In the News

 

Public Accountability

House passes bill to standardize Oregon contracts. Statesman Journal. April 23, 2015.

“Building on a promise to bring more transparency and accountability to government, Rep. Nancy Nathanson delivered on it this week when the House passed her bill to bring greater standardization to state contracts. The Eugene Democrat is the chief sponsor of House Bill 2375, which would require state agencies to use standardized forms, templates and other documents approved by the Department of Administrative Services and the Department of Justice instead of the jumble of forms currently used by various state agencies.”

Preparing for “the big one”

Buying a little time: Warning system for catastrophic quakes. Register Guard. July 30, 2015.

“The opportunity to gain a brief advance notice has gained lawmakers’ attention. At the urging of state Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, the 2015 Legislature appropriated $670,000 for the purchase of a network of 15 earthquake detection stations in Oregon from the National Science Foundation. The NSF installed the detectors in 2010 for a research project that ends this year, and would have moved them to Alaska if Oregon hadn’t moved to snap them up for about half their initial cost.”

University expands its role in earthquake early warning system. University of Oregon News. April 29, 2015.

“The University of Oregon will soon be playing an active role in preparing West Coast residents for the next magnitude 9 earthquake. Working in cooperation with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, the UO will maintain 15 seismometers previously owned by the National Science Foundation. […] SB 5543 originated as a proposal by state Rep. Nancy Nathanson. U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio supported that effort by requesting former Gov. John Kitzhaber in May 2014 to include funds in his budget.”

Protecting college students’ wallets

Fees gouging financial-aid college students would evaporate under Oregon House bill passed Wednesday. Oregonlive.com. April 30, 2015

"Students, of course, can ill afford to pay these fees," said Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, a sponsor of House Bill 2832, who carried the legislation on the floor. "It's a heavy burden for them."

New Oregon Law Stops Hidden Fees In College Financial Aid. KLCC Radio. September 28, 2015

Students on financial aid are often issued "debit cards" with which to access their loan money. But Representative Nancy Nathanson who co-sponsored the law, says some companies take advantage of students. "College students, who are some of the most vulnerable least able to pay were getting charged really egregious fees and sometimes before they even realized they were being charged all those fees. Fees for using the card even, it was appalling, fees for not using the card-- a $19 inactivity fee."

Fighting for Oregon’s workers

New laws for fair wages and accountability. Eugene Weekly. March 26, 2015.

“Rep. Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene) is the chief sponsor of HB 3137, a bill that would make it unlawful for employers to make their employees sign off on falsified time cards. In testimony to the House Committee on Business and Labor, she explained that her attention was drawn to the issue by an employee who was forced to document hours in a way that meant the employer wouldn’t have to pay overtime. The employee had worked more than 40 hours a week over the pay period. The employee wasn’t given a copy of the timecard and had no documentation to prove wage theft had occurred.

“Workers subjected to this kind of practice are working long hours to support their family; they’re exploited as they struggle to make ends meet,” Nathanson said. Her draft of HB 3137 would make it illegal for employers to induce employees to sign documents containing false hours worked or compensation received. It would also protect workers from retribution if they reported that their workplace was violating the law. “

Paid sick leave bill passes hurdle in Salem. Bend Bulletin. June 2, 2015.

“If we look in total, Oregon is a good place to do business. The more we (say) it’s not, we’re just doing ourselves a disservice,” said Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene. “Oregon is a great place to do business and we’re trying to make sure it’s a great place to have a job as well.”

Advocating for mental health

State budgets for health and human services near $30 billion. Lund Report. July 7, 2015.

“Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, argued that improvements in community mental health are keeping the state from opening the last two wings because of reduced demand for institutional care. “That’s all that’s needed right now,” she told The Lund Report.”

Increasing access to health care

Making the grade on health care price transparency: Oregon up to "B" from "F". State of Reform. July 26, 2016

"Oregon has received a health care transparency rating of “B” in The 2016 Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws [...]. In every previous edition of the scorecard, Oregon had received an “F” along with most other states in the nation."

"Oregon hospitals are grateful to have had great partners in this effort–especially in the Legislature, where key members were both active and engaged on this,” added Andy Davidson. “We thank Senators Laurie Monnes-Anderson, Jeff Kruse, Alan Bates, Betsy Johnson, and Tim Knopp as well as Representatives Nancy Nathanson, John Lively, Cedric Hayden, John Davis, Bill Kennemer and Brian Clem. These legislators’ focus on health care transparency and their advocacy for the bill underlying this work is truly commendable and we look forward to working with them to move our state further along towards a truly transparent, safe and sustainable health care system."

Islanders get promise of 2016 for insurance program while State refines details. Lund Report. June 25, 2015.

