Join Us! OBA, Partners to Host Regional Economic Forums


Regional Forums


Please join us as we launch our summer regional economic forums across the state in support of our top legislative work plan priorities in 2014 to RESTORE RURAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES, BUILD THE MIDDLE CLASS, and INVEST IN EDUCATION. See dates and locations below. RSVP now!


Oregon is recovering from the Great Recession but we have yet to realize our full economic potential. Each of the state’s diverse regions face its own set of challenges and opportunities.

To drive future job and income growth, we need a demand-driven, bottom-up strategy that builds on the priorities, assets and opportunities identified by individual regions throughout Oregon–and we must ensure that the state’s tools, policies and programs are aligned with regional needs.

We need your perspective to make this happen!

In July and August, Business Oregon and the Oregon Business Plan, in partnership with the Regional Solutions Centers, Oregon Business Association and Associated Oregon Industries, will hold regional economic forums around the state with businesses, elected leaders and service providers.

OBA Board member Bill Smith of William Smith Properties, Inc., Bend, (pictured above) is one of several OBA leaders participating in the regional tour.

These economic framework forums build on needs already identified by regions and will be an opportunity to:

  • Identify specific ways to accelerate progress on economic priorities in different parts of Oregon
  • Explore current programs and policies, asking: What’s working? What’s missing?
  • Examine how to enhance our state-regional and public-private partnerships

The result of these sessions will have immediate use. They will help inform Business Oregon’s economic development strategy and priorities, and help shape the policy discussion of the Oregon Business Plan.
You are invited to attend the forum of your choice.  All forums will be held from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

We’re looking forward to your participation!

Region Date
South Central Oregon: Klamath Falls July 16
Southern Oregon: Medford July 17
Greater Eastern Oregon: Ontario July 24
Central Oregon: Redmond/Bend July 29
Mid-Willamette Valley: Salem July 31
North Coast: Astoria Aug 5
Portland Metro, AM (Entrepreneurial & innovation focused) Aug 6
Portland Metro, PM Aug 6
Northeast Oregon: Pendleton Aug 13
North Central Oregon: The Dalles Aug 14
South-Willamette Valley: Eugene Aug 18
South-Central Coast: Coos Bay Aug 19

Please RSVP
at your earliest convenience to join the conversation. Your input is critical in helping to set the state’s economic strategy. To the left is the schedule of locations and dates. Your registration confirmation will contain location details and other information.

Filed under: Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

OBA Announces Early Endorsements

Election 2014: OBA Endorses Legislative Champions

Oregon Business Association’s Political Action Committee (PAC) today announced its early support of members of the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate running in the November 2014 general election. John Russell, President of Russell Development Co. is OBA PAC Chair.

“This is our chance every two years to recognize a group of leaders in the state who make tough decisions to enhance Oregon’s economic competitiveness and quality of life,” Russell said.

OBA’s PAC supports candidates from both sides of the aisle. Ultimately, OBA seeks to support independently-minded individuals who are balanced in their approach to solutions and have a clear vision of how to help grow the state’s economy.

PAC members spent the past several weeks meeting with candidates and learning more about their goals and ideas. Candidates were given the opportunity to meet with the PAC for a 30-minute interview, and answered a questionnaire. Those who attended were asked the same set of questions regarding their goals and statewide issues.

Each of these candidates has a positive record of leadership on OBA issues, and also has the potential to champion OBA issues in the future.

OBA will host a bi-partisan reception celebrating these legislators and their accomplishments on Tuesday, April 29 in downtown Portland.

Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario

Representative Cliff Bentz has served in the Oregon House since his appointment in 2008. He holds degrees from Eastern Oregon State College and Lewis & Clark University. His professional experience includes working as an attorney and Partner at Yturri Rose, LLP. Bentz is also a farmer and owner/operator of a real estate business and an advocate for rural education and economic development.

John Davis, R-Wilsonville

Representative John Davis is fourth-generation Oregonian, a native of Clackamas and Washington counties, a husband, a father, and a business and real estate attorney.  Davis graduated summa cum laude from George Fox University, then dedicated a year of service through the AmeriCorp*VISTA program where he served as Programs Director for a community non-profit. He was elected to the Oregon House in 2012 and elected Republican Deputy Leader in 2013. Davis is an advocate for increasing school days in Oregon, as well as supporting technology, innovation and education to revitalize Oregon’s economy.

