Rep Deborah Boone Newsletter July 2 2015

Deborah Boone

Greetings from Salem!

The 78th Oregon Legislative Assembly is nearing Sine Die.   By law, legislators must wrap up our business for the session on or before July 11th.   It is likely that we will finish our work within the next week.

This week Governor Kate Brown signed HB 3400 setting the parameters of legalizing marijuana.  This legislation sets new limits on the size of medical marijuana growing operations, requires testing and labeling standards while allowing voters in cities and counties to levy up to a 3 percent sales tax on marijuana.     On Wednesday, Ballot Measure 91 took effect legalizing recreational marijuana use for those at least 21 years of age in Oregon.  It remains illegal to smoke marijuana in public, and to drive under the influence of the drug.  HB 3400 lowers a number of penalties for marijuana offenses while making it easier to expunge minor marijuana convictions.  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is the state agency tasked with regulating recreational marijuana.    For information about adult legal use of the drug, you can access the following link: 

Q&A: Everything you need to know about legal marijuana in Oregon

The Oregon Legislature’s legal mandate is to develop and approve a balanced state budget for the upcoming biennium.   As we finalize our budgets, we are able to release information about the Capital Construction projects that are being funded in the coming biennium.   There is good news for the district, first Tillamook County will be receiving $7.87 million for construction of a new Tillamook County Courthouse to be built adjacent to the Tillamook County Justice Center on Long Prairie Road.   The $7.87 million will be used for planning and construction, nearly half of what will be needed for the $16-18 million project.    Also, the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) facilities in the district will receive Capital Construction funding, $591 thousand for the North Coast OYA and $1.187 million for the Tillamook OYA.     Also, $205 million has been earmarked for seismic upgrades for public education and emergency services buildings, so we could tap into some of those funds for local projects.

As in every legislative session, there have been bills that have received lots of attention, but have failed to gain enough support to become law.   One of those was SB 913, which became known as the “Ivory” bill, and would prohibit purchase or sale of ivory, rhinoceros horn, ivory products of rhinoceros horn products.    While this bill was supported by the Humane Society, and I had lots of constituents weigh in on its value, but after passing in the Senate with a party-line vote, it failed to make it out of the House Judiciary Committee, so did not come to the House Floor for a vote.

One of the unsuccessful bills I sponsored this session was HB 2818, to add the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association (OVFA) to the individual income tax return check-off list.  OVFA represents emergency medical technicians, and firefighters and hoped to use tax return donations to provide training scholarships, hardship grants, death benefits, and equipment for volunteer firefighters and their families. There are currently 7,800 Oregon volunteer firefighters and EMTs who work tirelessly as first responders in communities throughout the state, and although I am disappointed this bill was not approved this session, it is a positive piece of legislation, and I will continue my advocacy on behalf of Oregon’s First Responders.

This session the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife proposed reducing agency staffing levels, additional general fund appropriations, and extensive license fee increases to balance the budget and fill a projected gap between revenues and expenses.  There was quite a push back regarding the licensing fee increases from recreational hunters and anglers, as well as the charter fishing industry, so a workgroup was assembled to see if a compromise could be reached.    This results of the workgroup include an additional $2 million in General Fund monies, and reducing the proposed increase in recreational fishing and hunting fees.  Other concepts put forward by the work group included addressing predation on fish and wildlife, continuing the Mule Deer Initiative, advancing the Lower Deschutes River Ranch project acquisition, and continued funding for the lower Columbia River Fishery Reform implementation.    The fee increases will be phased in over the next five years, and a task force will look to diversify agency revenue sources, if adequate sustainable alternative revenue sources are identified, the 2020 fee increases will not take effect.

There have been some very special people honored recently.  Bill and Paula Peek were named Manzanita’s Citizens of the year.  The Peeks have worked tirelessly with the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay, Paula recruited the army of volunteers needed for the “Map Your Neighborhood” program, took the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and created and coordinates the CERT at Neah-Kah-Nie High School.   Bill has been key to the Family Radio Service component of the project, personally installing antennas to improve emergency communications in north Tillamook County, he also teaches Family Radio Service use, and organized the HAM radio network.  They also are active Manza-Whee-Lem Kiwanis Club members, and while Bill serves as treasurer on the Manzanita Farmers’ Market board, Paula helps out with the set up and information booth.  Congratulations to this hard-working and deserving couple!

The Tillamook County Economic Development Council banquet was held last week and its tourism organization: “Visit Tillamook Coast” announced that Gary and Carla Abright are the recipients of the Shirley Kalkhoven Tourism Excellence award.   The Albrights were honored because of their work revitalizing the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, the development of Kilchis Point Reserve, and their efforts to help form the new Tillamook Coast History Alliance to jointly promote the county’s many cultural entities.   The award is named to honor the late Nehalem Mayor Shirley Kalkhoven who was the Co-Chair of the Tourism Advisory Committee at the time of her passing in March this year.

I want to wish everyone a happy and safe July 4th!  With the hot and dry weather conditions, everyone needs to use caution with fireworks. Or better yet, attend a locally produced event.  If you do choose to get your own please be aware and considerate of the environment, you neighbors and pets before lighting fireworks.   Oregon law bans the possession, use or sale of fireworks that fly, explode or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches in the air. This year we have had less rainfall and more drying conditions, so it is more important than ever to be safe with fireworks. On a personal note, I have been looking forward to spending the holiday in the district enjoying the parades and celebrations.   However, as we near the end of the session, lawmakers may be working this weekend, and I may need to remain at the Capitol.

As we try to finish up our work, the House has been holding morning, afternoon and sometimes evening floor sessions, so scheduling can get tricky at times.   I always try to make time to meet with constituents when they visit Salem.  If you are coming to the Capitol, please let my office know in advance for planning purposes.  As always, if you have a problem or concern regarding a state agency, you can contact my office.

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