Representative Deborah Boone E-Update


Representative Deborah Boone
D-Cannon Beach, District 32

Phone: 503-986-1432 900 Court St. NE, H-375 Salem Oregon 97301
Email: Website:

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While I have had many successes this legislative session, I am continuing my work to support Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians and advocate for the passage of Senate Bill 128, which is currently stalled in the House Revenue Committee.  SB 128 was introduced at the request of the Senate Interim Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs, and would add the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association (OVFA) to the Individual income tax return check-off list.  OVFA represents emergency medical technicians and firefighters and if approved, would use the tax return donations to provide hardship grants, death benefits, equipment and text book grants for volunteer firefighters and their families. 

SB128 was introduced in the Senate, and passed out of the Senate Revenue and Finance committee with a “do pass” recommendation.   It then received a unanimous vote on the Senate floor, and was sent to the House where it was assigned to the House Revenue Committee.  In order for this bill to come up for a House floor vote, it must receive a public hearing, and work session in committee.   Chairman House Revenue Committee, Phil Barnhart D-Eugene has yet to schedule a hearing or work session for this bill.    The Oregon Legislative procedure allows a committee chair to wield this type of control and power and basically one person in the right position has the authority to stop any piece of legislation. 

In my opinion, the committee system is designed to produce well thought out legislation, as it allows full public discussion on bills and issues under consideration.   Bills that have been introduced  are discussed, evaluated and amended during the committee process, and when they have the necessary support, are moved out of committee for consideration on the chamber floor.  After being approved in either the House or Senate, the bill then moves to the other chamber and again works through the committee process before a floor vote. The unfortunate drawback to the committee system, is the power and control of the chairman. As in this case, Rep. Barnhart has made no effort to schedule this popular bi-partisan bill in his committee, or explain his thought process regarding SB 128. 

To me, SB128 is a very positive piece of legislation.   There is no financial impact to the state, it just adds OVFA to the list of entities eligible for income tax return check-off contributions.   Oregonians can then make an individual choice whether to support OVFA with their tax refund.  This is the third session this has been introduced, and with the unanimous support in the Senate, I’m hoping the House will have the chance to consider and hopefully approve this bill to show legislative support for  our volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical technicians who are the first responders that our communities depend on in every emergency situation.

It was these first responders that were called out on Tuesday morning in Warrenton to the fire that destroyed the Pacific Coast Seafood plant on Northeast Skipanon Drive.  Firefighters responded to the scene from Warrenton, Astoria, Gearhart, Seaside, Lewis and Clark, and Illwaco, Washington as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Columbia River Sector.    Thankfully all Pacific Coast Seafood employees got out safely and there were no injuries to firefighters.    The building is a total loss, but Pacific Coast Seafood co-founder and CEO Frank Dulcich has pledged to keep the workers employed through the company’s 37 other facilities while decisions are made regarding rebuilding the plant in Warrenton. Senator Betsy Johnson and I are both concerned about economic impacts that a loss of 130 local jobs could have in the north coast area.   We will be working together to offer whatever assistance is possible to support the effort to keep the Pacific Coast Seafood plant in the north coast area.

If you have a concern or comment about a state agency, or pending legislation, you can write, phone or email my office, or when you’re in Salem, stop by my office in the Capitol.  It is my privilege to represent you in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Deborah Boone
State Representative District 32