February 26th, 2012

Legislating Oregon’s entrepreneurial future: Oregon Investment Act, House Bill 4040


Legislating Oregon’s entrepreneurial future: Oregon Investment Act, House Bill 4040

You might not realize it, but Oregon’s legislature is in the midst of determining the entrepreneurial future of our state, this week. Currently on the floor is Oregon House Bill 4040: The Oregon Investment Act which “Establishes Oregon Growth Fund and Oregon Growth Board to encourage investment in and availability of capital to Oregon businesses and to further economic development in Oregon.”

Problem is that the legislature adjourns on Wednesday.

And that means that the bill could wind up in limbo. So a bunch of organizations—SAO, OEN, TiE, among others—are staging a last ditch effort to rally support for the bill.

SAO supports HB 4040 / The Oregon Investment Act because it will reform the way Oregon manages a fragmented system of economic resources, encourage new opportunities to leverage private investment capital, and provide accountability to Oregon taxpayers.

We know that these issues are critical for our members and the industries we represent. Right now, too many of our legislators are unfamiliar with the important economic contributions of Oregon’s entrepreneurial community, and its role in our state’s reputation as a great place to live and grow a business.

SAO is working with other entrepreneurial organizations, including OEN, OTBC and TiE to introduce this community to Oregon’s legislators. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on Wednesday, but we will continue taking our message to Salem in future sessions.

If you’re interested in throwing your support behind the bill and these efforts, the SAO has created an Oregon HB 4040 advocacy page to guide your efforts.

What can you do? Well, a lot, actually.

Please help us by contacting your legislators to show your support for this bill. Emails and phone calls from business constituents—Oregon entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, investors, and employees—are extremely important, and greatly appreciated by elected officials.

Your voice could mean a great deal here.

And if you’re interested in voicing your support in person, you’re welcome to join other folks down in Salem on Tuesday. Please contact Jennifer Warren, Director of Business, Community and Legislative Affairs for SAO, at jennifer.warren@sao.org to participate.

(Image courtesy Chris Phan. Used under Creative Commons.)

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4 Responses to “Legislating Oregon’s entrepreneurial future: Oregon Investment Act, House Bill 4040”

  1. Inviting the government in to pick winners and losers is like dealing with the mafia. IT starts with opportunity but it ends with cronies getting shuffled into jobs and a weakening of the industry.

    There has been no case of this helping, long term.

  2. Jennifer Warren says:

    Hi Chris – Just wondering if you have actually read up on the bill? You may have, but if not, just some clarification:

    The OIA is not written for any specific industry. It is designed to improve on the current system of state investment in Oregon companies by leveraging responsible private investment and coordinating the various economic and workforce development resources that are scattered across different state agencies.

    Some of the greatest benefit will be to small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their companies in Oregon, but can too often find better, more accessible economic resources in other states -and to Oregon workers whose jobs are created or maintained in Oregon.

    Of course, there’s more to the bill than that. If you haven’t had a chance to read the plan, you can find an overview here:

    http://www.ost.state.or.us/oregoninvestmentact/

  3. Jmartens says:

    I cringed when I read this title, and again when you said “determining the entrepreneurial future of our state.” I have no opinion on this bill (because I am not informed) but it should be noted that our future is not dependent on a single bill and entrepreneurship cannot be legislated.

    I know you probably don’t mean those statements as literally as I read them, but had to chime in and make my points.

  4. Rick Turoczy says:

    @ Jeff, Yeah, not what I intended at all. But I can totally read the sensationalism (albeit unintended) in there.


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