Senate District 12: Week in Review


Below is the Senate District 12: Week in Review.

It covers the past couple of weeks in the Legislature.


Brian J. Boquist

State Senator

District 12


Senate District 12: Week in Review

Introduction: HB 2177 Motor Voter Registration passed into law since the last Review despite my NO vote. This is automatic voter registration based on DMV records. Since all personal information of all registered Oregon voters, including name and address, is publicly available, many people who want to shield such information, i.e. domestic violence and sexual assault victims, don’t have that privilege anymore. Inevitably some Oregonians will have their information publicized without their knowledge. If the Secretary of State predictions are correct, the initial result upon 2016 implementation with full registration party percentages will drop to 24% Republican and 31% Democrat registration. Everyone else will be non-aligned or in the small parties.

Senate Committee Actions: The Senate Veterans & Emergency Preparedness continued work on veterans hiring preferences, repealing outdated statutes, cleaning up old statutes, and ensuring returning veteran’s children have access to previously approved disability benefits. Senate Finance & Revenue passed out the biennial connection to the federal tax code that is required by sunset expirations, and continued broader discussions on revenue stability if not some actual tax reductions. Senate Rules Committee moved forward with re-vamping Democrat and Republican PCP elections which I opposed due to the low election participation levels which are subsidized by state tax dollars. Of the 17,000 precinct committee person position elections for Democrat and Republican PCPs in the State only 3500 are actually filled.

Senate Floor Actions: The biggest bill of the week was the approval by the Senate of the “provider tax” which is estimated at $880 million over the next two years. This is Oregon’s 25% share which is matched with federal tax dollars paying for portions of the Affordable Care Act or Obama Care as it is commonly known. I joined Representative Weidner (HD 24) in voting NO on the provider tax while Representative Nearman (HD 23) voted YES for extending the provider tax. In other actions, three constituent bills from Senate District 12 folks have passed out of the State Senate because of the direct involvement of the individuals requesting the legislation. SB 167 allows taxicab drivers to use mobile communication devices while driving. SB 175 extends imposing minimum fines for poaching endangered wildlife. SB 185A protects an individual’s private social media site by creating an unlawful employment act of requiring an employee or applicant for employment to establish and maintain a social media site.

Legislature 101: Many of you probably wonder what are the top topics of Legislature from citizens in the District so hear is a rundown of recent emails. SB 442 emails on vaccine safety, medical freedom and parental rights came in from 217 constituents; 190 opposed the bill while 27 supported the bill. Other hot topic emails from this week included 324 emails on clean fuel standards, 454 emails on mandatory paid sick leave, 327 emails on increasing the minimum wage, 300 emails on expanding firearms background checks, 642 email on the K-12 education budget, and 321 emails on lowering the age for compulsory school attendance.

Again, track topics, committee actions, bills and the floor sessions on OLIS - Oregon Legislative Information System: