Session e-Bulletin: Co-chairs' Budget, Scam Alert, My Bills & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-417, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     February/March 2013

If you're having trouble viewing this message, please visit my legislative web page at, click on "News" in the lower left-hand column and scroll down.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the 2013 legislative session! I hope the new year is treating you well.

    There's much to report from Salem. We're entering the ninth week of the 2013 legislative session. I'd like to list my committee assignments for your reference as well as noteworthy bills that I have introduced (separate section below).

    First, I'd like to thank those who attended my January town halls in Elmira, Eugene, Winchester and Oakridge. We had great turnouts and discussed important issues. I value your input, so please keep it coming, whether at community events or by e-mail/phone. For those of you who provided your e-mail addresses at the meetings, I hope you enjoy this newsletter.

    This session, and I am honored to continue to serve as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. As co-chair of the newly-created Joint Committee on Public Safety, I am continuing my work from the Governor's Commission on Public Safety, which I worked on during the interim. I also now serve on the General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee. Finally, I serve on the Rural Communities and Economic Development Committee, which is something of a continuation of my service and experience on the County Payments Task Force. I'm excited and committed to putting in the hours and listening to the concerns of Oregonians so that we can tackle important issues this session.

    Below you will find information on:

- Latest Revenue Forecast and Co-chairs' Recommended Budget
My Bills: 2013 Session
        - OLIS: Oregon Legislative Information System
        - Firearms Legislation this Session
Scam Alert: Grandparent Scam
        - Honorary Page Program
        - Northwest Youth Corps Visit
        - Excellence in Family Business Awards Nominations
126 Fern Ridge Corridor Plan Adopted by Lane County Commission
        - OR 58: Salt Creek Tunnel Project Informational Postcard
        - Free Online Tax Preparation Services

        - Walks to End Alzheimer's
        - New Breed of Hazelnut

OSU Brews Up New Online, On-site Classes for Beer-makers

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

March Revenue Forecast and Co-chairs' Recommended Budget

    The latest revenue forecast shows that General Fund revenue is up $162.3 million in the 2011-2013 biennium, but $74 million down in the 2013-2015 biennium. The
 increase ($162.3 million) comes from an uptick in recent tax collections, especially for corporate income. Next biennium's projections have declined by $74 million, but available revenues may be up overall due to the ending balance in the current biennium. This forecast shows strong economic indicators of steady improvement in our economy, but the effects of the great recession are still having an impact on Oregon families.

Earlier this month, the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means released their 2013 Budget Framework. It will guide our budget conversations for the duration of the session.

For me, the highlight is the $6.75 billion equivalent budget for schools – nearly $1 billion in additional resources and savings above what schools had in 2011-13. After a half-decade of economic instability causing cuts to schools, teacher layoffs, increased class sizes, and shrinking school years, I'm happy to see a budget that stabilizes school funding and allows us to begin rebuilding our education system.

The co-chairs' budget also includes critical investments in job creation, health care, human services, public safety, and other priorities, including renewing the hospital self-assessment to deliver health care to 220,000 additional Oregonians, increasing community mental health programs for children and young adults, and maintaining funding for Head Start and other early childhood education.

However, funding schools and services at this level requires a number of difficult decisions that are still to be made – a balance of strict budgeting, increased efficiencies, savings from PERS, and revenue from targeted reductions in tax expenditures.

Next, the Ways and Means Sub-committees will begin working to find savings and efficiencies while prioritizing vital services. I will continue to push that our budget includes increased efficiencies, selective adjustments to tax expenditures, and smarter use of tax dollars so we can get more money into our schools and other critical services that we all count on.

    You can review the co-chairs' budget in full, here: .

My Bills: 2013 Session

    SB 602, Protecting Waldo Lake (passed the Senate): Senator Lee Beyer and Representative Paul Holvey have joined me in co-chief sponsoring this bill to prohibit sea planes on Waldo Lake. Sixteen other senators and 18 representatives signed on to the bill as co-sponsors. Currently, 21 other lakes in Oregon have this protection. Waldo Lake is a treasure for our region. This bill stems from contradictory rulings made by the state Marine Board and Aviation Board. The Marine Board made a ruling to ban motors on boats operating on Waldo Lake. The Aviation Board then made a ruling to allow float planes to continue to use Waldo Lake. While I understand that the Aviation Board has general authority over aircraft, I do not believe it should be able to override a Marine Board decision to prohibit gas motors on Oregon's waterways. It is my opinion that once a float plane lands on a state waterway, it becomes a watercraft and is subject to the rules of the Marine Board. Since we now have two state agencies making contradictory rulings, I believe that the state legislature has a duty to resolve the dispute and to clarify which agency has jurisdiction over the waterways of the state. The purpose of SB 602 is to affirm the Marine Board's previous decision banning the use of gasoline motors on Waldo Lake. I expect a separate bill will address the jurisdiction issue between the two agencies. The Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee passed the bill with an exemption for electric motors.

    SB 423, Better Mining Practices (public hearing pending): I introduced this bill at the request of constituents living in the Dexter area in response to questionable mining practices at Parvin Butte. The primary goal of the legislation to to ensure greater public input and participation in the issuance of mining permits by the state. The Department of Geology & Mineral Industries has major concerns about the bill, as it entails significant resource committments by the agency.

    SB 422, Police Support for Rural Fire Districts (passed the Senate): This bill would authorize rural fire protection districts (RFDs) to contract with state or local law enforcement agencies to provide the district with special law enforcement services. Dwindling resources at the county level have resulted in cuts to law enforcement services throughout the state, making it difficult for RFDs to do their jobs. For instance, most RFDs will not enter private premises if there is a security threat at the location. This can result in delays in responding to both medical and fire emergencies.  My bill would: (1) make available more law enforcement services for RFD call-outs and (2) ensure that a deputy would be available, when not responding with RFD personnel, for regular law enforcement services within the RFD. This program would be voluntary.

    SB 796, "live fire" training for concealed handgun licensees (public hearing scheduled: 4/5): This bill would require new applicants for concealed handgun licenses to complete "live fire" training as part of the gun safety program. Current state law does not require this training. To me, it makes sense that a person who is allowed to carry a loaded concealed weapon, they should first demonstrate proficiency in using the gun. After all, we require a person to pass a driving test before getting their driver’s license!

    SBs 421 & 426, extending civil committment (public hearings held, work session pending): I introduced these two bill on behalf of fallen Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen's widow and father, as well as Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner. SB 421 modifies the civil commitment process and duration for ORS 137.700 (Measure 11) offenses.

    SB 483, a new process for patients and doctors to resolve disputes (signed into law by the governor): During the 2012 interim, Gov. Kitzhaber formed a patient safety and defensive medicine workgroup that included Sen. Jeff Kruse, two representatives and myself. The workgroup produced SB 483, which Sen. Kruse and I co-chief sponsored and co-carried it to passage in the Senate (26-3) on March 5. The bill would implement an Early Discussion and Mediation (EDM) process to reduce the volume of expensive malpractice lawsuits, improve patient-provider relationships, improve the practice environment for doctors and protect a patient's constitutional right to access justice. EDM is an innovation that will improve patient safety by allowing providers and patients to openly discuss health incidents that cause harm. Ultimately, this new process will lead to better care at a lower cost. Notably, the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association came together in support of SB 483.

    SB 574, allowing parents to freeze child's credit files (public hearing held, work session pending): I introduced this bill at the request of a constituent following a data breach 4J. This legislation would allow parents to "freeze" their child's consumer report. In 2012, a former student breached 4J School District's computer system, accessing identity information for thousands of current and former students.

    SB 496, federal money for sheriff's patrols (passed committee): This bill would require that money in a county's road fund and expended for sheriff's patrols be used solely for direct and indirect costs associated with patrolling. The bill defines "patrolling."

    SB 549, extending tax exemption for federal land used by recreation facility operators (public hearing held, work session pending):
Diamond Lake Resort has been a employer and vacation destination in Douglas County (near Crater Lake) for almost 90 years. It and other resorts that lease their land from the federal government pay taxes to the federal government as part of their lease payment. Those taxes are shared with the county. For many years up until 2012, the state has had a tax exemption in place so that treasures like Diamond Lake don't have to pay both state and federal property taxes. There are approximately 90 rural properties throughout the state facing similar problems. I introduced SB 549 with Sen. Jeff Kruse to put that property tax exemption back in place for another 10years. Rep. Hanna introduced the same legislation in the House.

    SB 424, Oregon Statehood Day (pending Senate vote): February 14th is not only Valentine's Day, but it's also Oregon's birthday!  Senate Bill 424 would designate Feb.14 of each year as Oregon Statehood Day. This idea was brought to me by a group of student constituents.

OLIS: Oregon Legislative Information System

    This session, the Legislature's Information Services department has rolled out a new online application system for access to legislative information. The O
regon Legislative Information System (OLIS) is designed to streamline access to session information. It provides access to bills, committee information, and the daily events of the session. Click on the image below to access and explore OLIS.

Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) is an application designed to streamline access to session information. OLIS provides access to bills, committee information, and the daily events of the session.
The system will provide the user with greater access to follow the actions of the Legislature and specific bills.

Firearms Legislation this Session

    Following the tragedies in Connecticut and at Clackamas Town Center, as well as countless other gun-related tragedies in recent years, there has been a sustained surge of support, including from gun owners, for enhanced gun safety laws in our country and state. In response, there has been an outcry from gun advocates against any new regulations. Much communication has been directed to me as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where related legislation is referred.

    I support both the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution. As a gun owner for more than 40 years (I bought my first gun when I was 15 years old), I believe an individual has the right to use a firearm to for self-defense and the defense of others. At the same time, I believe Congress and the states have the authority to establish reasonable regulations on firearms.

    In addition to SB 796 (summarized above), bills have been introduced to require a background check before transferring a gun to anyone outside the transferor's immediate family, and to prohibit guns in K-12 schools as well as open-carry in the Capitol building. A public hearing has been scheduled for April 5 from 8:30-noon in HR 50 of the Capitol.

    I believe any ban on assault weapons or high capacity magazines is best addressed in Congress.

Scam Alert: Grandparent Scam

Last year, Oregonians reported sending more than $300,000 – most often, by wire transfer – to scammers pretending to be a relative in trouble in a foreign country. Their story usually follows a familiar line: They were traveling overseas with a friend, and were in some legal trouble, got arrested, and need money to be bailed out of jail. 
     Alternatively, they were in a car accident and need money urgently for medical and legal costs. The "relative" asks for the money to be wired to an account as soon as possible. Of course, none of this is true. The caller is not, in fact your relative.
     Here is what you need to know to avoid becoming a victim of this type of "grandparent" scam:

  • Do not be fooled by detailed greetings where the caller seems to know your relative's name, such as:  "Hi Grandma, it's Joey. I'm in trouble..." Many smart scammers are able to get names and details from online directories, social networking websites, or even obituaries. Some hack into email accounts to get this personal information to help with their fraud.
  • When the supposed family member pleads with you not to tell his or her family what happened, don't trust that request. Immediately reach out to parents or other relatives to ensure your relative's safety. More than likely, your relative (grandchild, niece, nephew, etc.) is safe and sound at work, school or home – not in trouble in a foreign country.
  • When in doubt, contact the Oregon Department of Justice's (ODJ) Consumer Hotline for help at 1-877-877-9392. Never send money before verifying the legitimacy of calls such as this, and, in any event, don't send money to accounts you are not familiar with by wire transfer. ODJ can help you determine if the situation is a scam. If it fits this description, the chances are almost 100% that it is a scam!

     Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is committed to the financial and physical safety of all Oregonians. Please let ODJ know if you have been scammed. Only about 10 percent of victims of these scams report them, so the real loss is closer to 5 million dollars! These scammers are very smart and they are hard to catch. You can help ODJ by reporting these incidents.

Honorary Page Program

    The Legislature’s Honorary Page Program offers young people 12 and older the opportunity to spend a day participating in the legislative process. Pages start the day with a tour of the Capitol and then have a chance to participate in the operations of the Senate. If your child, or someone else you know, is interested in being an Honorary Page for a day please contact me so that my staff can help coordinate that opportunity. I am happy to facilitate youth involvement in the legislative process.

Northwest Youth Corps Visit

    On March 8, I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of Northwest Youth Corps students and alumni at my office in Salem. They learned about the legislative process and we discussed their accomplishments and goals. Northwest Youth Corps is a youth development and outdoor education organization based in Eugene that has provided opportunities to more than 14,000 young Oregonians since its establishment in 1984.

Excellence in Family Business Awards Nominations

    The nominations for the 2013 Oregon State University Austin Family Business Program Excellence in Family Business Awards are open until Monday, April 1. This is an opportunity to recognize outstanding family businesses that you work with. You may nominate a worthy family business by completing the online nomination form.

    The family-owned companies receiving Excellence awards have set the standards for the last 25 years. Their growth, accomplishments, and community contributions inspire and encourage others to follow. Detailed information about the eligibility and videos of prior winners is available at

    Each nominated business will receive a letter acknowledging your support. Nominees will then be invited to complete an application describing their family business practices, values and community support. All applicants get useful feedback in an individualized report that evaluates their best practices. The print coverage that highlights winning family businesses will also recognize professional advisors that support these businesses.

    Please call the
Austin Family Business Program at 1-800-859-7609 with any questions.

Power Transmission Line Rebuild

    The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is proposing to rebuild its 41-mile long, 115-kilovolt (kV) Lane-Wendson transmission line between Eugene and Florence. The wood pole line was constructed in 1948 and most of the structures are physically worn and, in some places, structurally unsound. Based on its deteriorated condition, the line needs to be rebuilt in order to maintain reliable electrical service, avoid risks to the public, and ensure worker safety.

    The project would include replacing all wood-pole structures and conductors as well as improving access roads. Most structures would be replaced with the same size poles in the same locations unless changes are needed for safety or to minimize environmental impacts. Access roads would be improved and new access roads may need to be aquired or developed. The transmission line would continue to operate at 115-kV.

    To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA will prepare an environmental asessment (EA). The EA will study the line rebuild, as well as a no-action alternative in which the line is not rebuilt and current maintenance practices continue. The EA will describe anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and include mitigation measures that would help avoid or minimize impacts. During this process, BPA will work with landowners, federal, state and local agencies, interest groups, and tribes.

    BPA will hold an open house at the Florence Event Center on April 2 from 5-7 p.m. They will also hold an open house meeting at Veneta Elementary School on April 3 from 5-7 p.m. The meetings are an opportunity for the public to review and comment on BPA's proposal to rebuild the 41-mile Lane-Wendson transmission line.

126 Fern Ridge Corridor Plan Adopted by Lane County Commission

    The Lane County Board of Commissioners adopted the Highway 126 Fern Ridge Corridor Plan last month. Residents, elected officials, and staff from Veneta testified in full support of the plan. It will now go the Oregon Transportation Commission for final adoption in April.

    The plan includes both spot improvements for safety and function that can be enacted in  short-term as well as long-term improvements. The city of Veneta is currently seeking funding sources to move the project proposal forward for a multi-use path off the highway.

    Thanks to everyone who participated for your commitment to focus attention on the issues and craft realistic solutions. You accomplished something important for the future safety and function of Highway 126.

