Thomsen gains a seat at the education table

Salem, OR — State Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), entering his fifth year serving Oregon Senate District 26, will continue to serve on the important budget-writing Full Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Business and Transportation Committee. He also received a new appointment to the Education Budget Subcommittee, where he will focus on raising Oregon’s quality of education through increased funding for schools.

Thomsen said, “This is a new role that will help me make the changes I think Oregon schools need. My other committees have put me in good position to help foster economic growth over the past four years, but the other concern I have always had, and campaigned for, is education. Until now I have only been in minor positions to address school funding, but now I have a seat at the table. All of the ideas are in place, but few have been funded. I wholeheartedly support Governor Kitzhaber’s concept of full-day kindergarten and a better third grade reading level strategy. However, for too long, the legislature has had flat funding for education. I’ll fight so schools are funded first. I always have, but now I’m in a position where I can have more of an impact.”

Committee assignments were announced December 12. Thomsen was also appointed to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee again. He served on the same committee his first year in the legislature.

“I’m glad to be back on that one too, but I wouldn’t call that selection ‘groundbreaking’ for me. As a pear grower I tend to be viewed as a resource on Ag issues and have been asked for my input on many issues relating to that committee,” said Thomsen.

Thomsen was first elected to the State Senate in 2010. He is a fourth generation orchardist from Hood River. He graduated from Hood River High School in 1975, and went on to graduate from Willamette University. Thomsen has been a volunteer firefighter with the Pine Grove Fire Department for 33 years. Thomsen served as a Hood River County Commissioner for 16 years.

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