The Oregon Legislature is in Session
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On January 14th, I was sworn in as your State Representative for House District 18 which includes the City of Silverton, southern Clackamas and northeastern Marion counties. Following the swearing in ceremonies, the 80th Legislative Assembly organized for the 2019 session which officially opened on January 22nd. Bills that were pre-session filed received their first reading as they made their way to committees for consideration.
This session, I am serving on the House Judiciary Committee, the Joint Committee on Transportation, and as Vice Chair of the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee. I am honored to be your voice in Salem and I look forward to engaging in meaningful discussion on the policy decisions ahead.
As measures move through the legislative process, you may feel strongly about one or more bills. I encourage you to share your thoughts and views with me and to follow the bills of interest to you online through OLIS. The Oregon State Legislature’s Citizen Engagement web page also provides a great deal of information where you can track a bill, provide testimony, e-Subscribe to Alerts and more.
Among my priorities this session are:
- Veterans Services
- Public Safety
On January 28th I was pleased to celebrate Women's Roles in Agriculture with members of the Oregon Farm Bureau Women's Advisory Council during their visit to the Capitol. I greatly appreciate their leadership and commitment to serving our communities.
This session, I am championing two farm bills:
HB 2264 which would eliminate taxation of farm equipment as real property. The bill is currently before the House Committee on Revenue for consideration.
HB 2236 will clarify the ability of farmers to operate tractors on state highways. That bill is in the Joint Committee on Transportation, of which I am a member.
As a U.S. Army Veteran, it has been a true pleasure to serve as a member of the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness since 2017. Part of my work on the committee has involved an evaluation of the Ballot Measure 96 State Lottery proceeds, which Oregon voters passed overwhelmingly in 2016, devoting 1.5 percent of State Lottery proceeds specifically towards veterans’ services. I have drafted a resolution (LC3837) to ensure that the funds are allocated to enhance current services or create new programs that provide direct services to our veterans as the voters intended, not to supplant ODVA’s overall budget. These funds can go a long way toward helping veteran suicide prevention, homelessness, unemployment, disability services, education and reintegration efforts, as well as many other needs in the veterans’ community.
As a former Chief of Police with nearly 40 years of law enforcement experience, I am passionate about keeping our communities safe. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I am closely evaluating the measures before us and I am asking the tough questions.
As we are called upon to open our hearts and minds to criminal justice reform, I am keenly aware of the need to remember the voices of victims and to honor the tireless efforts of our first responders who arrive to assist us at our greatest time of need.
This session, I am sponsoring the following measures that are awaiting hearings before the House Judiciary Committee:
HB 2295 Establishes process of earned review for certain young offenders serving terms of imprisonment in custody of Oregon Youth Authority.
HB 2300 Creates crime of sexual harassment by electronic means.
HB 2328 Modifies culpable mental state for crime of unauthorized use of a vehicle when person takes, operates, exercises control over or otherwise uses vehicle, boat or aircraft without consent of owner.
HB 2428 relates to public indecency.
HB 2750 Directs Department of Justice to establish a program for awarding grants to law enforcement agencies and local governments for training of groups and agencies that interact with persons who have experienced trauma.
ICYMI: In Case You Missed it
On January 15th, I issued a press release to highlight the Oregon Health Authority's (OHA) adoption of an administrative rule change, allowing hearing impaired Medicaid eligible patients to receive two hearing aids who were previously limited to one hearing aid every five years.
The details surrounding my work with the agency was also covered by OPB. I am pleased by OHA's review of my request to look into the need for coverage of hearing aids for bilateral hearing loss in adults. In doing so, the agency discovered the Federal government allows states to make a rule change, opening the door for Medicaid patients who have long needed the additional hearing aid to receive one at no additional cost to the state.
District Transportation Projects Update
Silverton – The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that the pedestrian and bicycle crossing project for OR 214 at Jefferson Street is scheduled to go to bid later this year with construction to begin in the spring of 2020. This project consists of an enhanced pedestrian crossing that will increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. The key elements of the project include a pedestrian island, rectangular rapid flashing beacon and installed lights on the south leg of the intersection.
Molalla – OR 211 OR 213 to South Ona Way Pedestrian and Biking Improvements. This project will provide a continuous pedestrian and bicycle route on the north side of OR 211 between OR 213, the Molalla River Middle School and other nearby community resources.
I am pleased to see these two projects, for which I was able to obtain funding in 2017, are moving forward.
Happy Birthday Oregon
Oregon is celebrating 160 years of statehood and the Oregon State Capitol Foundation, of which I am a board member, is throwing her a birthday party.
Come to the Capitol and celebrate on Saturday, February 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Partake in living history… Costumed interpreters, period music, historic re-enactments, activities for children, a stagecoach, covered wagons, and free birthday cake for all to enjoy. Don't miss one of the foundation's biggest events of the year!
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your State Representative. Please stay tuned for more updates as the session progresses. I value your voice and want to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to call my office if I can be of assistance to you.
State Representative House
Oregon’s Christmas Tree District
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1418
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-484, Salem, OR 97301