Val Hoyle, D-West Eugene

Representative Val Hoyle was sworn in to represent House District 14 in the Oregon Legislature on September 29th 2009. She is currently House Majority Leader. Hoyle has 32 years of experience as an advocate, community volunteer, campaign worker and small business professional. Hoyle has worked as a legislative aide and policy analyst for State Senator Floyd Prozanski and prior to the 2011 Session she was the director of the 100% access initiative for United Way of Lane County. The 100% access initiative brings health care and community leaders together to provide affordable and accessible health care to the people of Lane County. Hoyle also has a successful business background with 25 years of experience in domestic and international sales, wholesale distribution and retail management in the sporting goods industry. She has worked for bicycle manufacturers Burley Design, LLC and Cane Creek, LLC to improve sales and marketing systems in the U.S. and internationally.

John Huffman, R-The Dalles
Representative John Huffman was appointed to the Oregon House in 2007 after years of raising a family, running businesses and serving his community in The Dalles. Huffman is an active member of The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, and has served on its Economic Development Committee for many years.  He helped efforts to attract Google to the Port of The Dalles, as well as to develop the National Scenic Area Discovery Center. As an appointee to the Bi-State Advisory Council, Huffman helped direct millions of dollars in grants and loans to economic development projects throughout the Columbia River Gorge.

Mark Johnson, R-Hood River

Representative Mark Johnson is a long-time resident of District 52. He grew up in the community of Parkdale and attended Hood River County schools from grade 1-12. After attending Whitworth College in Spokane, Johnson moved back to Hood River. He was elected to his first term in the State House of Representatives in November of 2010 and was then re-elected to his second term in November of 2012. During the 2013 session, Johnson served on the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee and Consumer Protection and Government Efficiency Committee. He was also appointed to Vice Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee.

Tina Kotek, D-Portland
Representative Tina Kotek is serving her fourth term in the Oregon House. Serving as Speaker of the House during the 2013 Legislative Session, Kotek made education and economic development her priorities. She led the effort to make a historic $6.75 billion re-investment in public education, working to rehire teachers, bring down class sizes, and add school days.  She also oversaw a number of efforts to speed the economic recovery, help more Oregon students access a higher education, and strengthen opportunities for Oregon’s middle class families. Kotek holds a B.S. in religious studies from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in international studies from the University of Washington. She lives in the Kenton neighborhood of North Portland.

John Lively, D-Springfield
An Oregon native, Representative John Lively was born in LaGrande and raised in Springfield. He graduated from Thurston High School, Lane Community College, and the University of Oregon. He spent four years serving our country in the Army Security Agency during the Vietnam War. He has called Springfield home for 49 years. He served as mayor of Springfield from 1976-1985. Lively was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. Lively is a champion of removing barriers on new businesses or the ability of existing business to expand. He also supports working with local communities to support their job creation efforts.

Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Bay

Representative Caddy McKeown was elected to represent District 9 in the Oregon House of Representatives in November 2012. Her priorities include reinvesting in public education, fostering a friendly business environment in Oregon, and maintaining critical services for Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens. McKeown was born and raised in Coos Bay, the daughter of a nurse and a small business owner. Her family has lived on the Oregon Coast for four generations. McKeown attended Coos Bay public schools and went on to study at both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, where she earned her degree.

Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte

Representative Mike McLane, House Republican Leader, has deep roots in rural Oregon. He grew up in Condon, where he worked summers on local farms and ranches. He was active in sports, 4-H, and FFA. He attended Oregon State University where he received a degree in Agricultural Resource Economics in 1987. McLane values the needs of rural communities as they fight to retain jobs and attract new economic opportunities. In addition to serving on the Prineville/Crook County Economic Advisory Board, McLane is an attorney in Central Oregon with Miller Nash, LLP. He is known for fighting on behalf of small businesses and those in agriculture to make sure their efforts are rewarded.


Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem
The most veteran member of the Oregon Legislature, Senator Peter Courtney is now serving a record-setting sixth term as Senate President. Courtney was first selected Senate President in 2003 when the Senate was evenly divided with 15 Democrats and 15 Republicans. He was re-elected as the chamber’s presiding officer in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. He previously served seven terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, including four terms as House Democratic Leader. Courtney began his career in public service in 1974 as a member of the Salem City Council, where he served until 1980. He also was a member of the Salem Area Mass Transit Board. Born June 18, 1943, in Philadelphia, Courtney was raised in Virginia, West Virginia and Rhode Island. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master’s Degree in public administration from the University of Rhode Island. He earned a law degree from Boston University.

Chris Edwards, D-Eugene
Senator Chris Edwards, the only member of the Oregon Senate under the age of 40, is a sixth-generation Oregonian born in Roseburg. He spent his early years in Bandon and later his family moved to Eugene where he attended middle school and high school. Edwards earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and served as the fees chair for the OSU Student Government. After graduation from Oregon State, he  returned to Eugene to learn the ins and outs of the family’s forest products business. He was the General Manager of the company for the last three years of his work there. In 2006, Edwards was elected to serve in the Oregon House of Representatives. He served in the Oregon House for three years, before being unanimously appointed by the Lane County Commission to serve in the Oregon Senate. After his appointment, Edwards sought and won election to serve the 126,000+ constituents of Senate District 7. In addition to his service in the Oregon Senate, Edwards is the founding partner of an international export representation and consulting business that helps U.S. companies develop sales and distribution channels in Asia.

Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose

Senator Betsy Johnson is serving her second term in the Oregon Senate. She joined the Senate after being appointed to fill the District 16 position formerly held by Senator Joan Dukes. The appointment came as Betsy began her 3rd term in the Oregon House of Representatives. Her father, the late Sam Johnson, was a member of the House of Representatives from Redmond. Her mother, Becky Johnson, has served on numerous State Boards, including the State Board of Higher Education and the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission. Betsy received her undergraduate degree in History from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and her Law degree from the Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College. A licensed commercial pilot of both fixed and rotor-wing aircraft, she founded Transwestern Helicopters, Inc. in 1978. In September 1993, Betsy was selected as Manager of the Aeronautics Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation, a position she held until September 1998. During the 1999 Legislative Session she was Vice President for Legislative Affairs for the Oregon Pilots Association, where she successfully championed legislation that created the Oregon Department of Aviation. In the 2013 Legislative Session, Johnson was appointed to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means where she has served since her first session. In addition to serving as Vice Co-Chair of the Full Ways & Means Committee, her 2013 legislative duties included co-chair of the Transportation & Economic Development Subcommittee of Ways & Means, member of the General Government Subcommittee of Ways & Means, the Economic & Community Development Commission and member of the Legislative Administration Committee.

Bruce Star, R-Hillsboro

Senator Bruce Starr is a successful small businessman who cares about Oregon and its future as one of the best places to live and raise a family in America. Starr is a native of Hillsboro and a graduate of Portland State University. After graduating from PSU, the young entrepreneur started his own construction company focused on residential and commercial roofing and repair. His experience as a small business owner gave him a first-hand look at the challenges of growing a business and creating jobs. In 2002, Starr joined the Portland Business Alliance, Portland’s chamber of commerce. He focused on business development with an emphasis on international trade and from there started a new company, Cutting Edge NW, representing companies navigating the complex regulatory and tax codes at the state and federal level. Since 1999, Starr has served in the Oregon state legislature, in both the House and Senate. His priorities have reflected the needs of a rapidly growing region including education reform, transportation investments, and economic development incentives. He has been a leader on issues impacting the state’s economy and has focused on ways to make it easier for small businesses to grow and thrive.

Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River

Senator Chuck Thomsen is a fourth generation orchardist from Hood River, Oregon.  He graduated from Hood River High School in 1975, and went on to graduate from Willamette University with a degree in Political Science and Economics. As an orchardist, Thomsen learned the value of hard work, a dedication to his community, and the importance of remaining honest and trustworthy in all his endeavors. Thomsen has served as a volunteer firefighter with the Pine Grove Fire Department for thirty years. In addition, he has been an active volunteer in the community as a coach and referee for Little League and OSAA youth sports. He has been a past Rotary President and volunteered for a large number of varying community groups. He was appointed to serve on the Hood River Planning Commission in 1990 where he served four years before running for Hood River County Commission in 1994.  Since first being elected, Chuck has served as a Hood River County Commissioner for 16 years. With the combined hard work of his colleagues on the Commission, Thomsen has been instrumental in balancing the budget, creating jobs and protecting businesses in their county.

