SALEM – Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum released the following statement this evening following the adjournment sine die of the 2012 Short Session:
“During this short session, Democrats came to Salem focused on prioritizing critical state services, protecting the most vulnerable, and standing up for middle class families and small businesses. We were successful on all fronts.
“Our budget rebalance approved this evening reflects our commitment to protect schools from further reductions and to cut waste to make sure the state lives within its means. This budget takes care of our most vulnerable, makes strategic investments in our safety net and economic development programs, keeps prisons open, and leaves money in reserves to cover potential shortfalls in the future.
“Senate Democrats stood up for middle class families this session by passing meaningful foreclosure reform. Even in the waning hours of session, we did not lose sight of the importance of helping struggling homeowners by requiring banks to sit down and talk to borrowers about a path to avoid mutually detrimental loss. This is a major step toward fairness for homeowners who deserve to be treated with respect and who deserve good-faith mediation with banks.
“For Oregon’s small businesses, we approved several bills to help them access capital to grow and expand. The most significant, the Oregon Investment Act, will substantially improve the state’s economic development strategy, streamlining and prioritizing how we use our economic development resources to better serve our homegrown business community.
“This short session has included a remarkable number of landmark legislative victories, including major breakthroughs in education and health care reform. On top of these policy priorities are several common sense legislative victories, including laws to increase transparency in government contracts to make sure taxpayers are getting the greatest value out of every dollar. We also made history, passing the Fair Employment Opportunity Act and making Oregon the second state in the nation to ban employment ads that discriminate against unemployed applicants.
“This session was historic. Our first annual session was not short on important work or legislative accomplishments. We did what we set out to do: fight for the middle class, champion the needs of our small businesses, and prioritize critical services in rebalancing the state budget.”