Riley Report: February, 2015

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February, 2015

February has been a very busy month here in the Oregon capitol.  While the change in the governor’s office has been garnering a lot of attention, my colleagues and I have been focused on passing legislation that will impact the lives of all Oregonians.

My committee assignments keep me busy, but I am always happy to meet with people from my district.

This month I’ve signed on as a sponsor of several bills, including House Bill 2996 which will create the Oregon Center of Cyber Excellence. I also worked with Washington County teachers to draft one of my priority bills to address education funding. Furthermore, I have been busy reviewing many important proposals coming through my committees including several bills addressing the tax implications of central assessment, and a bill expanding the e-permitting system in Oregon. And in the Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Information Technology we have been hearing testimony from the heads of different departments to get a better understanding of the state of IT in Oregon.

I really enjoyed meeting with so many of you at my Joint Constituent Coffee last month with Representatives Gallegos and McLain.  If you’re seeking an opportunity to meet with me in-district please try to attend my Constituent Coffee in Forest Grove tomorrow morning.

Constituent Coffee

My next Constituent Coffee will be this coming Saturday, February 21st from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at BJ's Coffee Company, located at 2834 Pacific Avenue, Forest Grove, OR 97116. Please join me for this opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss issues that matter to you. My next constituent coffee is tentatively planned for March in Cornelius – I’ll post the exact date and time once I have confirmed the location.

Oregon Center for Cyber Excellence

We know how important cyber security is after the hacker attack on the Oregon Secretary of State’s office last year. Although the attack was caught early before any damage was done, we need to step up and improve the condition of Oregon’s cyber-security. For that reason, I am really excited to be a chief sponsor of HB 2996. This bill is a great opportunity to advance the state of cyber-security in Oregon by creating The Oregon Center for Cyber Excellence. The Center will provide services and expertise to Oregon businesses, stakeholders, and government agencies. It will work to help coordinate cyber-security education and research at post-secondary institutions in Oregon, and develop best practices for cyber-safety. The Center will also develop cyber competitions and other programs to build the practical workforce skills necessary to address cyber-security threats. This combination of services and expertise will protect Oregon’s businesses from immediate and long-term cyber-threats, and will make Oregon students the industry leaders in cyber-security. 

Education Funding Opportunity

Representatives Gallegos, Representative McLain, and I met with Washington County teachers and stakeholders earlier this month to hear directly from them what they need to help our students succeed. One idea that they came up with is to make a small change to Oregon income tax forms to make it easier for individuals to donate all or part of their tax refund to help fund primary and secondary education. Currently a number of non-profit organizations and political parties have check boxes on the Oregon income tax form, which allows people to donate their refund (in whole or in part) to these organizations. Representative McLain and I have asked for bills to be drafted to direct the Department of Revenue to add a check box that will allow people to donate their refunds to schools too.  

Committee Highlights

Finance & Revenue – This month the Finance & Revenue Committee has been parsing the details of central tax assessment of businesses (Senate Bills 570 & 571). Topics include how to tax intangibles (SB 570) and the data center exemption (SB 571).

Business & Transportation – Senate Bill 133 to improve the business permitting system was passed out of committee with a unanimous “do pass” recommendation, and is heading to the senate floor. I am proud to be carrying this bill, which will remove the sunset on the current online system, and expand access to additional local government entities that provide construction-related services. SB 133 will help make the building permitting process faster, easier, and more accessible for all Oregonians

Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Information Technology – In the IT Subcommittee we have been hearing testimony from CIOs and Directors of departments about the current state of Information Technology in Oregon. So far we have heard from the Oregon State Chief Information Officer, the Department of Administrative Services, the Oregon Judicial Department, and the Office of Legislative Administration. It’s been extremely helpful and informative to gather this baseline information.  

Start of Session Survey Results

After tallying the results it looks like the number one issue for my constituents was split between ensuring Oregon businesses have the resources they need to create jobs, and additional investments in education and job training programs. Repairing Oregon’s infrastructure rounded out the top three.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to take the survey on my website. Keep an eye out for future surveys!

Snapshots

Sen. Riley at Cornelius Library Celebration

Cornelius Library Celebration 

had a wonderful time on January 25th celebrating the Cornelius Library receiving a $2.4 million lottery grant, which will enable them to fund the Cornelius Place Project.  I’m pictured here with Cornelius Councilor Dave Schamp and Cornelius Mayor Jef Dalin.

Legislators wearing red clothes



National Wear Red Day 

I was proud to join my colleagues on February 6th in wearing red to help the American Heart Association of Oregon & SW Washington raise awareness that heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women. 

Stay in Touch!

We want to stay in contact with you!  If you are not already subscribed, please visit my legislative website and enter your email address into the “e-Subscribe” link at the right so that you never miss a newsletter.  You will also find me on Facebook, or you can follow me on Twitter to stay up to date with what my office is up to.  Or, you can always check the events calendar on my legislative website!

As always, I am here to serve you.  If there is something I can do to assist you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.

Best,

riley signature

Senator Chuck Riley

Senate District 15

email: Sen.ChuckRiley@state.or.us I phone: 503-986-1715
address: 900 Court St NE, S-303, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/riley

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