Filed under: OBA in the News,Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

OBA Endorses Governor Kitzhaber

In an unprecedented early endorsement, the Oregon Business Association Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors announced today that it has formally endorsed Governor John Kitzhaber for re-election.

The governor recently announced that he will run for a historic fourth term in office.

 “It’s no surprise that the national media has paid so much attention to Oregon because Governor Kitzhaber has shown the country how to govern by bringing people together,” said John Russell, founder of Russell Development, OBA PAC Board Chair. (Pictured at left) “John Kitzhaber has proven himself to be the energetic, forceful and innovative leader that Oregon has needed to produce big results. We need those qualities for the next four years to tackle the daunting issues still facing us,” Russell said.

OBA’s early support is a not only a statement of confidence but a testament to the Governor’s balanced style of leadership, his work ethic and his ability to find the common ground necessary to make progress on difficult and politically charged issues.

“OBA prides itself on representing a balanced voice and Governor Kitzhaber has demonstrated a true commitment to taking on tough, seemingly intractable problems and getting results for Oregonians and our economy,” said OBA President Ryan Deckert.

OBA supports candidates from both sides of the aisle. The organization seeks to support independently-minded individuals who are balanced in their approach to solutions and have a clear vision to help grow the state’s economy.

Gov. Kitzhaber speaking at OBA’s annual Statesman Dinner in October, 2013. 

Filed under: OBA in the News,Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

THANK YOU! House Passes Bridge Funding

The Oregon House approved a bill today in a  45-11 (4 excused) vote authorizing the state to issue $450 million in bonds to fund the state’s portion of a $3.4 billion project that would replace the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River. The Senate is expected to vote March 4.

We applaud our legislators for approving this legislation and encourage the Senate to do the same. As stated in OBA’s 2013 Legislative Agenda, “OBA supports investing in the transportation projects necessary to increase Oregon’s economic competitiveness in the global market….It is imperative that Oregon commit to this funding in 2013 before the window of opportunity to leverage federal funding closes.”

YES Votes:

Representative Jules Bailey
Representative Jeff Barker
Representative Phil Barnhart
Representative Cliff Bentz
Representative Vicki Berger
Representative Deborah Boone
Representative Peter Buckley
Representative Kevin Cameron
Representative Brian Clem
Representative Jason Conger
Representative John Davis
Representative Michael Dembrow
Representative Margaret Doherty
Representative Shemia Fagan
Representative Joe Gallegos
Representative Chris Garrett
Representative Sara Gelser
Representative Vic Gilliam
Representative David Gomberg
Representative Chris Gorsek
Representative Mitch Greenlick
Representative Chris Harker
Representative Paul Holvey
House Democratic Leader Val Hoyle
Representative John Huffman
Representative Bob Jenson
Representative Mark Johnson
Representative Bill Kennemer
Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer
Representative Betty Komp
Speaker Tina Kotek
Representative John Lively
Representative Greg Matthews
Representative Caddy McKeown
House Republican Leader Mike McLane
Representative Nancy Nathanson
Representative Andy Olson
Representative Julie Parrish
Representative Tobias Read
Representative Jeff Reardon
Representative Dennis Richardson
Representative Greg Smith
Representative Ben Unger
Representative Jessica Vega Pederson
Representative Jennifer Williamson
Representative Brad Witt

*Excused: Reps. Barton, Freeman, Thatcher, Weidner


Filed under: Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

OBA Board Takes Action On Major Issues

Board Supports Clean Fuels Program and Oregon Opportunity Initiative
At the quarterly Board of Directors meeting January 30, members heard from key legislators on the big issues facing Oregon, ranging from revenue reform to education and healthcare redesign. Sen. Ginny Burdick reported on revenue and finance; Rep. Andy Olson discussed corrections reform; Rep. Mark Johnson reported on PERS; Rep. Tobias Read commented on the I-5 Bridge Replacement; and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward provided an overview of the 2013 session. (Pictured below from left to right).

The board accepted an Environment & Economic Development Policy Committee recommendation to uphold OBA’s standing policy in support of the Clean Fuels Program and voted in favor of support for the Oregon Opportunity Initiative with the caveat that details of the proposal may be refined during the session.

