In February 2015 Secretary of State Kate Brown, replaced Governor John Kitzhaber, who had resigned his position under pressure.
Since that time, Brown, who is Oregon’s first openly bi-sexual governor, has had considerable success working with the state legislature and advocating for legislation aimed at improving conditions for ordinary citizens.
During the past year Governor Brown has had to deal with two major state events: the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation. She responded to both situations with dignity and compassion that averted any public criticism of her actions.
Governor Brown also signed two bills on education that passed in the legislature. The first one focused on the problem of student absenteeism. As a result school districts are now required to create a plan of action to identify community needs and a three-year pilot project to address health services and intervention strategies in high-need communities. After that the state legislature will be asked to consider funding resources. The second bill offers free community college tuition to students who will graduate from high school with at least a 2.5 grade-point average. Already 12,000 Oregon students have applied for these grants, which will be funded by both state and federal money.