Emergency Preparedness & Resiliency
As a senior policy advisor on Emergency Management to former governor Ted Kulongoski, I worked closely with public and private sector individuals around the state to assess Oregon's needs and responses in times of natural disaster. Public safety remains a key priority to me as a state legislator. We have made progress toward improving resiliency in Oregon, as well as responding to crises as they develop. Below are promises I made in 2014 and ways that I am keeping my promises.
- Capital re-investments: critical infrastructure, support infrastructure, 21st Century Priorities;
- Baseline standards for public safety staffing in at all levels of government in support of statewide resiliency planning, response, and recovery expectations;
- Development of statewide conversation regarding foundations for 21st Century Economy: review, restructuring, and retooling associated with economic resiliency;
- Development of statewide “resiliency standards” for added certainty supporting existing and potential business development: focus upon Oregon emerging as the best choice for Pacific Rim businesses.
- We introduced new public/private investments in seismic rehabilitation for schools and public buildings;
- We established a state Resilience Office;
- The 2016 budget has set aside $2 million to support Harney County in the wake of the 41 day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge;
- The legislature also approved $6.1 million in support of Umpqua Community College in emergency assistance and security upgrades;
- The 2016 budget also reflected a $2.5 million increase in funding to ODEQ to address air quality concerns stemming from industrial emissions;
- HB 4098 introduced the Lend-Lease Concept through the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness, which would provide local authorities with emergency response equipment. We will re-introduce this bill during the 2017 Legislative Session; and
- Lastly, I am proud to announce my appointment to represent the Oregon House as a member of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Committee (OSSPAC). As a member of this committee I will work with experts from around the state to help prepare our state for major seismic events.