Filed under: Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

2013 Legislative Session: Oregon’s Comeback

View the full 2013 Legislative Agenda HERE

In 2011, OBA and its members developed and advocated for an ambitious 2011 Legislative Agenda that moved the conversation forward on critical issues facing Oregon. OBA worked hard during the 2012 session to further its agenda and pass critical Education and Health Care Reforms.

We are keeping the momentum rolling with an aggressive set of policy goals for 2013 that range from Corrections Reform to the Columbia River Crossing. We will keep you informed in the months ahead as we continue our efforts towards strengthening Oregon’s quality of life and long-term economic competitiveness in the 2013 Regular Session.

  • Stay Informed! Sign up for OBA Balanced Voice eNews! Send an email to Gina Williams, Public Affairs Director,


Filed under: Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

OBA Presents Statesman Awards, Honors Oregon Health Care Reform Leaders

Oregon Business Association Statesman Dinner

Oregon Business Association Statesman Dinner

Tom Kelly

Sen. Alan Bates

Statesman Reception

Statesman Reception

Statesman Reception

Statesman Award Honorees

Lillian Shirley

Oregon Business Association Statesman Dinner

Congressman Kurt Schrader

Oregon Business Association Statesman Dinner

Ron Shaich

Nik Blosser, OBA Board of Directors Chair

Nancy Jacobson, Founder, No Labels

Nancy Jacobson

Mark Penn


Mark Penn and April Baer

Mark Penn and April Baer

Celebrating leaders who put policy before party for the greater good was the theme of the night as the Oregon Business Association honored a team of 11 “Health Care Heroes” with its prestigious Statesman of the Year Award.

Each year, OBA presents its Statesman award to leaders and visionaries exemplify the definition of Statesman as one who promotes the common good of the citizens of Oregon with great wisdom and integrity.

In addition to the awards, nationally recognized speakers Mark Penn and Ron Shaich addressed the audience of about 550 attendees. Penn served as chief political strategist and pollster for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and was recently hired by Microsoft as Corporate VP, Strategic and Special Projects. Penn presented remarks on the “New American Electorate” and participated in a question-and-answer session with April Baer of Oregon Public Broadcasting, offering his views on the upcoming November elections.

Congressman Kurt Schrader introduced business leader Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread and co-founder of No Labels. Shaich spoke passionately about the importance of breaking gridlock in Washington D.C. by pushing elected leaders to work together.

 Previous OBA Statesman Dinner keynote speakers have included U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

A tribute video celebrating this year’s Statesman of the Year honorees and highlighting Oregon’s extraordinary bipartisan efforts to bring about health care reform is posted on OBA’s YouTube Channel at:

 Footage of the event itself, including keynote presentations and the awards ceremony, will soon be available as well.

More photos HERE

 The 2012 OBA Statesman of the Year Award Honorees are:


  • Commissioner Tammy Baney, Deschutes County
  • Sen. Alan Bates, Senate District, Ashland
  • Dr. George Brown, CEO, Legacy Health
  • Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, Roseburg
  • Rep. Tim Freeman, House District 2, Roseburg
  • Megan Haase, FNP, CEO, Mosaic Medical, Prineville
  • Rep. Tina Kotek, House District 44, North Portland
  • Andrew McCulloch, CEO, Kaiser Permanente
  • Dr. Joe Robertson, President, OHSU
  • Lillian Shirley, Director, Multnomah County Health Department
  • Greg Van Pelt, Chief Executive, Providence Health & Services – Oregon Region
Filed under: Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

Breaking News: Sen. Morse Announces Retirement

A Statesman Hangs up His Boots

Today, in an unexpected move, Oregon Sen. Frank Morse announced that he is retiring from the Senate effective September 17.

Morse was a 2007 recipient of OBA’s highest honor, the Statesman of the Year Award. He represents the Corvallis-Albany region and has served the citizens of Oregon as a remarkably thoughtful state Senator.

“Frank has been everything you could want in a public servant – thoughtful, independent and non-partisan. He doesn’t care about party. He cares about Oregon,” said Ryan Deckert, OBA President. “We will all miss you, Frank, and the sense of stability you brought to public discourse.”

