Posts Tagged ‘Senator Diane Rosenbaum’
SALEM—On May Day, the Oregon Senate advanced a jobs bill that will help Oregonians get on-the-job skills training and boost the state’s occupations and trade industries. Senate Bill 782A, which passed on a unanimous vote, requires state contracting agencies to use apprentices to carry out ten percent of work hours for the appropriate parts of the contract.
“Investing in apprenticeships will strengthen Oregon’s workforce and help our state succeed in the 21st century economy and grow our middle class,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “Apprenticeships will provide new workers with a great opportunity to learn and apply skills that will eventually help them get living-wage jobs.”
Apprenticeships serve as a rigorous occupational training opportunity for new workers by combining on-the-job work experience with classroom instruction. According to the Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Apprenticeship and Training Division, there are 121 different occupations that train workers as apprenticeships in Oregon, with about 5,000 apprentices currently registered in Oregon in 2013. SB 782A will provide these apprentices with substantial prospects to participate on a state contact for construction or other work.
“Connecting new workers to apprenticeship programs will help train tomorrow’s living-wage workforce,” said Sen. Chip Shields (D-Portland). “Senate Bill 782A will help more Oregonians find their way into the middle class by providing more skills-training opportunities for building trades and other occupations.”
SB 782A takes an incremental approach to increasing the amount of apprenticeships state agencies must use for state contracts. When the bill takes effect, it would require any state contract over $5 million to use apprenticeships for 10% of the work, with the exception of the Department of Transportation. Starting in 2018, that percentage of apprentice work would increase to 12%.
The bill will now go to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.
Bill increases access for struggling homeowners by closing loophole
SALEM – A Senate Committee today held a public hearing on a bill that would expand Oregon’s foreclosure mediation program. Senate Bill 558 will give homeowners at risk of foreclosure the ability to request mediation with their lender regardless of the procedure that may follow.
“There are many Oregonians still struggling to stay in their homes because of the foreclosure crisis,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “The benefits of mediation should be extended to all homeowners at risk of foreclosure, and we must act now to give middle class families the opportunity to keep a roof over their heads.”
Senator Rosenbaum and Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield), two chief sponsors of SB 558, testified at the bill’s first public hearing this afternoon.
SB 558 would expand the Foreclosure Avoidance Mediation Program (FAMP), which requires lenders to meet with homeowners in the presence of a neutral third party before a lender can proceed with a foreclosure sale. The program started operating for out-of-court foreclosures last summer, but soon after, the Oregon Court of Appeals invalidated record keeping practices used by many large lenders, which forced these banks to seek foreclosures through the courts.
“Extending the mediation program to include judicial foreclosures is just common sense,” said Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield). “This is a key step to ensuring that we can make a difference for Oregonians who are eager to work with their lenders and find a way to keep their home.”
While Oregon has made inroads into providing struggling homeowners with alternative options to foreclosures, the court decision has led most banks to conduct only judicial foreclosures. After the implementation of FAMP in July 2012 the overall foreclosure rate started to drop, and the amount of judicial foreclosures started to rise. According to a report from a Eugene company, lenders reported filing 681 judicial foreclosures in December 2012, up from 446 in November 2012.
“Passing SB 558 will strengthen the foreclosure avoidance program,” said Rosenbaum. “Let’s make sure that homeowners and lenders always have options to mutually resolve, and hopefully avoid, foreclosure.”
In the 2011 and 2012 Legislative Sessions, Senate Democrats took the lead on foreclosure issues, passing legislation that created the foreclosure avoidance program and prohibiting “dual-track” foreclosure sales when the homeowner is actively engaged in mutual negotiations or in compliance with a modification agreement.
Senate Bill 558 awaits further action in the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection.
Early Detection Critical to Ensuring Children’s Health
SALEM – A bill that will help to detect infant heart defects passed the Senate today on a bipartisan vote. Senate Bill 172 will require all newborns to be screened for congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry, an effective tool in the early detection of heart defects.
“Increasing the detection rate for heart defects is critical to supporting children’s health,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford). “By establishing this standard today, we are taking a big step to ensure that health care providers can get valuable information to identify and treat congenital heart defects before it’s too late.”
During his presentation of the bill on the Senate floor, Dr. Bates, a physician, demonstrated an example of heart screening technology.
According to an advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, congenital heart defects affect nearly eight out of every 1,000 births, and the hospital costs to treat these individuals totals $2.6 billion each year. While the practice of prenatal ultrasound screening has been somewhat effective at detecting heart defects, recent studies have shown that pulse oximetry is substantially more effective. SB 172 requires Oregon’s birthing facilities to screen newborns using pulse oximetry before releasing them.
“As with so many common health problems, early detection can mean the difference between life and death,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “Implementing modern screening standards for newborns is the least we can do to make certain that our children get the care they need and can lead healthy lives.”
The bill now moves to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.
SALEM, Ore.–The Senate Majority Office has filled several positions and is now fully staffed in preparation for the 2013 Legislative Session.
“Our Senate Democratic caucus will be well-served by the depth and breadth of experience our entire staff brings to the Senate Majority Office,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “I am excited by the hard work they will do to support the priorities set by Senate Democrats for the 2013 Legislative Session.”
The Senate Majority Office staff includes:
-Nikki Thompson, Chief of Staff/Caucus Administrator
-Tom Powers, Communications Director
-Greg Alderson, Policy Advisor
-Libby Batlan, Policy Advisor
-Kathleen Stuart, Outreach Director
-Carol Suzuki, Operations Director
-Brian Worley, Research Director
-Megan Osborne, Legislative Assistant to Sen. Diane Rosenbaum
To reach any of the staff in the Senate Majority Office, please call (503) 986-1700.
SALEM – Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum released the following statement this morning following the release of the December 2011 Revenue Forecast:
“Today’s forecast further demonstrates that we continue to face uncertain times in Oregon. Senate Democrats recognize that middle class families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. This volatility on Wall Street and in Europe means we must diligently monitor the economic situation while we prepare for budget adjustments in the upcoming February session.”
“This forecast is one piece of the puzzle as legislative leaders and budget writers to work together to create a plan for the February session. The forecast we receive in February will make clear what we have to work with as we re-balance the state budget while fighting to protect the essential services Oregonians rely on – our schools, services to the most vulnerable, and the safety of our communities. Just as we do every session, we will fight to protect middle class families and small businesses when the Legislature reconvenes in February.”