Written by Christina Bodamer, Oregon Government Relations Director
The 79th Legislative Assembly of Oregon adjourned sine die on Friday, July 8th. After what was a very long and interesting session, the AHA came out with some exciting victories for the heart health of Oregonians.
hero_image_alt_text===Photo of Oregon state Capitol building
thumbnail_alt_text===Photo of Oregon state Capitol building
We focused our energy on three issues and we are excited to announce that we were successful on all three!
- With the help of dedicated volunteers and coalition members Oregon will be the third state in the nation to raise the age for tobacco to 21! Research shows that each year 1,800 Oregonian kids start smoking each year and that 95% of them start before they turn 21. We are hopeful that by raising the age to 21 we will decrease the number of smokers in our state.
- The 2017 transportation package that passed this session includes $125 million dedicated Safe Routes to School funding! This funding will help ensure that Oregon children can safely walk and bike to school and will help build communities that everyone can use to get out and get active!
- Oregon remains the only state in nation that has the recommendation minimum minutes for both elementary and middle schools – the timeline for implementation begins in two years. Access to quality physical education not only improves physical health but research shows students who are active also do better academically.
I want to thank all of you for the emails, phone calls and legislative meetings you participated in this session, which helped push these important priorities over the finish line. I wish you and yours a very happy summer!