Senator Jeff Golden holds virtual town hall meeting

SALEM, Ore. – On February 13, Democratic Senator Jeff Golden held the first online town hall of the legislative session.

Senator Golden talked about key points and progress that has been made over the past two weeks of the session.

He says Senate Bill 1537, Governor Kotek’s 500 million dollar housing and land use bill, passed through the Senate Housing Committee. The bill allocates funds for things like homeless shelter support, rental assistance, and land acquisition for affordable housing.

Senate Bill 1508 also passed, capping the price of insulin at 35 dollars a month. Senator Golden says this will keep this lifesaving treatment affordable for Oregonians.

“It’s fairly cheap to manufacture as far as I know, and the price has been ridiculous. At $35 a month, this is really going to help a lot of people,” he says.

Senator Golden also mentioned the bipartisan revision efforts to Measure 110, saying most republicans want to repeal 110 entirely. Advocates say it hasn’t been long enough to see its effectiveness. Senator Golden noted the use of the word “re-criminalization,” that have used when describing the Democratic approaches to Measure 110. Golden says he wants to avoid complete re-criminalization, but that Oregon ultimately lacks the incentive structure for addicts to seek treatment.

“I think “re-criminalize” says to people, we’re going back to the war on drugs, but we don’t have to do that,” said Senator Golden.

Senator Golden also spoke more about his proposal for stable wildfire funding, which includes a severance tax to major timber corporations. He says his proposal is now a study bill and will be brought back to the long legislative session in 2025 on its merits and how it can be improved.

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NBC5 News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Natalie Sirna grew up in Glendora, CA and attended the University of La Verne. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in English, and served as Editor-in-Chief of La Verne Magazine. Her experience as an editor piqued her interest in broadcast journalism. When she's not reading or writing, Natalie enjoys oil painting and playing her electric guitar. Learn more about Natalie in this report:
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