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