Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Business-as-usual just isn’t good enough for government any more. I have always been concerned about overlapping bureaucracies that get in the way of efficiency. For example, the state, every county, and many cities provide for law enforcement, jails, car pools, public health, land use regulation, and other “shared programs.” Some private nonprofit service providers must report to multiple overseeing agencies, and be audited by each one. We need to ensure that local and state government collaborate, consolidate, and pool resources to provide needed services without duplicating administrative burdens.
In addition to making government more efficient I’ve written and passed bills to tackle the cost of health insurance, improve access to primary care, expand services to veterans, and bring in federal dollars for Oregon. I support adequate funding for education and important human service programs, and re-shaping the budget toward prevention, early intervention and treatment. I have supported investing in smart projects that create jobs now and a healthy economy into the future, like “Cool Schools,” community college classrooms and other college and university building upgrades or construction; local water and sewer projects; transportation projects, particularly rail, intermodal facilities and public transit; emergency communications; and chaired a committee to examine needed court improvements.
I work on several committees, leading as the Vice-Co-Chair of Joint Ways & Means (budget), and Co-Chair of the Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on General Government. Committee work also includes the Emergency Board, and Transportation and Economic Development.
I’m proud that I was able to pass nearly half of my bills in the 2011 session, and both of my bills in the the 2012 short session. Bills passed include: requiring the Health Authority to develop a strategic plan for recruiting primary care providers; reducing administrative burdens, particularly duplicate audits, on human service program providers; and streamlining criminal background checks. Another of my bills that passed in 2012 thwarts thieves selling stolen jewelry for same-day cash.
Next session I intend to continue work on several ideas including early intervention to prevent child abuse and neglect, and promoting high speed passenger rail and freight rail improvements. Please visit my legislative website for a summary of recent legislative work and links to news releases and newsletters, etc.
Organizations are noticing the work I am doing. For example, I was honored to be recognized in 2012 as a "Children's Champion" by the Oregon Alliance of Children's Programs, which advocates for the needs of children, youth, and families and for those who provide them services. And in 2011 a statewide organization recognized me for my work to safeguard public health and reduce cost and risk by improving procedures for storing vaccine.
We can save taxpayer dollars and maintain services. In 2009, I achieved a significant breakthrough in establishing the Task Force on Efficient Government Services to do just that. Several of my government efficiency bills passed in 2011, and my colleagues were enthusiastic enough about our progress to approve a new task force for 2012 to tackle the next set of opportunities for improvement. If you have ideas on how we can make government more efficient, please let me know!
I am honored to be representing and advocating for the citizens residing on the northern end of Eugene. If you are interested in helping me continue to represent you, please volunteer.
Representative Nancy Nathanson