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2019 Legislative Preview: Should We Fear or Cheer the Supermajority?

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Democrats rode a blue wave to a supermajority in the Legislature and Governor Brown has ambitious policy goals, including finding $2 billion for education. How much of the Democrats' agenda will make it to the Governor's desk this summer? Will Republicans look for opportunities to compromise or are they forming their own "resistance" in the hopes that a red wave will carry them in 2020?Join us as we discuss the politics and policy goals of 2019 with Oregon House and Senate leaders from both parties.PanelistsCarl Wilson (R) grew up in Josephine County. Out of high school, he served in the U.S. Navy. For several decades, his family has owned and operated local radio stations KAJO and KLDR. As a local business owner, he’s led an active role in support of community events in Grants Pass.Wilson served as State Representative from 1998-2003, and returned to Salem again in 2014. Following the 2018 midterm elections he was voted to lead the House Republican Caucus in Salem.Wilson’s legislative efforts have focused on creating new jobs and economic development opportunities in Josephine County, improving the education system, and advocating for balanced budgets and reduced spending.Jennifer Williamson (D) is the Majority Leader of the Oregon House of Representatives – a position she has held since 2015. During her time in the Oregon House, she has led the effort o require background checks on all gun purchases, fought to secure the largest education budget in Oregon’s history and fund all-day kindergarten statewide for the first time ever, helped expand access to contraception, and supported a statewide paid sick leave law.Jennifer got her start in politics on the campus of the University of Oregon, where her own struggle with college affordability led her to become an advocate for every student. After working for then Sen. Mark Hatfield, Williamson attended law school and went into private practice. She then worked in education policy at Portland State University and as chief of staff for Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction, Susan Castillo. Jennifer, a fourth-generation Oregonian, has served in the Oregon House of Representatives since 2012.Ginny Burdick is currently serving as the Majority Leader of the Oregon Senate, after serving five years as Senate President Pro Tempore. She represents Oregon Senate District 18, which includes portions of West Portland and Tigard.First elected to the Senate in 1996, Burdick has served as chair of the Judiciary Committee, the Finance and Revenue Committee, and co-chair of the Marijuana Legalization Committee. She currently chairs the Senate Committee on Rules and Executive Appointments. Senator Burdick is one of the Legislature's leading advocates for gun safety legislation. Sen. Burdick was raised in Portland. She attended Chapman and Bridlemile elementary schools and is a graduate of Wilson High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Puget Sound and her masters in journalism from the University of Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, competitive scrabble, and attending her book groups.ModeratorDick Hughes has been covering the Oregon political scene since the 1970s, starting with Tom McCall. Hughes estimates he has written more than 15,000 news stories, editorials, columns, briefs, magazine essays and newsletter items… and nearly 16,000 social media posts. After more than 20 years as editorial page editor at the Statesman Journal in Salem, Hughes now is a freelance journalist operating as Hughesisms LLC. His weekly Oregon politics column—Capital Chatter—is posted every Friday on OregonCapitalInsider.com. 

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