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The Aftermath: Speaker Kotek Reflects on the 2019 Legislative Session

12:00pm, 7-19-2019
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This year's legislative session was chaotic, alarming, but also surprisingly productive. Join us to hear directly from Oregon's House Speaker, Tina Kotek, about how we got here, what happened … and how we move forward from here.

Kotek will dive into the policies and politics that influenced major fiscal initiatives, including the creation of a $1B annual business tax to help fund education and the effort she led to refinance the statewide PERS deficit and contain costs for public employers. 

She will also discuss several policies that passed in the last 48 hours of session—some after more than a dozen years of advocacy: legalizing driver's licenses for undocumented Oregonians, creating a statewide allowance for “missing middle” housing, establishing a state Paid Family Leave program, paying for ballot postage for all Oregonians, and new requirements to limit diesel emissions in populated areas. We'll also talk about the partisan brinksmanship that killed three Democratic priorities along the way (cap and invest, gun control, and vaccine requirements) and what it will take to repair the culture of the legislature after this bruising session.

Speaker Kotek will field questions from six policy experts from different communities around Oregon. We'll then open up the conversation to audience questions.

 

About Speaker Tina Kotek

Tina Kotek began her public service career as a policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank, working to eliminate hunger for every Oregonian. She went on to serve as the policy director for Children First for Oregon before being elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006.

In her first term in the House, Tina Kotek championed a redesign of the state's welfare program, led the fight to establish statewide nutrition standards for food sold in schools, and helped pass landmark legislation that ended discrimination based on sexual orientation and created domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

In 2013, Tina became the first openly lesbian speaker of any state house in the nation. In the 2015 legislative session, Speaker Kotek championed the successful efforts to expand earned sick leave, strengthen retirement security, and ban racial profiling. The 2016 session built upon those wins for working families with the passage of trailblazing legislation to raise Oregon's minimum wage. 

During the 2017 legislative session, Tina led the way to an historic investment in the state's transportation infrastructure. She also defended access to affordable health care for the thousands of people who rely on Medicaid, expanded reproductive health care for all Oregonians, fought to preserve and increase affordable housing, advocated for a fairer rental market, and supported the strongest equal pay law in the nation and the nation's first fair work week law.


Comments
11:57pm, 7-22-2019
Tina Kotek began her public service career as a policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank, working to eliminate hunger for every Oregonian. She went on to serve as the policy director for Children First for Oregon before being elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006.
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