CONSTITUENT, FARMER, OREGON STATE TROOPER, and FRIEND
This week has been especially complicated at the Capitol. Friends and constituents, if I could, I would like to table my role as your Representative for a moment. I would like to take an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the life of my friend and top-notch member of our community – Kirk Burkholder.
My first memory of Kirk was in kindergarten. He tattled on me for NOT having my eyes closed during a class prayer. My first thought as a kindergartner was “Hey! How did YOU know my eyes were open?”
Our lives have been intertwined for as long as I can remember. We grew up in the same church, we are neighboring farmers, and his kids go to school with mine.
During high school, one of my sisters rear-ended him in a small fender bender, coming home from school. In typical Kirk Burkholder fashion, he was kind and gracious.
This brings me to all the things I will miss about Kirk. He possessed rare qualities I wish all of us had. He was kind, gracious, and always quick with a smile. As a matter of fact, his smile was indelible - a perpetual part of his character. Whether he needed to diffuse a complicated situation, or just hang with family and friends – his smile was always there.
His family and our community are truly mourning the loss of his good soul.
HB 3213 will allow counties to establish safety corridors to increase safety and bring awareness to the dangers of driving on county roads. We will be amending the bill to introduce it as a pilot project in 5 counties. This will provide an opportunity to develop and establish procedures that will be more easily implemented at a statewide level. The bill is up for a work session on May 20.
HB 3214 will allow those with a hardship drivers permit to take their kids to school, go to the grocery store, and provide other essential services for their families. It passed out of committee unanimously this week and will likely be considered before the House of Representatives next week.
VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
This week, I held my first virtual town hall on Facebook Live.
Thank you to everyone who watched, asked questions, and are engaged in the political process with me! So much happens up here in Salem, and I always try to make it as easy to understand as possible. I hope to do more of these in the future.
On April 30, my daughter Kyndall performed a historic first on the House Floor: SIGN-ing America the Beautiful.
ASL (American Sign Language) is not English. It has its own syntax and grammatical structures. It is used by the Deaf community. Language accessibility for the Deaf and hard of hearing is crucial for our community.
Kyndall is a Junior in her second year in ALS at Santiam Christian. Thank you Mrs. Villers for your inspiring teaching! Watching Kyndall, it is obvious the influence you have as a teacher on your ASL students.
My daughter, Ashlynn, also came to intern for the office this week. She helped me keep the office organized, brought documents to me in committee, and interacted with legislators and staff around the Capitol. Thank you Ashlynn for all your help!
Ashlynn is in 7th grade at Santiam Christian and loves to come hang out with mom at work!
OREGON CIVICS 101 by Renée
Hello constituents of District 15! My name is Renée Perry. I am Representative Boshart Davis’ Legislative Assistant here at the Capitol.
As a constituent and an employee for the Oregon State Legislature, I frequently communicate with friends, family, and folks from our district. A common theme I hear out there, especially among the younger generation(s), is the “Legislative process is complicated” or “My vote doesn’t count” or even “Politics bore me.”
Each one of our votes DO count, so, we wanted to try something NEW for our office.
In order to help our constituents (or anyone) understand Oregon politics better, we will start posting regularly OregonCivics 101 ‘knowledge bites’.
So, let’s begin!
Our legislature is made up of the Oregon State Senate and Oregon State House of Representatives.
For each State Senate district, there are 2 House districts. i.e. Senate District 1 contains House District 1 and 2…SD 2, contains HD 3 and 4…and so on. A 1:2 ratio, if you will. (see graphic below)
In Oregon, there are 30 Senate districts. Which means there are 60 House districts
There, that wasn’t so bad? Now, don’t forget to follow the Representative on Facebook and/or Twitter for more frequent updates.
Do you have a question about Oregon politics or visiting the Capitol? Hopefully I can provide an easy and digestible answer. Send questions directly to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Always happy to help,
Last week, HB 3427 passed the House. If you read last week's newsletter, I outlined some glaring issues with this bill. If you follow me on social media (Twitter and Facebook), you will always get a pulse on my thoughts about current legislation. No exceptions on HB 3427.
It is crucial for our education system is fully funded in an equitable way. However, this bill needs more time and more work. Some of you have heard about the Senate Republicans denying quorum this week over this bill. I have talked with some of them and the common theme is that our student's deserve consistent funding so that we do not find ourselves in the same situation in a few years. That includes PERS and other tough issues that are not being addressed in this bill.
I wrote about the process by which HB 3427 passed the House in the Democrat-Herald this week. Check it out: https://bit.ly/2Vi1CWu
NATIONAL NURSES WEEK
Nurses are heroes.
In celebration of National Nurses Week, I want to spotlight a local nurse and Stroke Care Coordinator at Samaritan in House District 15, Sarah Vincent (RN). She wrote an excellent piece for the Democrat-Herald about the risks of strokes for young people.
Thank you to all the nurses who work so hard to keep our communities healthy. You are appreciated!
"The lawmakers behind the cap-and-trade proposal don’t seem to understand the financial realities of families living literally from paycheck to paycheck."
"And what do these families get in return for paying more for gas and other necessities? According to the head of the Oregon State University Climate Center, who testified before the Legislature last year, cap and trade in Oregon would have an “imperceptible” impact on global climate change. In other words, low-income families would foot the bill for a new law that won’t do anything to help the problem. I would urge lawmakers to reject this proposed cap-and-trade law and work to find solutions that actually reduce the impact of global climate change without penalizing fragile family budgets."
It's irresponsible to pass on higher costs to Oregonians for an "imperceptible" impact on global climate change, while still waiting on reporting to come back from *PREVIOUS* climate change regulation. Continuing to stack climate change regulation session after session simply to placate to the environmental activist community should not be acceptable by Oregonians!
Read more here:
The Oregonian: Opinion: Cap-and-Trade bill ignores financial reality facing struggling families
For information that is on upcoming events happening in the district, check out the Albany Visitors Center calendar. Lots of great events coming up: theater productions, famers' markets, and volunteering opportunities!