Rep. Rayfield Secures Wins in Short Session

Rayfield Secures Wins in Short Session

CORVALLIS, OR – In the short session where each legislator may introduce a limited number of bills, State Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis and Philomath) successfully shepherded his top two community priorities through the 2016 legislative session. The session began on February 1 and ended March 3. The two bills will provide a needed extension of unemployment benefits to the 180 locked out workers in Albany, and fund economic development through a tax credit to jumpstart innovative ideas emerging from our universities.

“These were big bipartisan wins for our community that will help struggling families and create jobs,” Rayfield said. “Our community played an important role during the session to make sure these bills got over the finish line.”

HB 4086, Rayfield’s top priority, extended unemployment benefits for workers affected by a lockout.  Under existing law, locked out workers lose their unemployment benefits after 6 months.  This bill allows locked out workers’ unemployment benefits to be extended for up to 6 additional months.  “This bill was critical to the 180 locked out workers and families in Albany that recently lost their unemployment benefits,” Rayfield said.  “We had to pass this bill to prevent further economic hardship for these families.”

Rayfield’s other priority was a bipartisan effort with Representative Andy Olson (R-Albany) on HB 4072 to spur innovation and economic development by extending the University Venture Development Fund (UVDF).  The UVDF provides initial funding for innovative ideas coming out of our universities and into the commercial marketplace.  The funding will help get these ideas off the ground and develop into start-up businesses across the state.

“Our universities serve as economic engines for our state and the regions in which they are located.  This bill will foster innovation and expand the role of our universities,” Rayfield said, highlighting the importance of this legislation, which passed the House unanimously.

Both bills passed with significant bipartisan support and will move to the Governor’s desk for her signature in the upcoming weeks.