February 5, 2016
To my constituents in House District 18:
On Monday February 1st, the Legislature convened for the 2016 “Short” Session. The constitutional amendment passed by the people intended for this session to take up necessary budget emergencies, rebalance spending and to make needed technical fixes to bills passed in the last legislative session. Strict deadlines are scheduled each week and we will adjourn by March 6th. Due to the brevity of this session, your comments on legislation will be very time sensitive. Please contact my office if you see a bill that is of importance to you. I also encourage you to track legislation through the Oregon State Legislative Information System (OLIS): https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/2016-02-01.
While attending to the state budget is of highest priority, I intend to spend the next 5 weeks advocating for my district and supporting meaningful legislation for Oregon’s families, farmers, businesses, and vulnerable populations. Below is a brief summary of a few bills I’ve helped to introduce this Session.
- Since 2011, I’ve been Co-Chairing the Elder Abuse Prevention Work Group. We’ve introduced at least one meaningful bill every Session. This year we are introducing HB 4013, which will provide counties with the option of forming Vulnerable Adult Fatality Review Teams, similar to existing models for cases of domestic violence and child abuse. Review by these teams is essential in identifying gaps in services provided to elders, the number of fatalities due to abuse or neglect, and effective intervention for abuse prevention. This bill has been scheduled for a hearing next week in the House Judiciary Committee.
- Now more than ever, we need to do whatever we can to ensure terrorism isn't funded with Oregon tax dollars. That's why we need a constitutional amendment to guarantee that our state and our tax money will not do business with or invested in any corporation doing business with State Sponsors of Terror, including Iran, Sudan and Syria. I have introduced HJR 204, which proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution to prohibit the State of Oregon from using public funds to engage in financial transactions with nations identified by U.S. Department of State as state sponsors of terrorism. This resolution will need to pass both chambers before it reaches the ballots of Oregon voters.
- I am joining my friend Representative Brian Clem in sponsoring HB 4009, which will designate March 28th of each year as Minoru Yasui Day. A Japanese-American from Oregon, Minoru Yasui was most well-known for his courageous stand against military orders that resulted in the forced removal and imprisonment of over 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry during WWII, but his entire life was committed to the defense of human and civil rights. In 2015, Minoru Yasui was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Oregon House passed this bill unanimously on February 4th. To learn more about his life, please visit: http://www.minoruyasuitribute.org
- I am reintroducing a bill this Session that will allow qualified individuals to make a formal request to the Oregon Board of Dentistry, to remove publicly accessible information regarding disciplinary action, if penalties have been paid or met and the appropriate amount of time has passed without any further violations. So far, HB 4095 has been voted unanimously from the House Health Care Committee.
It is an honor to represent our district in each session. However, I remain concerned about the validity of annual short sessions that are held just before the campaign season. Nonetheless, it is a pleasure serving you and regardless of differing perspectives I always appreciate receiving your input. If I can advocate for you with challenges you may be having with state agencies, I hope you will contact me.
State Representative - House District 18
(503) 986-1418 – 900 Court St. N.E., Salem OR 97301 – firstname.lastname@example.org