Senator Jeff Kruse - April 10th, 2015 - AN INTERESTING WEEK


Senator Jeff Kruse
R-Roseburg, District 1

Phone: 503-986-1701  -  900 Court St. NE, S-315 Salem Oregon 97301
Email:   -   Website:

 Working Hard For You


APRIL 10, 2015




There were several interesting and very troubling events relative to bills that happened this week.  I am going to focus on three of them; two were in committees and one on the Senate floor.  The first is Senate Bill 941 which is the gun background check bill.  It has been stated by Senator Prozanski that this will help end gun violence, which is patently untrue.  The focus of the anti-gun people has always been the school shootings and events like the Clackamas Town Center shooting.  The reality is nothing in this legislation would have had an impact on any of those events; in fact it was a man with a concealed carry permit who stopped the shooter at the Clackamas Town Center.


I want to share with you some statistics and a comparison of two cities, Chicago with a population of 2.7 million and Houston with a population of 2.15 million.  Chicago allows no concealed carry permits and has no gun stores, which means they should be a “gun free zone.”  Houston allows concealed carry and has 184 gun stores and an additional 1500 stores where guns can be purchased.  I would think the advocates for SB 941 would have to claim Chicago to be the safer city.  However, what you would actually find should change people’s minds.  In 2012 the number of homicides in Chicago was 1,806 and the number of homicides in Houston was 207.  It should also be pointed out the country with the lowest level of gun violence is Switzerland where all citizens are not only trained in the use of guns but actually own one (or more).


The reality is that putting more restrictions on law-abiding citizens will not stop criminals from getting guns and this bill will in some ways make people less safe.  Gang members, drug cartels and other criminals will always be able to get guns.  SB 941 will do nothing more than make it harder and more expensive for the average citizen to be able to protect themselves.  The vote in the Senate will come on Tuesday and with the Democrat 18 to 12 majority it will pass.



The second issue is mandatory vaccinations.  I will repeat again I am not opposed to vaccinations, just the government mandated schedule that is trying to be imposed.  Senator Steiner Hayward had a bill in the Health Care Committee (SB442) which would have, among other things, removed the religious exemption.  That bill died in committee in large part because of a vast amount of public objections.  This week the issue resurfaced in the Senate Education Committee as an amendment to SB 895.  I guess some people just won’t give up.  The real issue here from my perspective comes down to parental rights and personal freedom.  This is just one of many cases in which certain legislators are saying “the government knows more about what is in your best interest than you do.”  Because this country was founded on the principles for personal freedom and personal responsibility, this type of heavy handed action should be objectionable to all who really care about their freedom.  At this point I don’t know what will happen with SB 895, but I hope it has the same fate as SB 442.


The third issue was the K-12 budget, which has now passed in both the House and Senate.  It was incredibly inadequate, and everyone admitted it.  The Republicans offered a series of other budget adjustments that could have brought the funding level to an acceptable level, but they were all rejected by the Ways and Means Committee.  To make matters even worse the Senate Majority Leader put out a position paper detailing what the impacts of our suggestions would do to other budgets.  The problem with that was the fact it was all lies.  We objected to these lies being read into the record, but once again the super majority status prevailed.  In reality, with a projected 1.8 billion dollars more to spend the K-12 budget could have been better and given school districts a real target as they complete their budget process.  What we are going to see instead, a couple of months from now, will be a move to either increase taxes or steal the kicker or both so that we can adequately fund education.  The reality is this is a ploy that has been used before to portray republicans as being anti-education because we won’t raise taxes.  This is another purely political move and is definitely is in no one’s best interest.


The next two weeks will be interesting and probably get very intense as we near the deadline for bills to be heard in the Chamber of origin.  At this point I won’t speculate on what will be coming out of the various committees, but I guess the good thing is we will have a better idea at that point what bills are still alive.  Unfortunately what we haven’t seen yet is significant movement on any legislation designed to help business or create jobs.  By jobs I mean private sector jobs; there will undoubtedly be the creation of more government jobs.  The interesting part of that is the fact there are people up here who actually think creating government jobs will stimulate the economy.  That type of ignorance can be hard to overcome and clearly demonstrates the type of barriers we have to deal with.




Senator Jeff Kruse







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