March News and Legislative Update

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Senator Alan Olsen

Hello Friends,

The 2015 Legislative Session has been action packed and full of scandal and partisanship. Governor Kitzhaber resigned under federal and state investigation and Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon's new Governor. She will serve a two year term and will run for re-election in 2016. Brown appointed a former Senator Jeff Merkley staff member, Jeanne Atkins, as the new Secretary of State. She is the place holder for now as she has announced she will not run for re-election.  Leadership in Oregon continues to fast track a legislative agenda that is Portland –centric and has little to no benefit for the rural areas of Oregon.

A Legislative Train Wreck

Alan at Work

The Session began with talk of bi-partisanship that could have created a good legislative agenda for Oregon. Instead it quickly turned into a Democrat freight train going full speed ahead to move controversial bills through the process.  Bipartisanship was dealt a deadly blow the first day of the Legislative Session. The following are the most egregious of the bills passed by the Majority Democrats:  

SB 324-A

Also known as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) passed on a partisan vote. I carried the opposition to the bill with scientific evidence outlining the shortcomings and failures of this bill. The LCFS could cost Oregonians muti-millions or more per year in increased fuel costs with a negligible impact on carbon emissions.  I offered a "Minority Report" to the bill that referred the LCSF to a vote of the people of Oregon; it was rejected by the Democrats.  I also wrote an opinion article which you can read on Oregon Live

SB 411

This Senate Bill mandates changes in Personal Injury Protection coverage in auto insurance policies. The bill will raise auto insurance premiums between $55.00 and $100.00 per year per vehicle. This is a bill promoted by trial lawyers that will be sure to put more money in their pockets at the expense of the consumer. The Senate Republicans offered a Minority Report to minimize the financial impact on consumers but, once again, it was soundly defeated by the Democrats.

HB 2177

Also called the "Motor Voter" bill would require persons to be automatically registered to vote when they apply for a driver’s license in Oregon. This is a violation of your privacy and the right to choose whether or not you want to be registered to vote. This bill also allows the inter-agency transfer of your personal and private information that will leave people vulnerable to hackers and identity theft. We have already seen the Secretary of State's website compromised and shut down due to hackers. 

This is just the beginning of the passage of bills by the Democrats that will raise your cost of living, infringe on your privacy and diminish your personal freedom and they are just getting started.  

HB 2700

This bill directs 50% of the unclaimed or unpaid damages awarded in a class action lawsuit to the Oregon State Bar for funding of Legal Services. It allows the court discretion to allocate the other 50%. Guess who else gets a bigger paycheck, that's right, the trial lawyers. The Senate Republicans offered a Minority Report to responsibly reform class action lawsuit rules without harming vulnerable and low-income Oregonians and it would dedicate funds to domestic violence and family law programs The Minority Report was voted down by the Democrats. 

My 2015 Agenda: Accountability, Transparency and Education

As always I am committed to supporting your second amendment rights and opposing any new gun legislation or legislation that will diminish your hunting and fishing rights. As you might already know my top priorities are Education, Jobs, and Accountability in Government. I have introduced several bills to increase Education Budgets,SB642, SB647, SB923 and SB435 to provide transparency in the legislative process. Other legislation I have proposed will require accountability for the Energy Trust and assist small business.  I will report on the progress of my agenda in the following newsletters.

I want to thank you for your support and assistance in allowing me to serve you for another 4 year term as your Senator.  I will continue to represent the best interests of my constituents.  As always, my door is open to you.

Yours truly,

Senator Alan Olsen
Senate District 20
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1720
District Phone: 503-266-4599
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-425, Salem, OR 97301
District Address: 675 Northwest 2nd St., Canby, OR 97013


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Senator Olsen's Committees:

Vice Chair of Senate Committee Environment & Natural Resources
Vice Chair of Senate Committee Human Services & Early Childhood
Senate Committee on Veterans & Emergency Preparedness