“I want to applaud the advocates for creating awareness about the situation. I don’t think people even understood what COFA was nor what their need for healthcare was,” said Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland. “I appreciate the step forward and appreciate the co-chairs’ willingness and, it sounds like eagerness, to take it on in 2016” -- referring to Bates and Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene.”

Bill to abolish Cover Oregon and move functions to state agency heads to governor's desk. Oregonlive.com. February 27, 2015.

“On a 42-14 vote, the House sent Gov. Kate Brown a measure that would jettison Cover Oregon and fold the operations of the agency into the state Department of Consumer and Business Services.  "We can put an end to an unfortunate chapter in our history," Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, said in support of Senate Bill 1.”

Protecting Oregon’s resources

Oregon legislators protest Nestlé water deal. Statesman Journal. April 23, 2015.

“Nine Oregon legislators are urging Gov. Kate Brown to block a water-rights transfer they say gives the public's water to a multinational corporation for free. The deal "evades public interest review while enabling a private company to extract Oregon's clean water," the lawmakers said in a letter to Brown last week.”

Supporting new and innovative therapies

Legislature asks Brown to sign bill licensing music therapists. The Lund Report. June 23, 2015.

“Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, said the savings to the state would be at least the $30,000 salary of that aide. She cited a Journal of Pediatric Nursing article that found music therapy was shown to be effective in a pediatric cancer unit, reducing the need for painkiller drugs, which can be particularly hazardous for vulnerable children.”

Jobs and economy

A monster deal: A Eugene software firm benefits from an expanded tax incentive. Register Guard. May 11, 2014.

"My committee heard the proposal to expand the film and video (incentive) to other areas of design and creativity ... Oregon is already doing remarkable work in film and video ... now we're encouraging other innovations in design ... "

Helping local programs

Totally cool: a treasure trove of arctic artifacts comes out of cold storage. [Jensen Arctic Collection moves to UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History] Register Guard. May 15, 2014.

The Oregon Legislature, with coordination from State Rep. Nancy Nathanson of Eugene, authorized nearly $1 million in bonds to support the move and storage of the Jensen artifacts...

Making government work smarter: more accountability for public IT contracts

The Privatization Backlash. The Atlantic, April 23, 2014

"I think it's important when you're spending public money, whoever's doing the work needs to have their books open ... We need to see how the money is spent. We need to see performance measures to determine whether something is working. We need accountability."

Cover Oregon: House bill would require independent oversight on large IT projects.  The Oregonian – Yuxing Zheng – Feb. 6, 2014

"We want to make sure that we keep project failures and projects that have gone sideways from happening again in the future," said Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, one of the bill's sponsors.

Cover Oregon: IT contracting oversight bill passes Oregon House.  OregonLive.com – Yuxing Zheng – Feb. 17, 2014

“We need to ensure technology projects will be managed better in the future,” said Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, one of the bill's sponsors. “This bill is an important step. It will make a difference.”

House backs bill targeting technology failures.  Associated Press – Jonathan Cooper – Feb. 18, 2014

The bill is a message to the people who run state technology projects, said Rep. Nancy Nathanson, a Eugene Democrat and a chief sponsor: “We are watching, and we’re making sure there are more eyes watching you than there were in the past."

Nathanson Bill Requires Quality Assurance for IT Projects That Cover Oregon Ignored.  The Lund Report – Chris David Gray

Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, the chief sponsor of HB 4122, said her legislation would require a quality assurance firm like Maximus for all state information technology projects worth more than $5 million and all contracts worth more than $1 million if they meet certain criteria such as if the project will take longer than a year or if it’s critical to the mission of the agency or public corporation.

Saving affordable housing

House OKs bill to assist manufactured home owners.  KTVZ.com – Feb 12, 2014

Presenting a bill in House Chamber

“We have improved the law so it’s easier for park owners and easier for residents,” Nathanson said. “I’m proud that we finally arrived at a compromise that can help people keep the homes they already own, in the neighborhoods where they live.  We’ve crafted a simpler process that meets standard business practices, easier for everyone to work with.”

Saving public libraries

Library supporters stand against cutting branches.  Eugene Register-Guard – Edward Russo – Jan. 22, 2014

State Rep. Val Hoyle, D-Eugene, who represents the Bethel area, and State Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, who represents north Eugene, asked the committee to support the branch libraries. Libraries “provide food for the mind, which is every bit as important as food for the body,” Nathanson said.

On the February session

Salem showdowns: Lawmakers have a lot to tackle in the upcoming abbreviated session.  The Register Guard – Saul Hubbard – Jan. 19, 2014

Rep. Nancy Nathanson, a Eugene Democrat, is working on a bill that would require third-party oversight by a private firm of all public contracts in excess of $1 million. Under the policy, “The reviewer would be checking in at different points during a project when things might be going south,” she said. While there would be a still-undetermined cost to adding such oversight, Nathanson said “it would be well worth it” and “could pay for itself” when expensive projects are prevented from spinning out of control.