Rep. Witt Newsletter June 24, 2015

Volume 9 Number 19

Brad Witt

Newsletter June 24, 2015

Hello Friends,

We are getting down to the last couple weeks of the session, and in these final days, the Ways and Means Committee is working diligently to prepare a budget that will meet the needs of the state for the next two years.  All of the state agencies must appear before the subcommittees and present their needs, and once that is done, recommendations are made to the full committee.  If the full committee approves, it is their task to submit these budgets to the Legislature and the Governor for final approval.  The budget must be balanced and it must carry us through to the end of 2017 – not an easy task.

It may seem like a lot of duplication, but the process is intentionally deliberate so that as many eyes as possible review the requests and make changes where needed.  Some of these budgets have made their way through the process and I thought I would share a few of them with you, especially those that impact the availability of services in District 31.

All three counties in my district will benefit from the Addictions and Mental Health (AMH) budget that just came out of committee. SB 5526 sets aside $28 million for additional mental health services, including crisis prevention, jail diversion, supported housing, and additional capacity in detox centers and sobering facilities.  There will also be $500,000 for public health modernization planning.  These facilities provide essential, low cost health care, especially in rural areas, so the additional funding will be most welcome.

Another important service for the counties within my district is the presence of the County Veterans Service Officers (CVSOs).  SB 5539 is the budget bill for the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Ways and Means Committee voted to increase the appropriation for CVSOs by $500,000.  This will make a huge difference in the level of service provided veterans in our local communities who may be struggling with issues ranging from PTSD, housing, employment and health care.  If you know of anyone who can use these services, you can click on the following link to find contact information: State, County and National Veteran Service Officers 

SB 439A establishes an Outdoor Education Account in the State Treasury for the purpose of funding a six-day, hands-on outdoor school program for fifth or sixth grade students across the state. I know that many who read this can recount memorable experiences of their own at outdoor school.   This is a beloved program, which was largely discontinued during the recession, but it has long been recognized as a life-changing event for some students.  It is not just “summer camp,” but a curriculum designed by the OSU Extension Service to allow students to learn by experience such relevant topics as science, technology, engineering and math.  I’m glad to see that school districts will once again be able to offer this important program.

Finally, here are some other bills of interest that are on their way to the Governor’s desk:

·         SB 705 Directs the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt rules requiring accredited inspector to perform asbestos survey for purpose of determining whether asbestos-containing materials are present at residence or residential building before demolition

·         SB 713B Prohibits a manufacturer from requiring a motor vehicle dealer to promote, offer or sell an extended service contract, plan or product, with exceptions

·         SB 187 Establishes OR Student Information Protection Act, which prescribes activities of internet service with regard to personal information of students K-12

·         SB 93 Allows patients to obtain a 90-day prescription from brick and mortar pharmacy as well as mail order provider


Yours truly,


Representative Brad Witt
House District 31

Oregon Drought Map 2015

Drought has been declared in 20 of Oregon's 36 counties.  Governor Brown has launched the #ORdrought campaign to keep us informed and prepared via social media.  We can all take steps to reduce our water use.

At home: check for any leaks and repair immediately, wash only full loads of laundry or dishes, wash fruits & vegetables in a pan or bucket, turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving. 

Outside: water plants when it is cool in the morning or evening, mulch around plants and shrubs, minimize or eliminate fertilizers, inspect your irrigation system and consider drip irrigation.


Clatskanie Heritage Days

This Saturday, June 27, marks the 25th Annual Clatskanie Cruisers Car Show – the lead event for Clatskanie's 2015 Heritage Days celebration.

Saturday starts off with the Arts Commission pancake breakfast and other food events on Saturday include the Pie in the Park baking contest and pie sale, and the Farmer's Market & Kale Cook-off. 

Events continue this Sunday and Activities pick back up next Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, with the annual parade, logging show & timber sports exhibition, children's activities and fireworks spectacular.

Read more about the event and see the full schedule in The Chief

scappoose summerfest

email: I phone: 503-986-1431
address: 900 Court St NE, H-374, Salem, OR, 97301