“March Madness” is coming to Oregon!!

Last week, we all heard the triumph in Oregon of receiving the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2009 NCAA basketball tournament. “March Madness” is coming to Oregon for the first time in 26 years. This is an incredible opportunity to showcase our state nationally. Games will be played in both Portland and Eugene with an estimate of approximately $9 million economic benefit to our state. There will be national exposure of Oregon and all its beauty and benefits to viewer’s through-out the country. Estimates, over a fifteen year period, and given at the time of the bill’s passage, show that Oregon could reap the benefit of over $128 million in new revenue. This is an exciting economic development opportunity which I am proud to have sponsored.

I was appointed to fill a vacated seat during the 2005 legislative assembly. I arrived to the legislature more than six weeks after my colleagues and just a few days before the deadline for bill submission. I sponsored HB 3466, which eliminated the lottery game “Sports Action”, in order to allow Oregon to bid on hosting NCAA basketball tournaments. The NCAA has an anti-gambling policy, and the existence of sports betting in the Oregon state lottery prevented the eligibility of Oregon venues as host sites for the tournaments. This proposed legislation eliminated “Sports Action,” effective July 2007. Sports Action has been declining in revenue and popularity over the past few years, and its presence was preventing Oregon from capitalizing on all benefits that NCAA host sites receive.

I was especially proud that as an appointed freshman legislator, I was able to successfully generate strong bipartisan support for legislation that will bring new economic opportunities to our state. I am passionate about creating new jobs and allowing businesses to flourish. As a small business owner, I know firsthand some of the challenges that are faced in growing a business and providing opportunities for employees. Opening the doors for new dollars to come into this state will benefit all Oregonians. March Madness is coming to Oregon and I can’t wait!

Rep. Kevin Cameron (R) is a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing House District 19 which includes portions of South and East Salem, Turner and Aumsville communities. He was appointed February 2005 and is currently running his first campaign to continue to represent the people in his community. He is the owner and operator of Café Today, a chain of 12 restaurants located in Oregon and Washington.