Dead Bills and Making Deals
What a week! There are "deadlines" during session, and Tuesday was a huge one. If bills hadn't been worked and voted out of (most) committees...they are dead. For those thinking, "Doesn't that mean a lot of good bills died?" Yes. But it also means a lot of bad bills died.
The start of the week was tough — with the deadline looming, committees working bills like crazy, and 43.5 hours of floor session scheduled for the week. Having only had 1 day off from our 35.5 hours of floor sessions last week (mainly running until 9PM), we were all tired.
The choice to "read bills" to slow the process to force the super-majority to work collaboratively on critical policy wasn't an easy one, and meant a grueling schedule, but it was our best chance at a better outlook moving forward. We received word negotiations would finally happen on Wednesday, and we were cautiously optimistic that a consensus would be reached.
Late that evening, the House Republicans were able to make a motion to waive bill reading for the rest of session, and in exchange…received equal representation on the Redistricting Committee — including sharing the gavel! This is an incredible win, because redistricting shapes how fairly our voices will be represented for the next decade.
The deal may not have been everything we hoped for — there are still horrible bills we need to continue fighting against, but this gives us the best chance at winning balance back in our state, and getting fair representation for all Oregonians. And some much-needed sleep for your tired Representatives.
Representative Bonham and Representative Cate on the House Floor
American Rescue Plan Act Funds For HD 17
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) the State of Oregon received over $4 billion in federal funds to aid in recovery efforts. These are one-time funds that are intended to be used as long-term investment within the state.
The funds will help bolster counties through infrastructure improvements projects, grants to help struggling businesses thrive again, and by providing funding for renovation projects with the intent to bring economic viability — especially to our rural areas.
We are advocating for funding for our HD17 communities, but you can help! Share your input on how ARPA dollars are allocated with the Virtual Budget Hearings below!
This chart gives a big picture overview of some of the national funding allocations from the ARPA.
2021 Oregon Budget Virtual Hearings
This year is a budgeting session where the Legislature will decide how your tax dollars are spent. If you want your tax dollars spent on something, or maybe you don't want them spent on something, join us for the Oregon Budget Virtual Hearings and let the Legislature know! Though the discussions during these meetings will be predominately for budget development, this is also an opportunity to share your priorities for Oregon's ARPA dollars mentioned above.
You can read the proposed 2021-23 Budget Framework released by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Co-Chairs HERE.
The hearings are organized by Congressional District. If you aren't sure which district you live in, you can click HERE to enter your address and find out.
Congressional District 4 meeting details can be found HERE.
Congressional District 5 meeting details can be found HERE.
Some DMV Services Available Online in May
Starting in early May many Oregonians will be able to renew their driver licenses and ID cards online. This won't be available to everyone, but it will be available for the more "typical" renewal transaction. Beginning in May folks should check out the website to see if their renewal qualifies or if they need an appointment to come in.
County Update & COVID Vaccine Information
Today the Governor’s most recent County Risk update goes into effect. Unfortunately, in the update you can read HERE, Linn County has moved back up to High Risk. Marion County remains in the High Risk category.
The Governor also announced earlier this week that all Oregonians over 16 are eligible to receive a vaccine, if they would like one, effective April 19th. You can read the Governor's press release updating the vaccine schedule HERE.
For more information on getting vaccinated, please use the resources below.
To view previous newsletters, please visit my website.
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1417
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-378, Salem, OR 97301
Email: [email protected]