‘A lot of good things happened’: Oregon’s new governor to deliver message to Trump-supporting state’s population
A new governor in Oregon says the state has a lot of positives to share after a tumultuous first year.
Kate Brown on Tuesday was sworn in by Gov.
John Kitzhaber, who had said in January that Oregon could “probably do without” a new governor, but he has said he will stay on as the new leader.
Brown, a Democrat, will replace longtime Democratic Gov.
Ted Kulongoski, who resigned on Feb. 3 amid the controversy over his decision to sign an executive order barring public officials from using taxpayer money to pay for abortions.
She will take over from Kulongis successor, who has not yet been named.
Brown has vowed to fight for the state’s interests and the needs of the people, and she is taking on the challenge of rebuilding the state from a “toxic mess” that has “lost too many people,” according to a tweet from the governor’s office.
Brown said in her inaugural address that Oregon is “a great place to live, work, raise a family, raise children, and lead a good life.”
But the state is in “tatters” because “we’ve lost too many good people,” Brown said.
Oregon is a great place for people to live.
It is a place where we can raise families and lead good lives.
It’s a place we can work hard, contribute to our communities, and invest in our future.
It doesn’t matter if you are a mom or dad, a retiree or a student, or a member of the military, you can come and visit and enjoy Oregon.
We are a beacon for people who are willing to make hard choices.
The state is struggling to find jobs, and there are now more people leaving Oregon than coming in, according to the governor.
The unemployment rate in the state stood at 8.9 percent last month, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Brown also took a hard line on immigration and promised to enforce federal laws.
“We will enforce the laws of the United States against people who enter our country unlawfully and threaten Oregon families,” Brown told the crowd at the inaugural event.
The president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the director of the ACLU of Oregon, also were on hand to welcome Brown.
“She is a courageous leader, who understands that her policies are a way to protect the rights of our citizens while maintaining Oregon’s role as a leader in protecting and advancing the values of Oregonians,” NACAP President and CEO Matt Ritchie said in a statement.
Brown’s first day as governor was also marked by a major shift in the way Oregon’s state employees receive paychecks.
Oregon now pays its employees a flat-rate base salary, instead of the current rate of about $15 per hour.
That is to help Oregonians who are trying to find work get by on a fixed income.
The base salary is a far cry from the $17.25 that Oregon’s public workers are paid.
It has been around since 2012, and was approved by the Legislature in a bill signed by then-Gov.
John Day in 2017.
The governor’s salary was reduced by half in 2018 to $15, and it will be cut again to $12 in 2019, the year the state will transition to a flat salary.
The change means Oregonians earning $15 or less will be paying $11 more annually in 2017 and $12.25 in 2018, according a news release from the Oregon Department of Labor and Industries.
Oregon’s top employers have been paying more than $100 million in bonuses to their top executives this year, according an analysis by the Oregon Business Council.
The Oregon Legislature approved a $1 billion state fund in 2017 to pay bonuses to public employees and other public workers, with the governor signing a $500 million bond bill to fund it in 2021.
The new governor has said that she will use the money to increase the minimum wage in Oregon to $11.50 per hour by 2020, as well as a $10.10 per hour increase for public sector employees in 2019.
The minimum wage for federal workers was raised to $10 an hour in 2018 and has since remained at that level.
The increase was supposed to kick in in 2019 but did not happen.