Morse was first elected to the state Senate in 2002 following a lifelong career in business as the President and CEO of Morse Bros. Inc., a leading Oregon construction materials company. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2010. A successor will be appointed by the Boards of Commissioners in Benton and Linn Counties within 30 days from the date of resignation.

View the 2007 Statesman Award tribute to Morse here:

In other news…..
OBA Panel Addresses Senate Finance Committee

As members of OBA’s working group on tax competitiveness and the OBA Business & Finance Policy Committee, a panel of OBA experts testified before the Senate Finance & Revenue Committee today (9/14/12) during its discussion of Oregon tax competitiveness.

Harvey Platt, former owner of Platt Electric; Randy Miller, President, The Moore Company; and Erik Amos, Tax Director, Columbia Sportswear, shared their views and the work of OBA on how Oregon can become more competitive in regards to state tax structure.

Platt, quoting figures from an annual CEO survey, said Oregon’s competitiveness rating has slipped from 24th place in the nation in 2009 to 42nd place in 2012.

The panel’s discussion topics ranged from single sales to capital gains to income tax to competition with neighboring states with different tax structures.

“Hopefully we will have the gumption to overcome political obstacles and achieve true tax reform,” said Platt.

OBA Board takes NO position on Ballot Measure 79, constitutional preemption of Real Estate Excise Tax; Issues Statements on 84 and 85

We met with campaign officials from both sides of several issues of statewide importance as part of the retreat. During the session, the Board evaluated Ballot Measures 79, 84 and 85.

The board voted to oppose Ballot Measure 79, which would change the state constitution to prevent future legislation to allow a Real Estate Transfer Tax that is already prohibited by state statute.

The board also issued statements on measures 84 and 85, urging leaders to focus on true, statewide tax reform. Read the full press release HERE

Filed under: Oregon Elections — OBA Staff

Oregon election results set the stage for bipartisan solutions

The Oregon Business Association has never yielded on our commitment to a balanced voice, and our belief that bipartisanship and teamwork are the only ways to solve Oregon’s intractable public finance issues. Our endorsement process, public statements, publications and policy agenda have displayed our determined pursuit of these values.

OBA sees great opportunity in this unprecedented challenge – the only way out is by working toward and finding consensus to solve critical issues facing the state. We believe this next legislature will be defined by the following policy agenda:

Public Finance. Oregon’s per capita income has declined over the last 15 years, but the cost of certain government services has and will continue to increase. This leaves Oregon facing a decade of deficits if the cost of state services is not addressed. The OBA Economic Crisis Task Force has developed specific recommendations for public finance redesign, reducing the cost of state government while delivering better outcomes for Oregonians.  The taskforce is chaired by Matt Chapman with the Northwest Evaluation Association.

K-12 Funding and Reform. As a result of declining investment in education, Oregon’s incoming workforce is less educated than our retiring workforce. To ensure that every Oregonian has access to education that prepares them for life, OBA has been working with our partners to identify priority areas for reform including: improving statewide governance; increasing accountability; maximizing teacher quality; adopting rigorous standards; and closing the achievement gap.  OBA’s K-12 reform efforts are lead by Morgan Anderson (Intel) and Julia Brim-Edwards (Nike).

Higher Education. Oregon’s economy relies on a highly-skilled and trained workforce to meet the economic demands of the present and the future. However, investment in higher education has declined drastically in the last 20 years, causing a corresponding decrease in educational attainment. OBA is working with our partners in the business and higher education communities to give the University system expanded autonomy to achieve its goal of educating students more efficiently and effectively.  Ruth Beyer (Stoel Rives) and Jill Eiland (Intel) are heading up OBA’s higher education agenda.

Health Care. Oregon has an opportunity to lead in health insurance and health care reform efforts. OBA developed a set of recommendations on the structure and implementation of a health insurance exchange to provide transparency for the public and ensure that access, quality and cost reductions are priorities in the system.  Ross Dwinell with Western Benefits, Inc. chairs OBA’s Health Policy Committee.

The OBA Board of Directors will finalize its legislative agenda next week. We look forward to working with our partners and elected officials on these critical issues and making Oregon a better place to live, work and do business.

Let the campaigning end and the governing begin!

Filed under: Oregon Elections — bCl0n3d