supports parents, who will know that their child is involved in a positive program, in a safe environment while they are working to provide for their families.
This bill would secure funding for this multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional team. EMGET is very important to me, as it evolved under my watch as Gresham Police Chief. EMGET has a ten year history of growth and success. EMGET is not just enforcement, it is outreach, prevention, intervention and youth engagement services aimed at improving the lives of young people and the safety of all citizens in east Multnomah County.
I want to extend my gratitude to the people who came down to testify in favor of these bills including:
- Erin Hubert - CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metropolitan Area (BGCP)
- Traci Rose - Chief Communications and Development Officer, BGCP
- Mike Reese - Board Chair for BGCP, Retired Portland Police Chief
- Bryan Gastelum-Plata - Youth of the Year, BGCP
- Erik Kvarsten - City Manager, Gresham
- Sgt. David Schmidt - Sgt. in charge of EMGET
- Joe McFerrin II - Director, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center
- Nathan Vasquez - Multnomah Co. District Attorney
- Mariel Mota - Community Leadership Development Coordinator, Rosewood Initiative
- Tracey Freeman - Senior Manager, Probation and Accountability Services Multnomah Co. Dept. of Community Justice, Juvenile Services Division
It was extra special for me to, once again, interact with my co-workers from the City of Gresham. My former boss, City Manager Erik Kvarsten, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Nathan Vasquez and a big “shout out” to Sergeant David Schmidt who now is the leader of the East Metro Gang Enforcement Team. They are all doing a tremendous job keeping Gresham safe. Finally, a special thanks to Eric Chambers, the Intergovernmental Relations Director for the City of Gresham for all of his behind the scenes work on these bills. We all now need to keep our fingers crossed in anticipation of receiving the funding for both of these bills.
I was also given the opportunity over these last three weeks to sit at the table with House Democratic Leadership. I can best describe this as the “think tank” for prioritizing all the legislative action for the House Democrats. From sending bills to committees, strategically assigning members as speakers on the House floor during session, to coordinating communications, this was a fascinating “behind the scenes” look at how the Legislature functions. I was honored to attend.
Oregon Women’s Health and Wellness Alliance
Many of you know women’s health and wellness is very important to me. This is a bi-weekly gathering of legislators, interested citizens and community advocates who meet to discuss issues related to women. Special attention is given to domestic violence related bills that are currently on the docket for legislative actions, as well as conversation around services needed, preventative solutions, shelters and the safety and protection of victims. Even though “women” is part of the title, men are also welcome at the table.
Last week, Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis gave the State of City address in Council Chambers, if you missed it, you can read the transcript here.
Thank you all for your continued support and for raising your concerns, questions and ideas. Never hesitate to contact me or my staff, if we can be of assistance.
Hello District 50 and Beyond,
What a week, I had the opportunity to speak on behalf of two of my priority areas, supporting working families and education.
Some of you know that I serve on the Gresham-Barlow School Board. I am dedicated to our students’ success so all Oregon students have an opportunity to thrive in their educational environment. For me, that means our teachers need to have all of the supports possible to be effective, including adequate supplies and prep time, and small class sizes.
In East Multnomah County, with a focus on Gresham-Barlow School District, class sizes are too large, and are growing. When class sizes grow, students get less individualized support and teachers are often spread too thin. When teachers they burn out, and ultimately seek out opportunities to teach in a more supportive environment. I had the opportunity to Co-Chief Sponsor a bill that will work to address this issue. This proposed legislation seeks to create a task force to gather accurate information on appropriate class sizes and methods to reduce class sizes in our schools as well as determine the cost of implementing those methods. That bill, HB 2928, had a hearing this past Monday, where I joined my colleague Representative Susan McLain and gave testimony on the necessity of finding ways to deal with this important issue.
You can watch our testimony in the House Committee on Education here.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program through the Department of Human Services (DHS) that gives struggling parents important tools to support their families and provide for the health and safety of their children. In addition to financial assistance, the TANF program helps parents find and maintain employment in order to work towards self-sufficiency. Families in the TANF program are provided with case management, childcare subsidies, and support accessing community resources. TANF clients also receive assistance applying for other appropriate services such as Supplementary Security Income or for grant money to help flee from domestic violence.
