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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This week the House and Senate Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committees held the third and final special hearing on the Oregon Resilience Plan.   This plan is the result of House Resolution 3, legislation I introduced during the 2011 session, and was developed under the guidance of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC).   The quality of Oregon Resilience Plan greatly exceeded my expectations, and is due to the hard work of 170 professionals who volunteered their time and expertise to work in eight different subgroups.   They created a document that is a blueprint for the state’s preparation and recovery from what is sure to be a devastating natural disaster.
This session, Senate Bill 33 was introduced to move into the implementation phase of the Oregon Resilience Plan.  SB 33 will designate a liaison for emergency preparedness and response, and establish a 17 member task force to facilitate the plan’s implementation. As we have learned from tsunami disasters in Japan and Chile, this is only the beginning.   Oregon’s Resilience Plan is a working document that will take incremental steps over the next 50 years to prepare the state for natural disasters.   The cost to implement this plan will be substantial, but the cost to Oregon if we do nothing is incalculable.  I am hoping that ultimately, the state will establish an Office of Resilience to oversee this effort as we move forward.

Oregon is the only west coast state to pass resilience legislation, which goes beyond the earthquake plans developed by California and Washington.  Getting a natural disaster response plan in place is crucial for the economic well-being of the coast and state.   Experts agree that when the Cascadia event occurs the devastation will be immense.  Bridges will collapse, roads will be impassable, utility infrastructure will be compromised, and the coastal communities will be inundated with water and debris.   The loss of life is estimated to be high, and for those coastal residents who do survive, many will be permanently displaced as their houses will be destroyed.

The message from the experts is that individuals must do a better job to prepare themselves.  Emergency assistance will not be immediate, and people will need some emergency supplies to get them through several days or possibly weeks before help arrives.  Thankfully, coastal residents in House District 32 are aware of the tsunami potential and have taken steps to educate and prepare.  Groups like the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem, and the Oregon National Guard at Camp Rilea have been leading the way to prepare for emergencies and will be key resources in times of crisis.

In other news, the Legislature has entered the last few weeks of the 2013 session, and the focus turns to the Ways and Means committee where they finalize the budgets for consideration and approval of both chambers. The main goal of the Legislative Assembly is mandated by Oregon’s Constitution which requires that lawmakers develop and approve a balanced state budget for the coming biennium.   Next week there will be several important votes which include the K-12 education budget, consideration of the hospital provider tax, and the public safety package.   In addition there will be a number of agency and commission budgets that come to the chambers for floor votes.

The votes that make the news are often very contentious, because the 90 members of the House and Senate have strong opinions about what is in the best interest for Oregon.  That is why it is so important for me to hear from the people of House District 32.  Often times you provide first-hand information about experiences and issues that impact you and your community.   I take these comments very seriously, and carefully weigh all options before voting.

If you have a concern or comment about a state agency, legislation, or a budget issue, 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