I continue to prioritize public safety in our community to protect our citizens and businesses, and advocated in the last budget season for increased funding for both the County Sheriff and District Attorney. In the last budget, the Sheriff's Office was increased by $14 Million, and the District Attorney's Office budget increased by $5.5 Million. I have been appointed to the National Association of Counties’ Justice and Public Safety Committee where I have been working to help transform the legal justice system and continue to support law enforcement through new initiatives that can decrease recidivism and crime.
In addition to advocating for increases to both public safety budgets, I introduced an amendment to the budget to specifically provide grants for businesses in East County that experience vandalism and was successful in allocating $115,000. Businesses can apply for up to $5,000 per business. While $115,000 is unlikely to last all year, it is a step in the right direction and recognizes the importance and challenges our small businesses face. The distribution of these grants is coordinated by Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), who also provide lending, business planning, market research, classes and mentoring to small business owners.