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Fall Celebration and Campaign Fundraiser Kick Off

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Rep. Kennemer to Join Rep. John Davis at Wilsonville Constituent Coffee

Wilsonville, OR—On Saturday, Oct. 5, Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City) will join Rep. John Davis (R-Wilsonville) for a constituent coffee hour in the Rose Room of the Wilsonville Public Library. It will take place from 10 to 11 a.m.

The forum will enable open discussion time for constituents, and will focus on the results of the Sept. 30 special legislative session. All members of the community are invited to attend, and refreshments will be provided.

“I am pleased to be accompanying my colleague, Rep. Davis, for this important talk about the ramifications of the special session and what it means for Oregonians and their families,” Rep. Kennemer said.

The Wilsonville Public Library is located at 8200 SW Wilsonville Rd. For more information, call Oregon House Republican Deputy Communications Director Scott Jorgensen at 503-986-1009.

'Grand bargain' is no bargain - Oped

Representative Kennemer recently publish an editoria for Pamplin Media Group. Please visit this page to read it or simply view the oped below.

l The governor has called for the Legislature to come back into a special session on Sept. 30. This is getting mixed reviews statewide, including some serious concerns from me.

The proposed “grand bargain” is more like a bargain basement. It’s a mix of tax increases, tax cuts, bills to address Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) costs and policies, and for good measure, an agriculture preemption bill to solidify who has jurisdiction when it comes to agriculture decisions.

I agree with the basic assumptions behind this. The legislative PERS reforms of last session were very weak and inadequate, not only failing to stabilize the fund, but the deferred payments of $350 million only puts Oregon further in debt. Also, taxing businesses on gross revenues instead of net income is detrimental to improving our struggling economy. Finally, having 36 counties regulating agricultural products differently when agriculture is a critical part of our economy creates a potential nightmare for Oregon farmers.

While concurring with the premise of addressing these issues, rushing into a legislative session is simply absurd. Many of the criticisms that are emerging are valid. As a representative, I view the process and proposals as political, simplistic and inadequate. Here’s why.

The special session proposals are the worst of what political pressure, compromise and elitism can conspire to create. The governor came to the mostly correct conclusion that the last legislative session failed to adequately deal with some major issues. However, rather than initiate an appropriate public vetting process, he sequestered the four House and Senate Republican and Democrat leaders into high-pressured discussions. Rather than a carefully and inclusively crafted, quality solution, the result is inadequate compromise with no public input.

The “PERS Lite” reforms of last session now become “PERS Lite” with a very inadequate pinch of sugar. The negotiated bills will have a disproportionate impact on some PERS retirees and still be nearly half of what many consider minimally necessary for long-term stability.

On the tax side, some businesses will see much-needed tax relief in exchange for a tax increase on C-Corporations. We should be working to provide a better tax climate for all Oregon businesses.

Also included in the so-called “grand bargain” is the capping of the senior medical deduction for higher-income seniors who have factored that deduction as part of their long-term health care management. An additional $244 million in new taxes is wrapped into the proposal, with additional allocations going to schools and mental health, which are too modest to do much and seemingly forget that we just increased school funding by a whopping $1 billion last session. A needed bill for agriculture wraps up the governor’s deal with a bow.

Where was the appropriate public outreach and input? Where are the needed systemic improvements? How do low-grade politics, compromise and minimal public process solve the problems Oregonians face?

Given these proposals, I anticipate voting against inadequate PERS reform, the tax increases and the loss of senior medical deductions and spending of even more of your tax money. Of the six bills under consideration, I expect to support only the agriculture bill and the vote to adjourn the session. Doing otherwise would be nothing short of irresponsible and would also serve to reward the governor and the Democratic leadership for their failure to address any and all of these issues in the several months of the regular 2013 legislative session.

Boy Scouts to present Distinguished Citizen Award

Oregon City, OR — Each year, the local council of the Boy Scouts of America presents the Distinguished Citizen Award to an individual whose contributions have advanced the quality of life in the community and who have exemplified the values of the Boy Scout organization.

The Boy Scouts of America will be saluting Oregon State Representative Bill Kennemer (District 39), with its 2013 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award on Thursday, October 3rd, at the Abernethy Center Ballroom in Oregon City.

For nearly 40 years, Bill Kennemer has been active in our community as a husband and father, clinical psychologist and concerned and involved citizen. Additionally, Bill has been an elected official, serving ten years as an Oregon State Senator, twelve years as a Clackamas County Commissioner, and currently five years as an Oregon State Representative. Clearly, Representative Kennemer has an exceptional record of service to Oregonians.

“Bill is a great example to our youth of service to the community,” said Matt Devore, CEO of the local Scout council. “We are proud to honor his service.”

As a dedicated public servant and member of numerous community organizations like the Oregon Trail Foundation, Rotary, Chambers of Commerce, and the Northwest Steelheaders, Bill Kennemer’s example of leadership and community involvement are deserving of this high award.

