Representative Deborah Boone Update 4-30-2015

Deborah Boone

Greetings from Salem!

 We are continuing to work on resilience legislation that is designed to better prepare the state and our citizens for potential natural disasters.  Last week, the House approve Senate Bill 85.  This bill authorizes local governments to implement programs to facilitate retrofitting of buildings with seismic upgrades.  This bill gives local jurisdictions the opportunity to invest in upgrades that will protect our historic buildings.    SB 85 was approved on the Senate floor on March 16, approved on the House floor April 23rd, has been signed by the Senate President Courtney, House Speaker Kotek, and now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

 On Monday, I attended the annual meeting of the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay in Manzanita.   These community members have implemented a disaster response strategy has become a national model.  Since they organized in 2008, they have trained more than 300 volunteers, and annually log over 15 thousand volunteer hours.  They have prepared emergency assembly areas and shelters with food and supply caches, installed an amateur radio repeater which is operational for general community ham and family radio use.   In addition, the North Tillamook County Emergency Operations Plan has been completed and distributed.   While I will continue to work on resilience legislation, it will be the efforts of local leaders and volunteers that will prepare communities for disaster response and ultimately save lives.   

 The Oregon Library Association held their legislative day on Wednesday and I was able to meet with Candice Watkins the Library Director at Clatsop Community College. Some of the issues important for libraries in Clatsop and Tillamook counties included funding for the Ready to Read Grant Program, Standards for Accelerated College Credit Programs for high school students, Summer Reading program grants, and Reorganizing the State Library’s Mission and Governance.  Candice is the immediate Past President of the Oregon Library Association and I enjoyed speaking with her on these important issues.

 On Thursday, I was able to meet with David Heurtel, of the National Assembly of Quebec, Canada.  Mr. Heurtel is the Minister of Sustainable Development, and the Environment, and we have much in common.  After a brief lunch meeting, Minister Heurtel was able to meet with Governor Brown on issues of importance to Oregon and the Canadian Province of Quebec.


Rep Boone and Minister Heurtel

Minister Hertel and Representative Boone

In the Human Services Ways and Means Subcommittee we finished our first budget, voting to approve the Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority budgets.   I am also supporting HB 2194 which would establish a “General Assistance” pilot project in DHS designed to help individuals in securing housing and Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.   General Assistance is a temporary benefit provided by many states to assist persons with severe disabilities to apply for, and secure, federal disability benefits.   While awaiting a federal decision of eligibility the state may provide cash and/or services to help participants meet basic needs.  The state is reimbursed when a participant becomes eligible for federal benefits.   The program will also provide case management to help vulnerable individuals navigate a complex system. The recommendation for the HB2194 came from a study, authorized by the 2014 Legislative Assembly to find ways to protect Oregonians with Severe Disabilities.

 Back in the District, ODOT is cranking up the road and bridge construction season, paving projects began this week in Astoria and will continue for a few weeks.  Pavement repair on segments of US 30, US 101 and Business 101 will be conducted during daytime hours between 6:00am and 4:30pm.  Flaggers will control traffic through restricted lanes, and delays will be no longer than 10 minutes.  Next week paving will begin on US 30 (Leif Ericson Drive) at 33rd Street.   During paving, normal parking places may not be available, and access from sides streets could be closed temporarily.    

 Further south, ODOT is replacing a culvert with a tunnel structure at Neahkahnie creek and enhancing the stream bed.  There will also be improvements to the highway alignment near Manzanita, and the turning lane movements into downtown Manzanita.  The scheduled work includes installation of temporary access to the construction area.  Flaggers may need to occasionally control single lane traffic, and minor delays should be expected due to lane closures.

 In order to best represent my district, I need to hear about your concerns.   My door is always open to constituents from House District 32, and I enjoy meeting with friends and neighbors when they visit Salem.   My office has moved to the fourth floor, I’m now in H-481.   If you are planning to visit the Capitol, let my office know a few days in advance so we can schedule an appointment.   If you have a concern or comment about a state agency or legislation under consideration, you can write, phone or email my office. We have been inundated with action alert emails from advocacy websites, and in those cases, we sometimes lose contacts from our constituents.   If you want to weigh in on an issue, it is better to do it individually.    If I missed one of your messages due to the thousands of spam messages I have been receiving, I apologize.

 If you are interested in the legislative process, you can learn all about the Oregon Legislature, follow proposed bills, and watch committee meetings and floor sessions live, by accessing the Oregon Legislative Information System via the following link:

 It is my privilege to represent you in the Oregon House of Representatives and I look forward to hearing from you.


Deborah Boone

email: I phone: 503-986-1432
address: 900 Court St NE, H-481, Salem, OR, 97301