Tight Timelines and Timely Tidbits



Rep. Michael Dembrow 
NE Portland, Maywood Park & Parkrose

Phone: 503-986-1445

 Email: rep.michaeldembrow@state.or.us 
Website: http://www.repmichaeldembrow.com  

E-Newsletter                              Today's Date 

Friends and Neighbors,

I Hope you’re staying warm and dry during this spell of inclement weather.

Today marks the first day of committee meetings that will continue through Friday of this week, in preparation for the February session.  Committees meeting this week will take time to review proposed legislation for February in order to get a bit of a jump start on the work to come.

Next week’s newsletter will feature a full run-down of the week’s highlights as well as a preview of the big issues we’ll tackle in the February session.

I do want to remind you about my upcoming Town Hall with Sen. Dingfelder and Rep. Keny-Guyer, and let you know about an important committee hearing this Friday on the senior property tax deferral program.

Town Hall on January 30th

With the February session about to start, I’ll be holding a town hall on January 30th along with my fellow Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (SE and NE Portland) and our Senator Jackie Dingfelder.  Join us to hear about our priority legislation for the session and to provide your input on where our focus should be in February.  It’s going to be an important chance for us to hear directly from you before the session begins, so please mark your calendar and plan on attending.

What: Town Hall

Who: Jackie Dingfelder, Michael Dembrow, Alissa Keny-Guyer and You.

When: Monday, January 30th at 6:30 PM

Where: PCC Southeast Center, corner of SE Division and 82nd Ave. (parking is free)

Senior Property Tax Deferral Update

This Friday, the House Revenue Committee will be holding a special public hearing focused entirely on the Senior Property Tax Deferral Program. 

The meeting will be held from 1 PM to 5 PM in Hearing Room A of the State Capitol.  Legislators will hear public testimony on the changes to the program, and you don’t need to sign up in advance (just sign-in when you arrive at the hearing).

For those who can’t make it to Salem, you can always submit written testimony to the committee.  If you email your testimony (preferably in a Word document) to me by Thursday night, I’ll make sure it reaches the committee staff in time for the hearing.

If you’d like to submit written testimony, please address your letter to “Co-Chairs Barnhart and Berger and members of the House Revenue Committee.”  Again, if you email it to me I’ll make sure they get it.

Lastly, for those who want to watch the hearing, it will be streaming live from the legislature’s website, starting at 1 PM on Friday.  You’ll find the link to Hearing Room A on this page: http://www.leg.state.or.us/listn/.

OEIB Community Meeting Tomorrow

The recently-created Oregon Education Investment Board, which is overseeing education reform from pre-K through higher education, will be holding a community meeting tomorrow in NE Portland to gather public feedback on education reform efforts.  The meeting will include a brief presentation by the Board, with the rest of the time reserved for public comments.  Read the Governor's press release on the meeting here.

What: OEIB Community Meeting and public testimony

When: Thursday, January 19th from 6:30-8:30 PM

Where: IRCO, 10301 NE Glisan St. in Portland

Timelines for February are Tight

This February will mark the beginning of voter-approved annual legislative sessions.  Unlike in the odd-numbered years where the legislature meets for several months, this year’s session will be limited to 35 calendar days.  We’re hoping to finish the session and “sine die” by the end of February.

In order to accommodate that timeframe, the normal deadlines for the process have been shortened significantly.  All bills must be filed before the session begins, and will be read into the record on the opening day.  They will then have less than week to be scheduled for action in a committee, or they’re effectively dead.  If a bill has not moved out of its original committee by February 14th, it won’t be going forward.  There are similar deadlines for once it reaches the other chamber (in the case of my bills, the Senate).

All this means that action will be fast and furious and the hectic pace of the normal session will be squeezed into one month.  I’ll be keeping you updated every week through the newsletter, and as always, email or call my office if you have any questions about a bill.

At our Feb. 4 coffee I’ll give you an initial hit on how the session is shaping up, then at the March 3 coffee I’ll give you a (hopefully not shell-shocked) wrap-up.  More details on time/place for those soon.

Celebrating MLK Day with Friends of Trees

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those words from Dr. King’s magnificent “Letter from Birmingham Jail” have always been an inspiration to me. It’s always an honor to join my many friends and neighbors in celebrating Dr. King’s memory by volunteering for a service project on MLK Day, trying to do a little something that will ultimately benefit many.  And if possible have a little fun.

This year I got to volunteer again with Friends of Trees, that wonderful volunteer organization that plants trees in our neighborhoods and public spaces.  I had done neighborhood plantings before, but this was my first opportunity to do roadside work.  Our project this year was to plant hundreds of trees on the steep slopes alongside the I-205 bike path in Maywood Park—that “city-within-a-city” that I am proud to represent as part of HD45. 

There must have been nearly a hundred volunteers there, lots teenagers and lots of families (including Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogan and his family).  I got to split my time between planting trees under the direction of teen crew leaders Daniel and Javette and shoveling buckets and buckets of compost.  It was great to be part of this community-building effort that was doing good things for our livability and ultimately for our planet.  And best of all—no rain!

To learn more about Friends of Trees (including how you can volunteer and how you can get a tree planted in your parking strip), go to friendsoftrees.org.

Until next week,


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