Multnomah County approached the 2013 Legislature as a rare opportunity to make gains in Salem that would help provide better programs and services to our 748,000 residents. We are pleased to report that we succeeded in passing most of our priorities and made major strides in working with our state and community partners to develop innovative solutions to budget, infrastructure and service delivery challenges.
With Multnomah County's leadership, we made significant headway on the long-stalled Multnomah County Courthouse rebuilding project; enhanced our ability to use the Wapato Jail facility for additional functions; established health policy that will reduce the number of deaths from opiate overdoses; increased reporting around bed bug infestations, and improved health inspections of restaurants. Multnomah County also led the way in gains to crack down on the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children, and to help our growing population of veterans. We supported efforts to stop Section 8 housing discrimination and to begin repairing the damage from previous changes to the Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral program.
While no legislative scorecard is ever perfect, we are confident the 2013 session laid important groundwork for the 2014 session and for future sessions to lift the unfair state ban on county tobacco taxes; reform outdated state laws on gun safety and voter registration; and make more profound improvements to public safety.
Multnomah County can look forward with optimism to the 2014 session after looking back on this long list of successes in the 2013 session:
You can download a PDF version of the 2013 Legislative Report