Session Wrap Up, Local Festivals & 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                     July 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,

At the beginning of the 2013 Legislative Session, the Democratic leadership set the right priorities to protect critical services and get Oregonians back to work. We saw a need to get spending under control by improving government efficiency and to end ineffective tax breaks, while looking out for children, seniors, small businesses, and our most vulnerable.

    Below you will find a listing of bills that we passed to advance our priorities. In future e-bulletins, I'll offer more in-depth summaries of these bills by category, along with other notable legislation. In this e-bulletin, you'll also find information on:
        - PERS Reform: My Vote
SB 633, Local Regulation of GMOs: My Vote
        - HB 2427, Canola Production in the Willamette Valley: My Vote
        - SB 270, University Governing Boards: My Vote
Bicycling in Oregon
Lane County Fair: July 24  28
Annual Blackberry Jam Festival: July 26 – 28
Douglas County Fair: August 7 10
        - Easy Ways to Conserve Water in the Garden During a Dry Year

    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

Session Accomplishments

    The 2013 Legislative Session:

Championed the Needs of Small Businesses and Put Oregonians Back to Work

  • Helped businesses grow by improving access to capital, increasing availability of industrial lands, and streamlining economic development programs (HB 2323; SB 246)
  • Invested in Oregon roads, bridges, ports, and rail to keep our economy moving (SB 260)
  • Supported Oregon workers and businesses by promoting use of local goods and services (HB 3400)
  • Promoted a level playing field for businesses and make it easier for small and minority-owned businesses to work with state government (SB 831)

Invested in Public Schools and 21st Century Skills Training

  • Prioritized funding for K-12 education to keep teachers in the classroom and reduce class sizes (SB 5519)
  • Strengthened Oregon's workforce to meet the needs of the 21st century economy by investing in community college, apprenticeships, and workforce development while connecting students with local businesses (HB 3341; SB 498; HB 2636)
  • Increased access to higher education by helping high school students earn college credit and making college more affordable for all Oregonians (SB 222; HB 3341; SJR 1)

Stood Up for Middle Class Families

  • Held insurance companies accountable for dealing with families and small businesses fairly (SB 414)
  • Helped families struggling to stay in their homes by expanding access to foreclosure mediation and standing up to Wall Street banks (SB 558)
  • Improved access to affordable health care and strengthened our health care workforce statewide (HB 2216; SB 440; SB 569)
  • Promoted clean energy to support innovative Oregon companies and protect our environment and natural resources (HB 2322; HB 2801; SB 692)

Strengthened Rural Oregon Communities and Promoted Economic Growth

  • Supported Oregon farmers by improving access to capital and buying from local farms (HB 2649; HB 2700)
  • Made sure our forests are healthy and productive through balanced forest management that protects natural habitats and rural economies (SB 5521)
  • Helped local governments fund economic development and infrastructure improvements so small businesses can grow and create family-wage jobs (SBs 582 & 246; HBs 2253 & 2254)
  • Partnered with counties to protect funding for critical services that Oregonians rely on (HB 2206)

Prioritized Critical Services and Improved Government Efficiency

  • Eliminated wasteful programs and tax subsidies so taxpayers get the greatest value for every dollar (HBs 3367 & HB 2460)
  • Strengthened public safety by prioritizing emergency services and resources for crime victims (HBs 3194 & 3317)
  • Improved Oregon’s foster care system to be more responsive and accountable so vulnerable children are safe (SB 123)
  • Ensured government contracts are fair and open to create jobs in Oregon (HB 3400; SB 254)

    If you would like to review the full text of any of these bills, please visit

PERS Reform: My Vote

Over the course of session, I received many e-mails about PERS reform. I did vote for SB 822, which capped at 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) increases for all benefit recipients. This cap is lower than the previous 2 percent maximum cap for COLAs, but under SB 822 every PERS dollar will receive a COLA increase. The bill also eliminates the tax remedy benefit for recipients who do not pay Oregon state income taxes because they do not reside in Oregon.

    I agreed to support SB 822 after reviewing the bill, discussing its provisions with numerous legal advisers and reviewing
a memorandum from labor. I believe the bill was necessary, constitutional and fair under the circumstances we are facing from the severe downturn in our economy.

In 2003, there were a number of PERS "reform" bills passed by the Legislature. I did not support all of those bills. I only supported those that I felt were constitutional, necessary and fair. I used the same standards this session. For the record, I vested in PERS as a tier-one employee when I worked for the Lane County District Attorney. I understand the value of public employees and the importance of honoring employment contracts, but I also understand and accept the fact that all Oregonians   including PERS recipients must make some sacrifices to overcome the economic downturn facing Oregon.

    I also want to let you know that there was another attempt to pass additional PERS reform. SB 857 would have rewritten SB 822 to further reduce the percentage of the COLA plus reduce the annuity on "inactive" PERS accounts. I determined that the first part of the bill was not necessary and not fair. I also determined that the second part of the bill was unconstitutional and not fair. Accordingly, I did not support SB 857 and would have voted no if it had a floor vote.

