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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The Legislative process takes time, patience and determination.   Since my election in 2004, I have been working on issues relating to Emergency Preparedness, this has been one of my on-going priorities. As a member of the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee this session I was impressed by the quality of the Oregon Resilience Plan, which was outlined for lawmakers during a series of committee meetings and workshops.   After seeing the devastation the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused in Japan, I sponsored House Resolution 3, which directed the Office of Emergency Management to develop the Resilience Plan.   The plan establishes methods and procedures to get transportation, utility and communication services back to a 90% capacity within four weeks of a disaster.   Strengthening and reinforcing vital infrastructure will take time and investment, and the Resilience Plan sets a 50 year goal for making the improvements that will help the state and its citizens recover from disaster as quickly as possible.

 This session, I sponsored several pieces of legislation to continue to support emergency preparedness efforts. HB 2183 relates to the timing of the Earthquake Drill Requirement. For public agencies and large employers an annual drill is required, and with the passage of HB 2183, instead of a mandatory April date, that drill can now be scheduled at a time deemed appropriate by the agency or business.   HB 2183 received unanimous votes on the House and Senate Floor House Floor and was signed into law by the Governor and takes effect January first.

 HB 2176 was the Seismic Upgrades Bonding bill I sponsored to authorize another round of bonding to strengthen essential infrastructure. Voters approved a statewide initiative in 2001, establishing the Oregon Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program within the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. HB 2176 was designed as a placeholder to add additional attention and funding to the grant program and this goal was achieved.   The importance of funding seismic upgrades to schools and emergency buildings was recognized in the Governor’s Budget and has been included in the Capitol Construction Budget package.

 In times of emergency when electricity is disrupted, many key response facilities like hospitals, 911 dispatch centers, and emergency information broadcasters, use emergency power generators. Oregon’s renewable fuel standards require that fuel contain a renewable component, like ethanol or biodiesel.   These additives do break down over time, so it is not optimal for emergency power generator fuel, as those supplies may be stored for some time. HB 3448 allows a waiver of the renewable component for fuel stored for emergency power generators, and was signed by the Governor after receiving unanimous support in both the House and Senate.

 Another bill I was proud to sponsor was HB 2182 which designates September 27th as First Responder Appreciation Day. This bill received unanimous approval both in the House and Senate and has been signed by the Governor.   The Governor has now issued a proclamation naming September 27th, 2013 as First Responder Appreciation Day.   It was gratifying to see all state lawmakers recognize those community members who stand ready 24 hours a day to come to the aid of their community. This is an issue that near and dear to my heart, as I served 16 years as a volunteer Medical First Responder with the Hamlet Fire Department.   I think the average citizen would be surprised to learn how much is required of First Responders.   In addition to weekly drills, there is on-going education and training requirements for annual re-certification.   First Responders must be ready at all times in case of a call out. There is no way to anticipate the type of emergency to which you are responding, which is why training for a variety of emergencies is so important. First Responders help our communities in many ways, and I’m gratified to see the support for First Responders Appreciation Day.  

 It is my privilege to be representing Oregon’s north coast, and coastal issues are always among my top priorities.   This session I continued the work to get funding to complete Oregon’s Territorial Seafloor Mapping effort. This is valuable information that among its many uses is used for safety of navigation, habitat science, and tsunami modeling and mitigation and coastal erosion, and commercial use data. This session I introduced HB 2694 to require ocean energy developers to share sea floor mapping data with the Oregon State University Oregon Territorial Sea Mapping Project.   I have been working on this mapping effort since 2005, and in the past eight years scientists have mapped 54% of the state’s territorial sea, but in some cases energy developers have mapped the same area multiple times. By sharing the data, this would avoid duplication of the effort, allowing OSU researchers to target areas more effectively. This bill was signed by the Governor in May, and will add crucial data to the study.

 HB 3451 allocates funding for an Oceangoing Research Vessel that will be used to further marine studies undertaken on the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory system ship. The work will be coordinated through Oregon State University, and among its goals are gathering data important for sea floor mapping, analysis of marine eco-systems, assessing the ocean health, and gaining a better understanding of ocean dynamics.

 Another issue I view as a win for my coastal constituents is Senate Bill 737, which came out of the Coastal Caucus and establishes the Ocean Science Trust. The goal of the trust will be to promote peer-reviewed competitive research and monitoring which will lead to increased knowledge and understanding of Oregon’s ocean and coastal resources, promote innovative, collaborative, community-oriented, multi-institutional approaches to ocean and coastal resource research and monitoring, and enhance the state’s capacity for peer-reviewed scientific ocean and coastal research.   SB 737 also establishes The Oregon Ocean Science Fund, which will be the funding mechanism for Oregon Science Trust research efforts. Funding for this research will come from foundation grants, donations, contributions or gifts, Legislative appropriations, interest earned on the fund, and any money received by the state from the federal government that constitutes Oregon’s distributive share of collections under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

 The House also approved House Joint Memorial 3, which is the Local Seafood Marketing Initiative, and is a Pacific Fisheries Legislative Task force effort directing Congress to promote the sale of Oregon Seafood. Similar legislation is being introduced in the states of Washington, Alaska, Idaho and California to promote their seafood products. I was gratified to see Oregon lawmakers recognize the obvious value of seafood production and marketing to our state’s economy, and unanimously approved this measure in the House and Senate, before being filed with the Secretary of State.

 Another that is a high priority of mine has always been child safety issues, and this session I sponsored House Concurrent Resolution (HRC) 26 relating to Child Abuse Prevention.   Unfortunately, Oregon data shows that there were nearly 75,000 reports and more than 11,500 victims of child abuse and neglect in 2011. HRC 26 recognizes that many child abuse and neglect situations are preventable with the support of an engaged community, and when families have the support and access to services needed to raise children in a healthy environment.   Victims of child abuse are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as substance abuse, which can lead to criminal behavior, health problems, and poor academic performance. HRC 26 urges all Oregonians to work together, supporting programs and strengthening communities so ensure all families have the means to raise their children in a healthy environment. This bill received unanimous support in the House and Senate before being filed with the Secretary of State.

 HRC 17 declares a commitment of Legislative Assembly to making lung cancer awareness a public health priority. Lung cancer is the leading cancer-related killer in Oregon, accounting for more than 25 percent of all cancer deaths.   As is with most cancer’s early detection is key for improving survival rates, and only 15 percent of lung cancers are diagnosed in the early stages. I was pleased to see this legislation received unanimous support in both the House and Senate, and has been filed with the Secretary of State.

 It has been a long legislative session, and while there have been disappointments, I have been gratified with the many successes we have achieved.   It is important to remember that the legislative process can be long and difficult.   Bills that are passed with the best intentions may have unintended consequences and may need to be revisited and amended.   Legislation that fails in one session may be reintroduced with little or no changes and be approved in the future.

 Even when we are not in session, I’m still available to help if you have an issue or concern regarding a state agency.   If you have a concern or problem that needs a legislative “fix” the interim period is a good time to discuss potential legislation.   Some of the best ideas for new laws come from constituents, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. You can write, phone or email my office, even when we’re not in the Capitol, we check our message regularly. It is my privilege to represent you in the Oregon House of Representatives, and I look forward to hearing from you.

 Sincerely yours,

Deborah Boone