Senator Jeff Kruse - April 17th, 2015 - A TIME FOR PERSPECTIVE


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 17, 2015




Next Tuesday, April 21st, is the deadline for bills to move out of committees in the Chamber of Origin.  What that means is Senate committees will be done with Senate bills and House committees will be done with House bills.  The exceptions in both Chambers are the Revenue and Rules committees.  Additionally the Ways and Means Committee, because it is a joint committee does not have deadlines nor does the Joint Committee on Measure 91.  One of the interesting dynamics will be to see how many bills are transferred from standing committees to the Rules committee to keep them alive.  Another development will be to see how many policy bills are sent to Ways and Means with the intent of making policy changes; with the full understanding that the budget committees are not supposed to do policy (but they do anyway).


The big gun background check bill passed in the Senate this week with all Republicans and only one Democrat (Senator Betsy Johnson) voting no.  Additionally the vaccine mandate bill, which was killed on the Health Care Committee, has reappeared in another form in the Education Committee.  This combined violation of the Second Amendment and invasion of personal freedom is something I find to be very frustrating.  While I think it is clear there will be a significant number of bills coming out of committees this next week that will be of great concern, this might be a good time to reflect on some core principles we see continuously coming under attack.


This country was founded under the principles of freedom and personal responsibility.  The Constitutions of both the United States and the State of Oregon were designed to specifically limit the scope of government.  On the federal level government was significantly limited, with more duties assigned to the states than were assigned to the federal level.  But in both documents the protection of personal freedoms and liberties are clearly defined and enumerated.  We have moved far away, in many areas, from the original intent.  Just on example was the creation of the federal Department of Education under President Carter.  This clearly was a violation of states’ rights and, to a degree, the creation of the state Department of Education steps on the issue of local control.  While the passage of Measure 5 and the resulting change in how schools are funded was a major factor in what has transpired, I do think it is safe to say our education product was at a higher standard with more local control.


We now live in an era where a lot of politicians both at the state and federal level seem to have little faith or confidence in the people they are elected to serve.  There truly are people here in Salem who think you will be better off if you let the government make your decisions for you.  As the size of the population who are dependent on government for many of their needs continues to grow, the problem continues to get worse.  An example are the people in the welfare system.  The way it has been set up, it makes almost impossible for them to escape the system, because any attempt they make to improve their lives will be met by a reduction in the government benefits they are receiving which will be greater than any advancement they might be achieving on their own.  This is a very well designed system with the purpose of creating a permanent underclass dependent on government and supporting its continued expansion.


I keep coming back to the concepts of liberty and personal responsibility.  In reality, the less government is involved in your life, the greater is your chance to fulfill your dreams.  It should also be understood that freedom includes the freedom to fail.  If we look, we will find that a significant number of successful people have probably failed more than once before their success.  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness guarantees only one thing, and that is the ability to try.  These are the principles that have made America great, and I hope we remember that before it is too late. 


I am including a short video on our national anthem and I hope you will take the time to watch it.  We all know the story, but I personally thought it to be inspiring.




Senator Jeff Kruse







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