Democrat Herald Editorial: Linn lawsuit shows frustration with state

administrator, 06/01/2016 2:56 pm

Good editorial from the Democrat Herald:

Linn County officials are expected to take their latest grievance with the state of Oregon to court today, as they file a lawsuit claiming that the state’s new rules on sick leave represent an unfunded mandate.

The legal action is a sequel of sorts to a suit the county filed earlier this year, claiming that the state’s management of forest trust lands has cost it (and other counties) millions of dollars that could have gone to vital government services. That lawsuit argues that the state’s management of the lands amounts to a breach of contract.

Like the forest lawsuit, Linn County has company in its sick-leave case — Roger Nyquist, chairman of the county commission, said he expects a half-dozen or so other counties to join the action as plaintiffs.

And the case likely has a sympathetic ear in the form of state Rep. Andy Olson of Albany, who this week fired off a letter to legislative leaders noting what he called “numerous and serious problems” with the bill. Olson’s letter focused on issues that the law, which went into effect Jan. 1, has created for public school districts.

Among the issues Olson mentioned in his letter (to see the complete letter, check out the online version of this editorial):

• For many years, school districts have operated under a separate state law requiring they provide sick leave to employees. But Olson said that law doesn’t match up well with the new sick-leave law.

• The law allows school districts to either front-load leave for employees or to have them accrue time. The problem, Olson said, is that the districts operate under a process arrived at through collective bargaining that is different than how the law operates. That leads to unintended consequences and serious equity issues, particularly between full-time and part-time hourly employees…

Click here to read the full editorial.

Olson Assigned to New Transportation Committee

administrator, 05/19/2016 7:24 pm

Nice article from Mike McInally at the Albany Democrat-Herald:

“What’s a nice state representative like Andy Olson doing inserting himself into what almost certainly will be one of the most contentious issues of the 2017 legislative session?

Legislative leaders recently announced a panel of lawmakers charged with working up a transportation package for next year’s session. Olson, the Albany Republican, is on the panel; apparently, Olson thought he hadn’t paid sufficient dues during his time working on another high-profile issue — namely, how the state would implement the legalization of marijuana after voters approved Ballot Measure 91 in 2014.

The job of the transportation committee (which includes another mid-valley legislator, Sen. Fred Girod of Stayton), will be to wade again into the midst of an issue that had a spectacular flameout during the 2015 session. That Olson, he knows how to pick ‘em, eh?

Olson also knows this transportation package is a big deal for Oregon: “Our bridges need updating, our roads need maintenance, and we need a plan of action to ensure the best possible transportation for ALL of Oregon,” he said…”

Click here to read the full article

Children’s Champion Award

administrator, 03/28/2016 2:48 pm

Recently, the Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs presented me with the Children’s Champion Award.

The award recognizes individuals dedicated to positively impacting children and children’s programs while displaying great efforts to support runaway or homeless youth and education.

I am honored to receive this award and will continue advocating for our youth.

Honoring our Soldiers is a Top Priority

administrator, 03/27/2016 2:55 pm

In important column from the Philomath Express discussing Spc. Cody Patterson and the Heroes Highway Project.

During an interview a few minutes before last week’s concurrent resolution involving Spc. Cody Patterson and the establishment of a roadside memorial sign, Rep. Andy Olson described the process as a stirring moment on the House floor.

The congressman wasn’t kidding.

Following its adoption, members of the House stood up and turned to Cody’s mother, grandmother, aunt and two of his sisters in unison for a standing ovation. It was, indeed, a stirring moment.

“I didn’t know what I was coming into when I first came in,” said Cody’s mother, Nancy Wilson. “I thought they were just going to say a few words and put it through and we would just be witnesses to that. I didn’t know they were going to honor the family as well, so I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

Spc. Patterson died Oct. 6, 2013, in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan.

Nancy and I sat down together outside the legislative chamber and talked about what had just occurred. While we had been chatting briefly before the event, she mentioned just how special her community has been. Specifically, she believes Philomath will never forget her son…

Click here to read the entire column

Rep. Olson receives Law Enforcement Champion Award!

administrator, 10/13/2015 6:13 pm

Many of you know I retired with the Oregon State Police after 29 years of service. Public safety and protecting our communities through community policing has always been a top priority of mine. Recently, Representative Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) and I received the Law Enforcement Champion Award. This is only awarded to elected officials who are actively involved in supporting law enforcement legislation, engage with integrity and goodwill, and make outstanding contributions to law enforcement. Needless to say, I am honored to receive this award and will continue advocating for community policing.

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