2016 Legislative Session Begins

Deborah Boone

Greetings from Salem!

The 2016 “short” session of the legislature convened on Monday, and we will be in session for the next 5 weeks.   

This will be an incredibly busy month, the timelines will be short: Hearings on bills can be announced with 24 hours notice this week, and will only one hour notice starting next week.   Bills will need to have a hearing scheduled in their first committee by February 11,  and in the second chamber by February 18.   The third deadline is for the bill to have a work session scheduled in the second house by February 23rd, with the session ending March 6th.

I am serving on the House Energy and Environment Committee, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services, and am Vice Chair of the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

This week in Energy and Environment we worked on two major bills:

  •  HB 4036 also known as the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan, which would rid the state of imported coal-fired generation by 2030, while doubling the state’s renewables portfolio standard by 2040.  This bill was developed by utilities, citizen groups and environmental interests, and is designed to reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable resources, while having a minimal impact on utility rate increases.  In committee we held a public hearing, and will continue discussion on this legislation.
  •  HB 4037 which incentivizes solar energy production, and has the potential to leverage a $5.7 million state investment into nearly $90 million in labor, wages and property taxes as 16-18 new large-scale solar projects are built in Oregon over the next two years in rural Oregon communities.  I supported this bill as itl moved through the committee’s public hearing and work session process and was referred to Ways and Means for funding consideration.

In order to best represent my district, I need to hear from you.  This can be difficult at times, because of things like spam e-mail and automated “pass-through” telephone calls.

Increasingly, my office seems to be inundated with spam email.  Typically these emails use identical language to state a position, and at times we receive hundreds of the same email in a single day.   I have always tried to respond to constituent correspondence, but the amount of spam emails that are flooding in make this nearly impossible.   Some topics are so controversial, people weigh in from throughout Oregon and even from other states.   My goal is to best represent House District 32, and I want to hear from my constituents on issues, but when thousands of identical emails fill my inbox, it becomes difficult to determine the origin of the message.   At times constituent input is lost in the shuffle, and for that I apologize.  If you wish to comment on legislation or a particular issue, it is best to put the message in your own words, so it can be identified as constituent comments.

Automated “patch-through” calls have also tied up our phone lines.   You may receive a phone call with a message describing an issue and urging you to take action by pressing “1” on your phone.   Your call is then automatically transferred to my office.  These patch-through calls sometimes come in so quickly, while we are gathering information from one caller, several others are sent to voice mail.  These calls are very fast paced and can be confusing.  Some people even think that our office has contacted them.   While a phone call can be an effective way to weigh in on issues, this is not necessarily the case when it arrives as part of a “patch-through” campaign.

My door is always open to constituents, and if you are planning to visit the Capitol this month, let my office know in advance so we can try to schedule an appointment.   If you have a concern about proposed legislation, you can phone or email my office.

You can follow the legislative process through the state legislative information system (OLIS) via the following link:


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


Deborah Boone

House District 32

email: Rep.DeborahBoone@state.or.us I phone: 503-986-1432
address: 900 Court St NE, H-481, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/boone