HB 2029 is a bill that would reset the income a parent can earn and qualify for TANF, that limit has not been adjusted since 1991. Moving forward, I will be serving on a work group with legislators, DHS, and advocacy agencies to design a plan to improve the TANF program, thus providing more comprehensive services to families in-need, all within the available funding. I am excited for this challenge and I am glad to have been a part of opening up this conversation.
211info workers who gained employment through the TANF program testified on behalf of HB 2029, their stories are humbling and inspiring.
I also talked about my commitment to support children and families and the need to support parents to become self-sufficient. My testimony can also be watched here or watch the complete Human Services and Housing Committee meeting by following this link.
Career Technical Education Day
On Wednesday the 25th students from all over the State who are involved in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to share the exciting skills they are learning.
Students from Sutherland High School visited the Capitol and demonstrated a 3D Printer which is able to create Bobble Heads. I took advantage of this opportunity and one was created in my image. At least, I think it is in my image, I will let you know when the finished product arrives in my office.
Doing What’s Best for Gresham; Working Hard for Oregon
Representative Carla C. Piluso
House District 50
The past two and half weeks have been busy! In this time, I have attended 20 committee meetings, and met with more than 35 constituents in my office here in Salem. I have also heard from many of you via email or over the phone. I appreciate how you all have taken the time out of your day to voice your opinions and questions around proposed legislation. This participation in the legislative process is important to ensure the voices of Oregonians are heard.
This Saturday, February 21st, at 10:00am I will be hosting my second Community Coffee Hour event. This will take place at M & M Restaurant at 137 N. Main Avenue in Gresham. Refreshments will be provided, and if you would like something to eat, M & M has a wonderful breakfast menu. Please join me with your questions and ideas. I look forward to seeing you there!
The past weeks have been exciting ones, and I am so pleased to share some highlights with you.
Community Coffee Hour- A Success!
Last Saturday, January 31st, I hosted my first Community Coffee Hour, I was humbled by the turnout as well as the voices at the table. Many spoke up to share their thoughts on minimum wage, on workers’ benefits, standardized testing, and more. We heard from many people, from different walks of life, who shared concerns, questions, and ideas. I was especially encouraged by how respectful the discussion was, regardless of opposing views.
We will continue to offer this event within the district monthly, please mark your calendars for February 21st , this is the third Saturday of the month from 10am-11am, at M & M Restaurant at 137 N. Main Avenue, in Gresham. Refreshments will be provided. If you’d like something to eat, we encourage you to order a snack or brunch item from the menu.
I look forward to seeing you there, and to continuing a thoughtful discussion. Stay tuned for future events, and remember that you can subscribe to receive updates at my Legislative Web Page.
Beginning of Session!
On Monday February 2nd, the Legislative Session really kicked off, and since then, the Capitol has been buzzing. On this day, many bills were read for the first time on the House floor, which will be read two more times before they come up for a vote.
The rest of the week was filled with a variety of meetings, including committee meetings. In the Committee on Education we heard a broad overview of The Department of Education on Monday. Then, on Wednesday, I had the opportunity to vote on my first bill during a work session, where I voted in support of HB 2407, which allows all citizens and organizations to donate funds that benefit Oregon public schools. We also looked at legislation around nutrition in school lunches and student safety.
In the Committee on Human Services and Housing we heard from Erinn Kelley-Siel, the director of the Department of Human Services. She shared the various challenges and successes of DHS programs, as well as the ways they are hoping to expand services, in order to best meet the needs of all Oregonians. Additionally, we heard testimony on a variety of bills that work to support working families and increase affordable childcare.
In the Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness this week, we heard an overview of Oregon’s office of Veterans’ Affairs as well as the Oregon Military Department. We also heard a great deal of testimony about HB 2645 which aims to give priority registration to active members of the military as well as veterans who enroll in community colleges and public universities.
In between these meetings, I met with many individuals and groups, as well as colleagues, who are working to find ways to improve Oregon and House District 50. I was excited to meet with individuals who interact with our district regularly. I had the opportunity to sit down with Mayor Bemis and Eric Chambers from the City of Gresham. I also met with Mavonnie Deitz from the Child Development and Family Support Program at Mt. Hood Community College who brought along Head Start parents from our district. Additionally, I heard from representatives from Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, who shared their goals for upcoming legislation, as well as the Glisan Gardens project, where they are building 26 homes in Gresham this year.
