The First Weeks of Session

Alan DeBoer

Hello Friends,

Oregon’s 79th Legislative Assembly officially convened on February 1.

At the end of the first week, the House Speaker and Senate President issued a press release stating that they initiated talks between representatives of business and labor interests. The intention of those talks was to resolve the state’s estimated $1.8 billion budget shortfall.

However, no Republicans legislators were invited to participate, and small and rural business interests were not fairly represented in those discussions.

We have some real challenges facing our state, but they come with opportunities to improve the lives of our citizens. It must start with including a balance of legislators and business, and it is my most sincere hope that the leadership in this building will work towards utilizing that approach.

The session started with hundreds of proposed bills, numerous committee meetings and lobbyists and various groups with agendas pursuing their targeted issues.

Swearing In

Time is the enemy of elected bodies in this kind of setting, as there is never enough of it for us to get around to tackling the big issues. So what can you do as a citizen? When you are lobbied to send form letters, think of the value you would put on them if you received the same letter from numerous people. Reading alone consumes about five hours of every day that I am at the capitol working. I feel I should respond to each and every one of them, and apologize if it may sometimes seem to take too long.

One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is that everybody that is elected to the Legislature is here to help. I would hope that you trust those elected officials to work together towards logical, efficient solutions to our shared problems.

Over the past few weeks, I have found that the best use of my time is reaching out to my colleagues, staff and people with experience in issues to come up with those solutions. We all need to come together to solve our problems and find revenue and savings to provide critical services to Oregonians.

After the election, several of the letters and editorials published in our local newspapers said I need to be judged by the results from this session. I wholeheartedly agree.

Yours truly,

Senator Alan DeBoer

Senate District 3


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-421, Salem, Oregon 97301

Above left: I took my official oath of office in a formal ceremony on January 9.

Above right: I had a chance to talk to students from Bertha Holt Elementary School in Eugene. Bertha is my aunt, and was married to Harry Holt, my mother's brother. They were both founders of the Holt International Children's Services. She passed away in 2000, was labeled as "The Grandma Who Changed the World," and set the world record at the University of Oregon in 1996 for the 400-meter for her age category at 92 years old. She was a special lady, and I was glad for the random opportunity to share some stories with the students.


Left: Moments after being sworn in, I filled out paperwork at my new desk on the Senate floor.

Below: I met several of my Senate colleagues during an opening day reception. They include (left to right) Senator Rod Monroe (D-Portland), Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Senator Chuck Riley (D-Hillsboro).