May 28 2015 Newsletter

Deborah Boone

 Greetings from Salem!

 Last weekend, the Blessing of the Fleet ceremonies were held at the Port of Garibaldi, as boaters remembered those lost at sea, and focused attention on a safe upcoming boating season.  In preparation for the busy fishing season, Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay recently installed their seasonal fog horn on the tip of the Tillamook Bay North Jetty.   It’s a reminder of how valuable the Coast Guard crews are and how they frequently save lives of commercial and recreational anglers, and one reason that I joined Rep. David Gomberg to co-sponsor HJM 20 encouraging Congress to continue funding the Newport Coast Guard Air Station.   The US House of Representatives has approved a Coast Guard appropriation package which includes funding the Newport Air Station through 2017.   The US Senate has not held hearings on the Coast Guard reauthorization legislation yet, but will do so later this year.

Coast Guard Installs Seasonal Fog Horn

Coast Guard Installs Season Fog Horn                                Photo: David Hubbell

The Coastal Caucus has identified the OSU Statewide Public Service Programs as a top funding priority for this legislative session.  The OSU statewide programs include the Agriculture Experimental Station, Forest Research Laboratory and OSU Extension Services.    The OSU Agriculture Experimental Station is based in Corvallis, with 11 branch stations across the state, conducting research in agricultural, biological, social and environmental sciences for the benefit of Oregon.    The Forest Research Laboratory, established in 1941 is Oregon’s original research agency and helps solve problems, create opportunities, and develop innovations about forest ecosystems, forest management and forest-derived renewable materials.   Finally,  the OSU Extension Service conveys research-based knowledge for practical uses to support agriculture, forest and natural resources management, health, nutrition, family, the 4-H youth program and community development.  OSU Extension recently celebrated their 100 years of serving Oregonians, and currently has of36 extension offices, five combined experiment and extension centers, and 8 branch experiment stations including the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station in Newport and the OSU Seafood Research and Education Center in Astoria.

On Tuesday, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. visited the Capitol, and I was able to meet him and speak with him briefly.  RFK, Jr. is the third of eleven children of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, and I was able to tell him how much I admired his father for his passion for people and advocacy for people with mental health issues.

Rep Boone and RFK, Jr.

Rep Boone and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.                                    Photo: Josette Hugo

As we enter what we expect to be the last month of Oregon’s 78th Legislative Assembly, things continue to move quickly.    On Wednesday, House Speaker Tina Kotek imposed House Rule 8.15 (subsection 6) which suspends the requirement that 48 hours’ notice must be given for work sessions during committee meetings.  If an amendment will be introduced at the work session, it must be available one hour before the work session, otherwise the committee can operate under the “post and go” format.  If the meeting is for the purpose of taking public testimony, at least 24 hours’ notice must be given.  This means that legislation can move very quickly, and it becomes nearly impossible for citizens to get to the Salem to testify on issues.    If you want to quickly weigh in on legislation, it’s best to contact my office by phone or email.

The resilience bills I am continuing to work on currently have been assigned to the Ways and Means committee, and include the following:

SB 808 would address the human elements of survival and recovery following a disaster.   This legislation forms a task force that would review existing response plans and work with local governments and organizations to prepare for and respond to catastrophic consequences and mass displacement that may result from naturally occurring seismic events. This bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

HB 2270 Establishes a State Resilience Officer in the Office of the Governor to direct, coordinate and oversee seismic safety and resilience planning and preparation by state agencies. This concept was the top priority from the Resilience Task Force that was charged with the implementation of the Oregon Resilience plan. This legislation received unanimous approval in the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

SB 94 Includes several recommendations for resilience preparation including seismically upgrading liquid fuel tanks, and entering into price agreements to obtain the use of heavy-left helicopters when needed. This bill also received unanimous approval in the Senate Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee.  

The Ways and Means committee has a heavy work load, with more than 400 bills to consider in the next few weeks.   HB 2818 would add the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association to the Individual Income Tax check-off list.     There are currently 7800 Oregon volunteer firefighters working tirelessly as first responders throughout the state.   The bill moved out of the House Revenue Committee last week with a “Do Pass” recommendation, and to the Ways and Means committee.

HCR 25 honoring former Nehalem Mayor Shirley Kalkhoven was assigned to the Senate Rules committee and is tentatively scheduled for a Public Hearing and Work Session on June 4th, Senator Betsy Johnson sponsored this legislation with me, and will be carrying the bill on the Senate side.

There are times when my office is contacted by constituents who have complaints or concerns with federal policy issues.   On federal matters, there is little state legislators can do, so we refer them to our members of the Oregon federal delegation.  Our US Senators are very responsive to our issues, and have committed to annually holding Town Hall meetings in each Oregon County.   Senator Ron Wyden has scheduled his 2015 Tillamook County Town Hall Saturday May 30th at 10:30am at the Port of Tillamook Bay Officers Mess Hall, 6825 Officer’s Row, Tillamook.  Senator Wyden generally opens with some comments about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and then takes questions from the crowd.   His staffers are on hand to follow up with individual concerns and issues.  

In order to best represent my district, I need to hear about your concerns.   My door is always open to constituents from House District 32, and I enjoy meeting with friends and neighbors when they visit Salem.   My office has moved to the fourth floor, I’m now in H-481.   If you are planning to visit the Capitol, let my office know a few days in advance so we can schedule an appointment.   If you have a concern or comment about a state agency or legislation under consideration, you can write, phone or email my office.

If you are interested in the legislative process, you can learn all about the Oregon Legislature, follow proposed bills, and watch committee meetings and floor sessions live, by accessing the Oregon Legislative Information System via the following link:

It is my privilege to represent you in the Oregon House of Representatives and I look forward to hearing from you.


Deborah Boone

email: I phone: 503-986-1432
address: 900 Court St NE, H-481, Salem, OR, 97301