Senator Jeff Kruse - April 24th, 2015 - THE "HALFWAY POINT"


Senator Jeff Kruse
R-Roseburg, District 1

Phone: 503-986-1701  -  900 Court St. NE, S-315 Salem Oregon 97301
Email:   -   Website:

 Working Hard For You


APRIL 24, 2015




Last Tuesday was, in theory, the last day to pass bills out of the committees in the Chamber of Origin.  There was, however, a significant number of bills in both Chambers that were referred to either the Rules Committees or the Joint Committee on Ways and Means which don’t have deadlines. There are some legitimate reasons for such moves.  For example, in the Education Committee we had some bills we have had workgroups working on for a couple of months and the amendments still are not quite right.  Sending these bills to the Rules Committee will allow us to finish our work and get the structure right before we send them out for a vote.  Other bills are sent there for a variety of reasons, including the potential of them being bargaining chips during the end game of the Session.  The bills sent to Ways and Means fall into two categories.  The majority of them are sent for legitimate reasons as they have money attached which makes them part of the budget process.  Others are sent there with the full intent of making additional policy decisions, which is a violation of our legislative process.  But, as usual, the majority party will ignore the rules that get in the way of their objectives.


The majority party made a point this week about how bi-partisan the process has been this Session.  They pointed out the fact that the majority of the bills that have been passed have had unanimous or nearly unanimous votes.  This is a true statement and has always been the case no matter which party was in control.  Most of the work we do tends to be of a technical nature and is not controversial.  But I would suggest there is a significant difference between a bill to add a physician assistant to the medical board and a bill to increase the minimum wage.  Early in the Session I received a list of bills from the Roseburg Chamber of Commerce, some they supported and some they opposed.  At the deadline all of the bills they supported were dead and all of the bills they opposed were still alive.  So much for the Legislature being focused on jobs and the economy.

I do occasionally try to step back and keep things in perspective.  To that end I want to give you a quote from Thomas Jefferson, but first a quote from President Kennedy on Jefferson.  President Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time.  He made this statement:  “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”


Our Founding Fathers were an amazing group brought together at just the right time to create a form of government that has changed the world.  I wish our schools spent as much time teaching this part of our history as was taught when I was in school, but that is a subject for a different time.  Of all the brilliant minds from that time, probably the greatest was Jefferson.  I have a long list of quotes from him that I think we all should remember, but for now I want to give you just two.  Jefferson said: “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the Labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”  Jefferson also said:  “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”


Simply stated, for every little bit of security the government offers you; you give up a little bit of freedom.  During the entirety of the Obama administration there has not been a budget passed.  Everything he has done has been done on the budget side by either continuing resolutions or executive orders (it should be noted Obama has issued three times as many executive orders as any other president).  The reality in Obamacare is the bill that will come due for Oregon in three years will be over $2 billion, and we continue to ignore the financial cliff we are headed towards.  I know I have mentioned this before, but it is very serious and needs to be repeated.


I wish I had some positive things to talk about relative to what is going on in Salem, but at this point it is hard to be optimistic.  Elections have results and we are reaping what we have sown.  My hope is that Oregonians will wake up before it is too late.  We are losing our freedoms an inch at a time and it is time to start to turn things around.




Senator Jeff Kruse







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