All proceeds from this event will directly benefit the 33,000 youth who participate in scouting programs provided by the Cascade Pacific Council in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. Table sponsorships are available, and individual tickets are $75. RSVPs are needed by September 25th.

For more information, contact the Three-Rivers District Executive Director, Trent McClure, at (503) 225-5707, or at tmcclure@cpcbsa.org.

Rep. Kennemer Protests U of O Contracting Changes and Small Business Impacts

Salem, OR—On the House floor today, Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City) spoke out about proposed contracting changes by the University of Oregon that threaten small businesses throughout the state.

On May 31, the university’s marketing and brand management office sent a request for proposal to all of its apparel licensees, many of which are small businesses.

“The new process sets an unattainable target for all except the largest national companies,” Rep. Kennemer said, quoting an excerpt from an Oregonian article on the subject.

As many as 400 companies could be affected by the change, including T-Line Design, a small firm based in Canby.

T-Line Design has done business with the university for 12 years, and stands to lose 10 percent of its revenue due to the possible contracting changes. Another, Eugene-based Triangle Graphics, has done business with the university for two decades and stands to lose up to 25 percent of its revenue.

“This move has the potential to suppress competition and will lead to the immediate loss of jobs in hard-hit areas,” Rep. Kennemer said. “That will result in lost revenue for critical government services and undermines our fragile economic recovery. I am very disappointed with this short-sighted way of treating Oregon businesses and Oregon taxpayers.”

Legislature honors U.S. Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods

With the passage of legislation this week, a permanent roadside marker will honor U.S. Navy SEAL and Oregon City High School graduate Tyrone Woods, who died from his injuries on Sept. 12, after defending the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, in the Sept, 11, 2012, terrorist attack.

His sacrifice after gathering the nearly 30 diplomatic staff and escorting them to a “safe house” was honored in November during the seventh-annual Veterans Day Assembly: ‘Woods’ sacrifice honored at OCHS assembly,’ Oct. 18.

House Bill 3494 passed unanimously on April 29 to place a memorial sign for Woods at Milepost 2 along Highway 213 in Oregon City. State representatives Brent Barton (D-Oregon City) and Bill Kennemer (R-Canby) co-sponsored the bill.

Ed Croft, the brother of Tyrone’s mother, Cheryl Croft Bennett, joined the representatives at the capitol in Salem to celebrate the passage of the legislation.

“She thought that her son’s actions were about doing the right thing at the right time,” Kennemer said. “Flowers wilt and die, but this roadside memorial will always be there to remind folks of his supreme sacrifice.”

As the bill heads to the Senate and governor’s office for finalization, the two local state representatives will be raising the $600 needed to erect the sign.

Read the article here.

News from the Capitol

The 2013 session continues at a furious rate of speed. Floor sessions have moved to 5 days per week and all of the committees are fully scheduled with bills and moving forward.

We’ve had our first two major controversial bills:

HB2787
HB 2787 College Tuition Equity for illegal immigrant students who have lived in Oregon for 3+ years. With the national emphasis on solving the illegals problem, this was a tough one. Some colleagues came up with a minority report that would have made it legal for these students to work during and following their education. I supported that, but it failed. The majority report did not guarantee they could work (hoping for Federal fix), and I voted against it.

HB2800
HB2800 was the very controversial bill regarding building a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia. This was tough too. So costly. Not really as tall as it should be. Finally an earthquake rated structure. Huge jobs bill (both construction and commerce). Finally, I along with 44 other representatives and 18 senators ended up supporting it. In balancing the issues, the determiner for me was realizing this is the only project anywhere near in the queue. We either do this or the work and money spent during the last four years will be lost and it will be about four more years into the future before we can line up the next major highway project. While there are solid arguments pro and con, one can’t vote both ways! I voted for JOBS!

Visitors! Wow!
Thousands of folks are sending emails, and lots and lots of folks are making personal visits. The sheer volume is challenging our open door policy. With 2260 bills introduced already in the House and Senate (likely headed toward 3000), there are many reasons folks need to be in contact.

On Feb 27th I gave floor comments (“remonstrance”) on the introduction of HJR 27, a bill to raise the votes required to pass a bill from a simple majority of 31 to a 2/3 majority of 40 votes. Based on the experience last session of the 30/30 partisan split, this is an effort to facilitate greater partisan cooperation and the involvement of most all legislators, instead of the key leaders of the majority party. With 28% of Oregonians not registered as Democrats or Republicans, we need to realize neither party represents a majority and cooperation ought to be the order of the day. As we found in the last legislative session, working together created results that better represented the majority of Oregonians while partisan agendas generally don’t.

EMAILS
Are we ever getting emails!! About 7,000 in these last 4 weeks. It is exciting to have so many getting involved.