In addition to reaching out to me, as I encourage you to do, I want to share a few ways that you can keep up to date on what is happening in the Legislature. By visiting OregonLegislature.gov a lot of important information is at your fingertips. You can visit individual Representative’s pages, and learn about the legislative process and how to submit testimony about a bill that impacts you most. Using the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) page you can look up specific bills, committee agendas, or sign-up to receive e-mail alerts about bills that are important to you. You can even watch committee meetings and floor sessions live. If you have any trouble navigating this, feel free to call my office at 503-986-1450 and one of my staff will be happy to help.
It has been a busy week, and I am energized to continue this important work.
Representative Carla C. Piluso
On Monday, January 12th, I had the honor of taking my first oath of office as your State Representative, and on February 2nd, we will officially begin the 2015 Legislative Session. I have lived in Gresham for 35 years and I love this community. Throughout these years, I have enjoyed many roles, including mother, school board member, and Chief of Police. Therefore, I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve the people of House District 50 in this new capacity, and I am eager to represent your voices in the State Legislature.
During this Legislative Session, I will serve on three House Committees: Education, Veterans and Emergency Preparedness, as well as Human Services and Housing as Vice-Chair.
I plan to continue to keep certain key issues at the forefront of my work:
- I will put East County working families and small businesses first, ahead of corporate special interests
- I will work to reduce taxes for the middle class and cut tax loopholes for big corporations
- I will work to help create Oregon jobs by making sure local companies get the first crack at all state contracts, ensuring your hard-earned tax dollars create jobs here at home
- I will to ensure women have the same opportunities as men as I know this makes our community stronger
- I will fight for equal pay for equal work, as well as work-place policies that do not disadvantage working families
- I know education is the key to success, and I will work to support our teachers and make sure they get the resources they need to best serve our students
- I will fight to ensure that funding goes to support our classrooms, keep teachers, and reduce class sizes
I have a long track record of making important decisions that have increased the safety of our community; to continue this, I will seek opportunities to increase funding for public safety
I will continue to work toward making Gresham a safer place for all its citizens
Your voices will inform my decisions and my priorities, and I am always eager to hear from you. Please visit my Legislative Page and e-subscribe to receive e-mail updates.
Please take the time to fill out this short survey about what matters most to you.
Do not hesitate to contact my office directly by phone, e-mail, or dropping in!
Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-491, Salem, Oregon 97301
Phone: 503-986-4950 Email: email@example.com
Visit my Facebook page!
As we head into the holiday season, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation, gratitude and thanks to the greater Gresham community for its support during my campaign for state representative.
The number of volunteers who joined me in this adventure is humbling, and I am motivated by the many kind words shared by people I met along the campaign trail.
Every member of our community has my firm commitment to represent you all to the best of my ability. I count on your honest input and feedback as I learn to navigate the politics of the state of Oregon.
It will be an exciting time for me and I hope for all of you as well.
We may not always agree, but I will always listen. My office door will be open, whether in Salem or Gresham. I can be reached through my website, www.carlapiluso.com or my Gresham office at (503) 512-0370.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." I am blessed to have so many supportive people who have played a huge part in making my campaign successful.
Thank you for being what makes Gresham thrive.
Carla Piluso, Representative-elect, House District 50, Gresham
I'll hope you will all join me at the Horse Brass Pub this Sunday for a campaign countdown celebration! Join me for great food & drinks (on me!), and get an update on the campaign this Sunday, October 19th from 3:00 to 5:00pm at the Horse Brass Pub in SE Portland. Invite your friends & family--everyone is welcome! Send your RSVP here!
There is a suggested contribution of $25 for the event and a generous donor will me matching all donations! If you are unable to attend please consider making an online donation HERE. As always, Oregon offers an income tax credit for political contributions up to $50 per individual and $100 per couple.
Your support and encouragement throughout this election has kept me going, I'd love to celebrate with you all one last time as we head into the final weeks of the campaign. I'll see you at the Horse Brass!
A big thank you to the Horse Brass for hosting!