It has been a busy week in Salem to say the least. We had our first Ways and Means budget hearing and call-in day. The Senate Chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education said he heard from students on the importance of the Oregon Opportunity Grant budget through many many calls and he will be committed to increasing that budget. Next week students will have a chance to show their fighting spirit for our university budgets and affordable tuition for the next 2 years. This means we need a big showing at the one and only public hearing on March 27th. Yes this is during spring break in Salem at 8:30 in the morning, but if you come to Salem to fight for lower tuition you can also be a part of our lobby day with faculty and staff. Students, better than almost anyone, make the most of their time in Salem.
The obvious and greatest victory of the week was not only the final public hearing for Tuition Equity, but also the final floor vote. Yes, Tuition Equity has passed in Oregon. Governor Kitzhaber looks forward to signing the bill into law. After that the law will be sent to the Oregon Supreme Court for final approval. This has been a decade long fight for the Oregon Student Association and this is an amazing victory for undocumented students all over Oregon.
So what’s next?
- The best chance we have to make the case to fund our universities is the March 27th hearing in front of Ways and Means Education Subcommittee. We will also have a lobby day on March 27th with our faculty and staff members to lobby for our budgets
- The Youth Justice Lobby Day is April 2nd and this is our chance to talk about policy changes that could help more young people seek higher education instead of a life in the criminal justice system.
- Governance amendments will be coming out again next week and you will continue to get updates.
- Cultural Competency for Healthcare Providers is up for a work session next week and the hope is to adopt the amendments and get a due pass vote the same day. The “just good healthcare” coalition will be lobbying consistently between now and then.