New state legislature hopes to address variety of issues in new year

SALEM, Ore.– A new year means a new legislative session in Salem.

More than 20 new lawmakers will start Monday.

Ashland Democratic Senator Jeff Golden said he wants to tackle a lot of issues this year including homelessness, mental health, jobs and wildfire infrastructure.

He said in past years, funding has been easier to come by because of unprecedented amounts of federal money during Covid.

Golden said, “we’ve got some progress and some work to keep doing, none of these problems get solved in a year or two and it’s a real puzzle of how it’s going to get funded.”

Now that the federal Covid dollars are gone, he said finding funding for these projects will be his top priority.

Republican State Representative Kim Wallan said she wants to bring big corporations and jobs specifically to Southern Oregon.

But finding enough land to compete for big businesses, will be challenging.

Jackson and Josephine Counties would need at least two separate thousand acre industrial zones to attract a large corporation.

Wallan said, “there will be more more hybrid opportunities especially for testimony, remote testimony from people down here so I’m very excited about the ability for our people to have their voices heard in Salem in a way that hasn’t always happened before.”

New Oregon Governor Tina Kotek will also give her first address as governor on Monday at 1 p.m.

NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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