New Democratic leader wants focus on foreclosures

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The new Democratic leader in the Oregon House says she wants the Legislature to focus on foreclosures and on financing for small businesses.

Rep. Tina Kotek of Portland said Tuesday those issues are among some of her top priorities as lawmakers figure out how to spend their time when they return to the Capitol early next year.

Kotek became her party's leader in June when Democrats ousted Rep. Dave Hunt of Gladstone in a rare midterm leadership shakeup. Lawmakers are returning to Salem this week for their first official business since Kotek took over as the Democratic chief.

Kotek and other Democrats failed this year in attempts to pass bills requiring banks to maintain foreclosed properties and to slow the foreclosure process.