“What do you do now that you’re not in session?” That’s a question I get asked often these days, and the answer is that life continues to be extremely busy even when I’m not legislating in Salem.
First, Oregon legislators are “part time” and earn $1,801.00 a month (plus a per diem during session to defray the cost of travel and living in Salem, for those legislators who move to the Capitol). Thus, most lawmakers are either retired or continue to work while serving their two year (House) or four year (Senate) terms, which require either owning one’s own business or working for a very flexible employer.
I’m blessed with the latter, as a real estate and business attorney with the incredible law firm of McEwen Gisvold LLP. When the opportunity to run for State Representative arose, the support of the partners at McEwen Gisvold was invaluable – without them I would not be able to serve in this capacity.
Second, although the 2013 Legislative Session has adjourned, my official duties continue. Oregonians are still hurting, and I do my best to make our State’s government work best for you. As constituents call and email with needs, we try to respond within 24 hours. My incredible Chief of Staff Megan Chuinard continues to serve constituents on a daily basis while I’m working in Portland at McEwen Gisvold. I have also been touring the district with regular speaking engagements, such as with the Wilsonville Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and coming up with the Rotary Club of Wilsonville, and with other individuals and groups who want a wrap-up of the legislative session.
Finally, I have already been working on my legislative agenda for the 2014 “Short” Session that begins early next year. My top priorities are legislation toencourage employers to hire unemployed Oregonians and providing additional encouragement, program support, and incentives for Oregon students and workers to recieve training in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). One analysisshows that in 2012, while there were about 4 unemployed Oregonians for every 1 job opening, in STEM fields there were nearly 2 jobs per 1 unemployed and qualified applicant. Oregon employers are having to look out of state, and out of the country, for qualified engineers, computer programmers, and technical workers.
If you have a need, if a State agency is not working with you, or if you have policy ideas for the 2014 session, please contact me:
900 Court St. NE, H-389
Salem, OR 97301
District Mailing Address:
PO Box 245
Wilsonville, OR 97070
Or use the “Write Your Legislator” feature here.