SB 633, Local Regulation of GMOs: My Vote

I received hundreds of e-mails opposing SB 633, which would have preempted local regulation of seed in favor of state regulation. I opposed the bill, voting "no" in committee and in the full Senate. I also spoke to my concerns over the bill in committee. I didn't see a need for the state to preempt local control of GMO regulation and to prohibit local decision-making in this area. I'm happy to report that the bill did not pass.

HB 2427, Canola Production in the Willamette Valley: My Vote

    The Legislature did pass, however, a bill strictly limiting canola production in the Willamette Valley. HB 2427 retains protections from commercial production of canola in place since 2009, while authorizing and funding OSU-led canola research over the next three years. It provides farmers growing specialty vegetable seed, fresh market vegetables (organic and conventional) and clover in the Willamette Valley substantial protections from wide-scale introduction of canola that was authorized by a controversial rule adopted by the ODA in February. Canola is well known to easily cross-pollinate, threatening neighboring crops and posing disease risks.

    I voted for HB 2427 because it will require additional research and provide greater protection to Oregon's specialty seed industry. If the bill had failed, there would be more risk to the industry since the current Oregon Department of Agriculture ruling would allow for more production of canola in the Willamette Valley without the monitoring required under this bill.

SB 270, University Governing Boards: My Vote

    As much as I support individual university governing boards, I could not support SB 270B in its final form.

    To allow a governor to decide whether or not certain members of a governing board should have the right to be a voting member is subjective, arbitrary and wrong. All board members should be voting members. Further, it is not good public policy to permit a governor to allow certain members of a governing board to be voting members but to not allow those same members of a different governing board to not be voting members. Why should the faculty member at PSU or OSU be allowed to serve as a voting member, but not the faculty member at UO? This is an inconsistency that I could not support.

    Since the governing boards will have 11 to 15 members, it is hard for me to understand why two positions (faculty and classified staff) should not be full voting members. There is no way two members of an 11-to-15 member board can ever exert pressure over the other board members.
It only seems equitable, especially at an institution of higher learning, to allow all board members to have the same right to vote on matters brought before the governing board.

Bicycling in Oregon

    As a cyclist, I'm happy to share with you a recent study commissioned by Travel Oregon that highlights the economic impacts of bicycle tourism in our state. The report includes details like how much bicycle tourists add to the economy through spending on accommodation and food services, groceries, event fees, and bicycle repairs, clothing and gear. You can review the report, here: (Thanks to Rep. Nancy Nathanson for this information.)

 Lane County Fair: July 24 28

    The Lane County Fair arrives early this year, running this Wednesday, July 24 through Sunday, July   28. It will feature entertainment, food vendors with many different types of fare, rides, games and more. You can buy tickets and get concert information and ride lists along with all the information you need to enter contests and competitions at:

Annual Blackberry Jam Festival: July 26 – 28

    The 19th Annual Blackberry Jam Festival will take place from Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28, at Rolling Rock Park in the heart of Lowell. A wholesome community event with great music, unique crafts and delicious food, this year's festival will feature a car show, fishing derby, quilt show, parade and more! Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, the festival is free and everyone is invited. Bring your appetite -- there's even a pie eating contest! Visit or call the Jam Hotline at 1-866-516-5534 for more information.

Douglas County Fair: August 7 10

    Running four days this year instead of five, the Douglas County Fair will take place from Wednesday, August 7 through Saturday, August
10. It will features entertainment, a carnival, food court, teen zone, and much more for all ages. Visit the official Douglas County Fair web site at:

Easy Ways to Conserve Water in the Garden During a Dry Year

The Oregon State University Extension Service offers the following tips to conserve water in gardens and yards this summer:

  • Water your lawn more deeply and less frequently. If you typically water three to four times per week, it's OK to cut that to one to two times per week.
  • Plant drought-tolerant turfgrass. Tall fescue is hardy, wide-bladed and deep-rooted. Perennial ryegrass and creeping fescue can also tolerate some dryness.
  • Choose drought-tolerant plants such as creeping zinnia and sea poppy for your landscape. Native plants such as the Oregon iris and Pacific wax myrtle tolerate dry summers well. Find a list of water-efficient landscape plants in this OSU Extension guide.
  • For most plants, watering deeply and close to the roots is more important than frequency. Study each plant's watering requirements. For vegetables, soak soil about six inches deep. Water to a depth of about a foot and a half for shrubs. Trees need water about two feet deep.
  • Mulching is critical because it improves soil structure, helps retain water in the ground and reduces weeds. Use compost-based mulches for vegetables and woody mulches for ornamental plants. Spread the mulch about two to three inches thick on the soil around your garden.
  • Water early in the morning before the day heats up.
  • Use an efficient irrigation system, such as soaker hoses or drip irrigation. If you choose a sprinkler system, select a low-pressure, in-ground system that does not shoot up in the air.


Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, 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


Bicycling in Oregon. A recent study commissioned by Travel Oregon highlights the economic impacts of bicycle tourism in Oregon. The report includes details like how much bicycle tourists add to the economy through spending on accommodation and food services, groceries, event fees, and bicycle repairs, clothing and gear. Bicycle Tourism Development in Oregon.