This week one of my bills was up for a Public Hearing in committee: The Rural Oregon Achieving Driving Safety (ROADS) Act. Our county roads are becoming increasingly dangerous as drivers are choosing to get off the traffic-packed freeway, and drive back roads to get to their destinations. I hope this bill gives counties an extra tool in the tool box to keep our county roads safe.
My other bill, HB 3214, also was heard simultaneously. This bill allows those who qualify for a hardship driving permit to drive their kids to school, go to the grocery store, and take their family to medical appointments.
Rep. Post and I testified before the Joint Transportation Committee in support of HB 3213 on Wednesday. Rep. Post represents a stretch of county road in N. Marion county that has seen 10 deaths in the last 8 months. Others who testified in support were: Marion County Sheriff Jason Meyers, Linn County Roadmaster Darrin Lane, St. Paul Fire Chief Bryan Lee.
Two of my farming friends from Marion County, Molly McCargar and Brenda Frketich, also came to testify in support of the ROADS Act and were instrumental in helping me shape this bill.
They both live on dangerous stretches of county road and have seen more and more wrecks close to home.
#ROADSAct #ruralroadsafety #orpol #orleg
BECOME AN HONORARY PAGE IN MAY
There is still a short window of time to become a Honorary Page!
Page service is a unique honor with a rich history. The first Pages were apprentice knights. Pages served while they received scholastic, social, and military education. Pages who successfully completed their studies then became squires and could continue their education. Hardworking squires were rewarded with the honor of knighthood. Pages were first associated with lawmaking bodies when they began appearing in royal courts. The term "Honorary Page" is applied to our guest attendants today because it recalls the honorable status and goals of pages in history.
Every Day is #EarthDay for farmers and ranchers! Why is this true? Farmers and ranchers care for the land, because they have the most at stake. Care is part of our heritage.
Hazelnut orchards, as well as fruit orchards and our forests, are important in absorbing the carbon emitted from our vehicles and our industries providing every day needed products such as toilet paper. Yay agriculture, yay forests, and yay farmers and ranchers! Happy Earth Day!
We decorated our office for Earth Day with treats and goodies. My daughters and I spent all weekend baking to celebrate Oregon farmer's and rancher's long tradition of taking care of the land!
#EarthDayEveryDay #EarthDay2019 #orleg
BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION HELPS WORKING MOMS WIN
Representative Power and I gave bipartisan testimony this week on behalf of women in the work place. These bills are important for working moms. When a bill takes the right amount of time and effort to pass unanimously out of the Business and Labor Committee AND the House Floor - you know you’ve struck the right balance.
CALIFORNIA TAXED GAS, NOW WONDERING WHY GAS PRICES ARE SO HIGH
Every day, I strive to bring common sense to lawmaking. California, obviously does not share this sentiment.
"As lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom supported a 2017 bill increasing the state's gas taxes. When running for governor in 2018, he opposed a ballot initiative that would have repealed that same increase. It's 2019, and Newson, now the state's governor, is demanding an investigation into why the state's gas prices are so high.
On Tuesday, the governor sent a letter to the California Energy Commission (CEC) asking that the state agency investigate the Golden State's roughly $4.03 per gallon gas prices, currently the highest in the country (and well above the national average of $2.86 per gallon)...
Newsom is not alone in wanting answers to this difficult head-scratcher.
In January, 19 state legislators—17 of whom had voted in favor of that 2017 gas tax increase, while the other two had only entered office in 2018—sent a letter to State Attorney General Xavier Becerra demanding that the state's Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate the "unexplained gasoline surcharge" that was estimated to cost Californian families $1,700 a year.
California currently imposes the second-highest gas taxes in the country. A state excise tax currently adds $.417 per gallon, a rate that will increase to $.473 come July. On top of that, the state imposes a 2.25 percent gasoline sales tax.
In addition, California has adopted a low-carbon fuel standard and a cap-and-trade scheme for carbon emissions which together increase the state's gas prices by $.24 per gallon above the national average, according to a 2017 state government report."
Hannah Stevens, Future Chef and constituent from Greater Albany Public Schools, was picked out of 2,700 kids to represent Oregon in the 2019 Sodexo Future Chefs competition. Congratulations, Hannah. Good luck!
Yesterday, the Oregon Forest and Industries Council was giving away free trees for Arbor day. Arbor Day is especially important in Oregon. Not only do they provide us with beautiful landscapes, they also provide jobs to our rural communities, build and warm our homes, and help provide thousands of products we use every day. They are perhaps the biggest tool to sequester carbon, as well!
I love trees. Happy Arbor Day!
It's no secret that we need to find ways to tackle the unfunded liability in PERS. But raiding school districts, businesses, and local government is not the way to do it. They depend on SAIF’s affordable rates and safety programs to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. Raiding SAIF’s reserves could damage what’s been a very successful model for Oregon employers and injured workers. In a recent editorial, The Oregonian newspaper cautioned against the raid,stating it, “risks destabilizing an entity that has competently, reliably and efficiently administered workers’ compensation for public and private employers for years.”
Raiding their reserves increases the likelihood of rate increases and fewer resources for accident prevention and workplace training programs.
While PERS faces a $26 billion deficit, there is no tie or correlation between their unfunded liability and the premiums that Oregon employers pay to SAIF. Should it ever be determined that SAIF does have excess reserves those funds should be returned to policyholders and not grabbed by politicians for unrelated matters.
April 24-28: Downtown Albany Restaurant Week | Historic Downtown Albany
April 26: 46th Annual Albany Spring Home and Garden Show | Linn Co. Expo Ctr. | 3-8pm
April 27: Linn County Flea Market | Linn Co. Expo Ctr. | All day
April 27: Procession of the Species | Linn County Courthouse | 9am
April 27: The Boys & Girls Club Annual Auction | Boys & Girls Club of Albany | 5pm
April 29: Art and Sip 21+ | Albany Art Studio | 8pm
April 27-28: Oregon Ag Fest | Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem | 8:30 am - 5 pm; 10 am - 5 pm
Have a community event we can announce for you? Please send the event details to my office, at the email listed below!