Kate Brown Is Awesome
By Dan Neill and Karolina Newcombe
WashCo Dems Communication Committee Members
Has this happened to you? You’re talking to a relative or neighbor, trying to impress upon them the importance of voting in the governor’s race this year, and they look at you and say “But what exactly has Kate Brown done? It doesn’t seem like she has done a whole lot.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Kate has been an accomplished governor, and she has been looking out for her constituents.
Here is a list of only some of the Kate Brown awesomeness which has taken place during her tenure:
- Signed a bill to set a more progressive minimum wage for the state by 2022 ($14.75 PDX, $13.50 mid-size counties, $12.50 rural), making the decision before Disney or Amazon, and recognizing that wage inequality has soared steadily for 40 years.
- Set a state minimum of 40 hours paid sick leave for all jobs.
- Signed a bill banning rent increases for the first year of month-to-month leases and requiring a 90-day notice of increases thereafter, to protect against landlords increasing rent on families too quickly.
- Set up a default-ORSB state-run retirement plan for all employers that don’t offer a retirement plan.
- Endorsed Measure 101, thus securing funding for health care.
- Signed the Cover All Kids bill, which means that 100% of Oregon kids have health care regardless of citizen status.
- Signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which guarantees reproductive health care service without any out of pocket costs.
- Drive times to reach healthcare have decreased significantly for rural counties from 2016–2018.
- Created the Opioid Epidemic Task Force, and declared substance abuse and addiction to be a public health crisis.
- Increased funding for the Oregon Promise program, which allows low-income students to attend community college for as little as $50 a semester and ensures that poverty will not deny students the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
- Launched “Future Ready Oregon” to ensure that the skills Oregon’s workers have match Oregon’s growing business needs, both urban and rural.
- Quadrupled funding for career and technical education.
- The 4-year high school graduation rate has steadily increased by 5% since Governor Brown took office.
- Funded full-day kindergarten for all of Oregon.
- Funded The Chronic Absenteeism Statewide Plan in 2017.
Sensible Gun Laws:
- Closed the “Boyfriend Loophole” by signing the boyfriend loophole bill into law, protecting women who are victims of domestic violence even if the victim was just dating the attacker.
- Signed legislation to enforce universal background checks.
- Passed the Red Flag bill that allows a judge to temporarily take a gun away from someone if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others, leading the country in common sense gun control.
- Negotiated and ensured passage of a historic 10 year $5.3 billion transportation package, improving Oregon infrastructure and creating approximately 16,000 jobs.
- Extended some corporate tax breaks to small businesses.
- Signed into law the Coal to Clean Energy Bill.
- Signed and defended the bill extending Oregon’s clean fuel standards.
- Supports passage of cap and invest on climate pollution.
- Spoke up against offshore drilling.
- Made sure Oregon remained committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Passed ethics reforms to restore trust and accountability in state government, becoming the first governor to appoint a full-time public records attorney and put all public records online. Over 360,000 pages of public records were released.
- Protected Oregon’s status as a Sanctuary State.
- Signed a net funding increase for veterans in 2017 through Measure 96.
- Funded 71 new affordable homes for veterans in 2018.
- Signed the motor voter bill, which automatically registers anyone with a state ID as a voter. This was the first bill Kate signed as governor, and the first law of its kind in the nation.
- Signed an executive order banning state agencies from discrimination based on immigration status, and forbidding the creation of a registry of all Muslims, after some in the Trump administration had floated the idea.
- Passed trans-rights legislation to protect against discrimination in schools.
- Banned gay conversion therapy of minors.
- Created a system for constituents to report police profiling instances, and forced law enforcement agencies in the state to pass formal profiling bans.