Sen. Betsy Close
Salem, OR - Senator Betsy Close (R-Albany/Corvallis) announced Thursday that she will run for a full term representing District 8 in the Oregon State Senate. Close was appointed by the Linn and Benton County Commissions to fill a vacancy in the Senate District 8 seat in 2012. Senate District 8 includes Albany, Corvallis, and much of Linn and Benton Counties.
“It has been a great joy to represent the people of Senate District 8,” said Close. “I’m pleased with what I was able to accomplish in the one year since my appointment, and believe, together, we can continue to do great things for Oregon over the next four years.”
In the 2013 regular session, Close was instrumental in passing key protections for student and employee online privacy and spearheaded tougher penalties for sex traffickers. Close also fought for a historic increase in classroom funding and innovative job-creation strategies.
Betsy Close is working on legislation for the 2014 session that focuses on vocational education and helping Oregonians find family wage jobs. One proposal would replicate a training-wage program funded with Lottery dollars and spearheaded by Linn County and make it available to any county in the state. The program helps first-time employees find entry level jobs.
Another proposal would create an accelerated certificate program that integrates basic-education and literacy instruction with post-secondary career and technical courses. The program would help unemployed and underemployed adults to enter the workforce or obtain better employment through increased education and training.
“There is a lot of work still left to do,” said Close. “Too many Oregon families need a job, or a better job, that will pay the bills and give them the financial breathing room to grow. I will continue to make my focus giving families economic opportunity through better jobs and educational opportunities.”
Starting in 1999, Betsy Close served for six years as a State Representative in the Oregon House of Representatives. She was Chairwoman of the House Water & Environment Committee and House Business, Labor, and Consumer Affairs; and Co-Chair of the Joint Natural Resources Committee. She served in leadership as Assistant Majority Leader from 2001 to 2005. She was appointed to the Oregon State Senate in 2012.
Betsy Close has been married to Christopher Close for 41 years. The couple have four grown children.