Senate Democrats showcase jobs, business agenda for February

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Excerpts from Senate Democrat February 2010 Agenda

Getting Oregonians Back to Work

Last session, through our investments in transportation, infrastructure, health care, and affordable housing we created and maintained thousands of family-wage jobs in all 36 counties. In the February session, we will continue to prioritize preserving existing jobs, creating new jobs, and giving unemployed Oregonians new opportunities to return to the workforce. Senate Democrats will do this by:

• Supporting unemployed Oregonians by providing emergency benefits for an estimated 18,600 workers so they can feed their families while continuing to look for work

• Providing oversight and accountability over the 2009 session jobs packages to make sure our investments are putting Oregonians back to work

• Eliminating unreasonable barriers to obtaining employment

Supporting Small Businesses

Small businesses are the economic backbone of our state. Thousands of general contractors, health care providers, and tradesmen and women will have work because of our initiatives to create jobs and protect small businesses from additional financial burdens during this recession. In February, we will continue to help Oregon employers rebuild their workforce and restore our vibrant economy by:

• Supporting community businesses by making it easier to access small business loan programs

• Removing barriers to small businesses’ ability to provide access to affordable health insurance

Accountable and Transparent Government

Just like families across Oregon, the Legislature must balance its checkbook and respond to changing needs. During February, Oregon Senate Democrats will continue to promote accountability and make sure that we are getting the greatest value out of every tax dollar while ensuring that state government is delivering services with maximum efficiency. Senate Democrats will accomplish this by:

• Modernizing state government to make it more responsive to Oregonians’ needs and increasing financial accountability by referring annual sessions to voters

• Providing enhanced oversight over state agency operations to ensure taxpayers are getting the greatest value for every dollar spent