House Speaker Concludes 3-Day Trip with Visits to Hermiston, Boardman

Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield, left, State Rep. Greg Smith, center, and State Rep. Bobby Levy give remarks Wednesday at the Port of Morrow. (Photo courtesy of Rayfield office)

Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) concluded a three-day tour of Central and Eastern Oregon today with stops in Hermiston, Boardman, and the Port of Morrow.

“As House Speaker, I will always aim to serve all corners of the state,” Rayfield said. “I again want to thank all the local elected leaders who welcomed me this week and provided important insight into the opportunities and challenges in their communities. This will be invaluable feedback as we focus on the values and priorities Oregonians have told us they wanted to see in 2023.”

Rayfield joined Rep. Greg Smith (R-Umatilla, Morrow, Gilliam, Sherman and Wasco counties) in Hermiston on Wednesday morning for a meeting with education leaders in the Hermiston and Umatilla school districts, the city managers of Hermiston and Umatilla, and other local business and nonprofit leaders.

They then met with leaders of the Umatilla Electric Cooperative to discuss energy usage in the region, including the power the cooperative provides for nearby Amazon data centers.

“I am thankful to Speaker Rayfield for making this visit out to Eastern Oregon,” said Smith. “Nothing compares to in-person tours and meetings when learning about unique communities. We made several stops highlighting Northeast Oregon’s vast energy and food production industries, and discussed the need for housing and childcare. The Speaker and I have been colleagues for a number of years, and I look forward to the 2023 session as we further our bipartisan efforts to better the state of Oregon.”

The day concluded with a driving tour of the Columbia Development Authority (formerly the Umatilla Army Depot Reuse Authority) and a meeting at the Port of Morrow with Rep. Bobby Levy (R-Echo), county commissioners from around the region (Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla and Wasco), and local leaders from Boardman, Irrigon and Maupin, among others.

“Thank you, Speaker Rayfield, for taking the time to travel and visit our beautiful Eastern Oregon,” Levy said. “In-person tours and meetings are the best way to gain true appreciation of the unique communities and challenges that come from living in Northeast Oregon. I look forward to your future visits to this side of our great state, and the bipartisan efforts to better the whole state of Oregon.”

In addition to meeting with Smith and Levy on Wednesday, Rayfield is meeting with returning and incoming legislators prior to announcing committee assignments for the 2023 legislative session.

The 82nd Oregon Legislative Assembly will be sworn in on Monday, Jan. 9 and the 2023 legislative session will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 17.


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