The Kennemer team will do our very best to respond to all our constituents.

WE HAVE BEEN BUSY !!!

Oregon Fairs Association Annual Conference
Welcomed Lee Elementary from Canby to the Capitol
Met with Oregon City Manager
Arts Alliance Reception
Oregon City Business Alliance
Elected Officials Reception at Camp Withycombe
Oregon City Lions Good Morning OC
Met with District Attorney Foote
Canby Chamber Annual Dinner
Clackamas County Legislative Briefing
Canby Knights of Columbus Crab Feed (yum!)
American Legion Breakfast
Met with Head Start Advocates – Lincoln Dinner – Met with Community Corrections Leaders – Spoke to North Clackamas Chamber Leadership – Oregon Psychological Association Students – Wilsonville Town Hall Forum – Veterans of Foreign Wars Breakfast – Oregon Wheat Growers – Oregon Trail Pitchpipers performance – Chiropractors Day at the Capitol – Clackamas Community College Legislative Reception – Enjoyed Oregon Elks Root Beer Float Day at the Capitol – Clackamas County Historical Society Crab Feed (another yum!) – Pioneer Center Spaghetti Fundraiser – Met with Mayors and Councilors from Canby, Damascus and Happy Valley- North Clackamas Chamber

Please be in touch, come visit your Capitol and share your views – they are important and appreciated. It is an honor and privilege to represent you.

Bill

"Dull and Boring" Bill Passes Oregon House

SALEM, Ore. — Legislative sessions can be dull and boring, but Oregon lawmakers Wednesday moved to commemorate the humdrum — even if no one is quite sure how.

Based on their mundane names, the rural communities of Dull, Scotland, and Boring, Oregon, formed an international partnership last year to build cultural and commercial connections. And Oregon House lawmakers took that a step further with a vote to make Aug. 9 Boring and Dull Day in the state, putting the name of the U.S. town first despite mild objections from their European counterparts.

The plan, which now heads to the state Senate, is intended to boost tourism, and the date this summer marks one year from the day the towns were officially dubbed a “pair for the ages.”

Republican Rep. Bill Kennener, the proposal’s sponsor, announced the measure with a meandering, tongue-in-cheek, 10-minute speech — that never got around to saying what Oregon residents might do in observance.

“While some might be inclined to call this frivolous, the reality is that this attention is attracting tourism and commerce to this Boring section of Oregon” he said, pun intended.

A fellow Republican, Rep. Kevin Cameron, quipped that he spotted an intern falling asleep during the address, drawing laughs from the chamber.

Click here to read the entire article

Oregonian Endorses Bill

We are proud to receive an Endorsement from the Oregonian:

District 39: In the state Legislature and the county commission, Republican Bill Kennemer has been a fixture in Clackamas for decades, going back to a time when party divisions didn’t seem so sharp. A clinical psychologist, he has been known to vote with Democrats on health issues and can be useful on the always-troubling state mental health issue — despite a tendency to orate to the House on his mistreatment in past campaigns.

His Democratic opponent in this Oregon City-based district, teacher Christopher Bangs, makes solid points about the underfunding of schools, but his answer seems to be to find the money from health and social services programs. Raising limited money, he doesn’t expect to win, and Kennemer offers a broader vision.

Click here to read the whole article.

Bill to Visit Oregon City Library as Guest Storyteller on July 31st

Oregon City, Oregon: On Tuesday, July 31st, Oregon State Representative Bill Kennemer will visit the Oregon City Library as a guest “storyteller” for the Preschool Storytime, held at 10:15 a.m. in the children’s area of the library at 606 John Adams Street. He will be followed by Senator Alan Olsen on August 7th.

Representative Kennemer represents the residents of House District 39 which includes the Oregon City area in addition to Beavercreek, Canby, and Mulino. Senator Olsen represents Senate District 20 which includes Barlow, Canby, Oregon City, Gladstone, Johnson City and Oak Grove.  They have been invited to visit the library to learn about the latest offerings in early literacy services provided by the library, and to witness firsthand how public libraries utilize Oregon Ready To Read funds (the only state funding allocated for public libraries).
According to Maureen Cole, Director of the Oregon City Public Library, the Library primarily uses state Ready To Read funds to administer their annual Summer Reading program. Cole reports, “This offers a unique opportunity to showcase the library’s services to preschoolers and their parents to our state representatives. Reading is vital to helping children enter school ready to read and ready to learn and Representative Kennemer and Senator Olsen are strong supporters of the work libraries do to support literacy.”
 As a County Commissioner, Kennemer worked hard for the passage of the Clackamas County Library District which now funds all of the Clackamas County libraries.
Oregon City Public Library invites parents and care givers with preschoolers ages three to six to attend the guest storytellers appearances. In addition to story time activities, this offers them the opportunity to meet and speak with their state legislative representatives.
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