OR 58: Salt Creek Tunnel Project Informational Postcard

    A printable postcard with closure and restriction information for the OR 58: Salt Creek Tunnel project can be downloaded at: Please contact Rick Little, Public Information Officer, with questions about the project at or (541) 726-2442.

Free Online Tax Preparation Services

    The Free File Alliance, a coalition of industry-leading tax software companies partnered with the Internal Revenue Service, has announced the launch of the 2013 IRS Free File program. Since its inception in 2003, IRS Free File has offered low-to-moderate income taxpayers free access to leading online commercial tax preparation software. This year, every taxpayer with a 2011 Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or less may prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost.

    To begin, taxpayers should visit the IRS website, Users will find a list of Free File Alliance member companies and may either choose the one that fits their needs or utilize the "help me find a company" tool. After selecting a tax software company, users will be transferred to the company's website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns.

Walks to End Alzheimer's

The Oregon chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has arranged five walks in 2013 to raise funds and awareness for this devastating disease. The Roseburg "Walk to End Alzheimer's" will take place on Sept.15 and the Eugene walk on Oct 13. There will also be walks in Bend (Sept. 29), Medford (Sept. 14) and Portland (Sept. 8). To register, visit the Walk to End Alzheimer's web site.

New Breed of Hazelnut

azelnuts are big business in Lane County. As such, I was excited to learn that OSU recently development a new breed of hazelnut, called "Wepster."

    Wepster has numerous advantages over some of its peers, including not requiring much pruning or training, having consistently high yields, and having a high resistance to Eastern filbert blight, which is present throughout the Willamette Valley, where 99 percent of the United States' hazelnuts are grown. It produces small, round kernels, which makes it ideal for the chocolate industry.

    Wepster is the result of a cross made in 1997 and is named after the Wepster family from Sheridan in honor of their contributions to both the Oregon hazelnut industry and OSU's hazelnut breeding program.

    You can read a complete article about Wepster, here:

OSU Brews Up New Online, On-site Classes for Beer-makers

    To fill a knowledge gap among both professional and hobbyist beer-makers, Oregon State University has created several online and on-site short courses for brewers who want to refine their technical skills.

    On-site classes will take place this summer to allow students to network with some of the state's leading brewmasters. OSU professor and fermentation scientist Tom Shellhammer, who designed the curricula after consulting with industry leaders, will be the lead instructor for the classes.

    To register and to see a video about the classes, go to The registration deadline is April 1.

    The first course will begin May 15 with two days of online instruction on microbiology to be completed by June 10. It will be followed by in-class lessons at OSU's brewery June 17-18 in Corvallis. Students will learn how to properly handle yeast and identify and assess organisms that can spoil wort and beer.

    The second class, which will focus on beer analysis, also begins May 15. Students must complete online lessons by June 10. Then they can take on-campus instruction at OSU's brewery from June 19-20. Participants will learn to calculate and measure different characteristics of beer, including wort gravity, carbohydrates, calories, dissolved oxygen, clarity and color.

    In both courses, class size is limited to 24 students and admission determined by experience level.

    Students in either of these classes are eligible to enroll in a one-day tour of Willamette Valley farms that produce ingredients for beer, as well as OSU's hops and barley breeding facilities on June 21. The goal of the tour is to help participants develop a quality assurance program for their breweries.

    From June 12-14, OSU will offer a sensory testing course at its Food Innovation Center in Portland. Students will learn to collect and analyze brewing data and develop their skills in evaluating beer flavor, clarity, color and foam. Students will also tour the brewery of Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland.

    During a recent evening event is Salem, I had an opportunity to taste some of OSU's brews. I can tell you that these guys know what they're doing and they are innovative.

Prozanski Facebook Link

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail addres s, or stop subscriptions at any time on your User Profile Page. You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact


OSU brews up new online, on-site classes for beer makers