Oregon Leadership Summit: Preview of heavyweight event, how to follow coverage – OregonLive.com
Top government and business officials will gather Monday at the Oregon Leadership Summit, where Gov. Kate Brown and legislative Democrats are set to offer hints of their 2016 legislative agenda.
Brown, legislative leaders and executives from Intel and Columbia Sportswear are scheduled to speak at the summit, put on by the Oregon Business Council and regarded as a must-see for heavyweights in Oregon business and politics.
Brown will speak twice at the summit, first as part of a panel on education and then to give the keynote address. Her spokeswoman, Kristen Grainger, said the keynote address would focus on the state’s economy and how to bridge the growing divide between the prosperous Portland area and the state’s still-struggling rural counties.
“She’s discussing her blueprint for moving Oregon forward and getting Oregon back on track so that more Oregonians can benefit from the state’s economic recovery,” Grainger said.
The education panel will include remarks about one of Brown’s go-to policy issues: technical and career-focused education programs, which Brown has said the state must do more to fund. The governor also will unveil her broad vision for education and her intention to improve Oregon’s education rate.
At 12:30 p.m., House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, is scheduled give a speech that will focus on affordable housing, her spokeswoman Lindsey O’Brien said. Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is scheduled to give a speech 12:40 p.m.
In the past, governors and lawmakers have used the annual summit to preview priorities for the coming legislative session and rally support from business leaders. At the last one, in January, Kotek, Courtney and Republican leaders called for a major transportation-funding package — only to see negotiations break down in the final days of the 2015 session.
At a press conference Friday, Brown repeated her desire to see lawmakers take up the issue in 2017, when the Legislature will next hold a full session. On Monday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer is set to join legislators for a transportation panel.
Lawmakers are set to meet for a 35-day short session starting Feb. 1, with the minimum wage expected to be among the top issues.
Monday morning, Blumenauer and Democratic U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader are set to discuss international trade. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are set to give an update from Washington, D.C.
The Oregonian/OregonLive politics reporters Jeff Mapes, Ian Kullgren and Denis Theriault will post live updates, with photos and videos, from the Oregon Convention Center on oregonlive.com/politics. Follow them on Twitter with the hashtag #ORBizSummit.
Denis C. Theriault contributed to this story.
— Ian K. Kullgren