June Update

Rob Monroe

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this note finds you well. As the legislative session wraps up, I would love to hear your thoughts about how we can make Oregon better for our children, working individuals, and the vulnerable members of our society. To share what is important to you, I encourage you to join my town hall on Saturday, June 13th. 

In this legislative update, I would like to highlight some ways that I have been promoting fair elections, health and safety, and renewable energy for Oregon. 

Town Hall

What matters to you? Share it with me in person at my next Town Hall with Representative Reardon and Representative Vega Pederson. After a brief summary of the progress made this legislative session, you will have the opportunity to ask us questions. This is your opportunity to connect with your state government!

Where: Rosewood Initiative (16126 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233) 

When: Saturday, June 13th from 10-11:30 am 

Rosewood Initiative

Radio Interview – Campaign Contribution Reform

Wads of 100 dollar bills lay on a floor.

One of four states with no limits on campaign contributions, Oregon spent more than $23 million on legislative races last year alone. This has to change. No one should be able to buy a microphone so large that it drowns out most Oregonians. To reform this, I strongly support SJR 5 which would allow Oregonians to vote on limiting campaign contributions. Listen here to my interview last week on 107.1 FM about this critical issue, starting at six and a half minutes into the show.

Kick the Kicker!

In 2013, the tax estimate was lower than the May 2015 tax estimate. When this occurs, the excess money is returned to the taxpayers. Instead, this money could be used to support our children's education. My resolution SJR 2 lets Oregonians vote on amending the Oregon Constitution to send the kicker to the Education Stability Fund so that schools are not cut during economic downturns. Recently, a similar bill, HB 3555, was introduced which would send half of the kicker funds to the Oregon Rainy Day Fund and allot the other half for K-12 school funding and community colleges. These bills are proposed solutions to our education funding crisis. We need to kick the kicker and send it to schools!

Healthy Food Sold at Schools

A girl eats a green apple.

Healthy kids learn better and also grow up to be happier, more productive adults. In 2007, the Legislature passed HB 2650, taking junk food out of Oregon school cafeterias and vending machines. Similar standards are finally being adopted nationally. Passing with bipartisan support on May 28, HB 2404 adjusts school food and beverage nutritional standards to comply with federal standards and re-passed the House on Monday, June 1st. Healthy food helps our kids be healthy students.  

Veterans Gain University Priority Enrollment

Standing with our veterans, the Senate and House unanimously passed HB 2645, requiring public universities to grant priority enrollment to veterans, service members, and their dependents. The bill is on its way to Governor Kate Brown! Oregon veterans, thank you for your sacrifice and service.  

A soldier shows a little girl artillery.

Pfc. Jose Melendez, assistant gunner with the Governor's Own Honor Battery, shows a young girl artillery during the 65th annual Armed Forces Day commemoration at the State Capitol on May 14. The day paid tribute to the U.S. military from all branches of service (Photo by Christopher L. Ingersoll, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs). 

Renewable – Wave – Energy

Ocean waves crash on rocks.

Ever heard of wave energy? Last Thursday, May 28th, I carried on the Senate floor HB 2187, which encourages the use of wave energy in waters off the Oregon coast. Oregon’s territorial sea, from the water bank out to sea three miles, has been identified as a favorable location for renewable energy products including wave energy. House Bill 2187 declares that Oregon wave energy should be considered in regional energy planning. It passed unanimously. 

Domestic Violence Victims Find Protection from Guns

Each year about 28 Oregon domestic violence victims are killed by a family member's gun. In efforts to combat this, the Senate passed SB 525 on May 21st, prohibiting family members who are subject to restraining orders or who have been convicted of certain domestic violence crimes from possessing firearms or ammunition. Passing out of the House Judiciary Committee on June 1st, the bill has found bipartisan support. 

Helping Human Trafficking Victims

Chains hold hands together on a bed

Each year an estimated 100,000 children are victims of modern day slavery in America. These human trafficking victims are largely young girls who are sold for sex. To save lives from this deplorable practice, the Senate unanimously passed HB 3143 on May 20th. This bill requires bars and other types of locations, which human trafficking victims frequent, to allow a nonprofit to place Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) signs in restrooms and other appropriate places. Now HB 3143 is on its way to Governor Brown!

Housing – Combating Homelessness

A happy family sets on the front steps of their home.

When we see homeless individuals sitting on park benches or begging at freeway entrances, we often feel helpless. But we can do something. To bring a hand to struggling families, youth, and individuals in Multnomah County, the Senate and House passed HB 2195 last week. This legislation reallocates funds from housing foreclosures because of delinquent taxes toward housing and support for youth and families, rental assistance, and low income housing.

Congrats Graduates! Looking for Work?

Senator Monroe stands with graduate Titi.

To all of our Oregon graduates whose hard work over the last several years has paid off, I wish a heart-felt congratulations. If you are now looking for a job, some great resources are the Oregon State Employment Department and the State of Oregon Jobs Page. On the right is my intern Titi Ngo who is a PSU senior and graduating next week. Well Done and thank you for working in my office!

I'm now on Twitter!

To receive instant Capitol news updates, follow me on Twitter @SenatorMonroe

A picture of Senator Monroe's Twitter page.

Again, I hope to see you at our town hall on June 13th. I love to hear from you as constituents. You can keep in touch with my office by following my Facebook page, by emailing us at Sen.RodMonroe@state.or.us, or calling us at the State Capitol, at (503) 986-1724.

Best regards,

Rod Monroe

Senator Rod Monroe

Senate District 24 – East Portland and Happy Valley 

email: Sen.RodMonroe@state.or.us I phone: 503-986-1724
address: 900 Court St NE, S-409, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/monroe