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Governor Kitzhaber Talks Economy In Southern Oregon

By Steven Sandberg

MEDFORD, Ore. — Governor Kitzhaber stops in Southern Oregon Tuesday to talk business and the local economy. The governor made several appearances to find out what is working in the Rogue Valley and what needs to be fixed.

At different stops in the Rogue Valley, Governor John Kitzhaber heard about successful areas of local business and non-profits, and talked about how they can be applied to the rest of the state, but they also discussed ways the state can help with parts of the region that are struggling. Namely, Josephine County, which has cut back on its sheriff’s department because of the loss of federal timber payments and failure of a public safety tax levy. Several other counties are also feeling that impact.

Governor Kitzhaber said the resources to help are limited on a state level, but is trying to work with federal lawmakers on the issue. He said he wants to see an option that will help both conservationists and the timber industry, and can help more than one county.

The governor also made stops at the Maslow Project, the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, and Sustainable Valley Business Group in Medford. The governor said the innovations in the Sustainable Valley business incubator is a model that can help the local economy, and he wants to see it expanded across the state.