Coffee, News, and Updates from Salem

Representative Smith Warner

Coffee, News, and Updates from Salem

Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this message finds you well. Unsurprisingly, I am still keeping busy down in the Capitol as an education advocate, member of leadership, and as a touring member of the Joint Ways and Means committee for the budget hearings across the state. However, I am still able to maintain a reasonable energy level and work-home balance by going on runs and attending my son’s Battle of the Books competition.

On March 8th I celebrated International Women’s Day with the Governor and my colleagues in the Capitol. I stand in solidarity with all women who are worried about making less than their male professional counterparts, frightened that their families may be torn apart due to immigration raids, and those who seek affordable access to reproductive health care. The Oregon Women’s Health and Wellness Alliance has announced an ambitious legislative agenda working for women's safety,  women's health, and women's socioeconomic justice that I am proud to support. 

Gov Lunch

Come Chat!

Coffee 3.25

First and foremost, the details of my upcoming Constituent Coffee have been finalized. I hope to see many constituents on March 25th 9:30-11:00am at the Russellville Grange for warm drinks and engaging conversation. The Grange is located at 12105 NE Prescott St. in the Parkrose neighborhood.

News:

I had the opportunity to represent House Democrats on the KATU News Segment “Your Voice, Your Vote” this past week. I talked with three of my colleagues about raising revenue, transportation, the housing crisis and many other topics. If you are interested, the full taping is available on the KATU website and Facebook page.

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The Oregon Health Authority is soliciting public comments about the new concentration guidelines for 15 air toxics. This is the next step toward re-examining the concentration limits that currently exist. The expanded list of 15 air toxics goes beyond metals discovered last year in air emissions from companies in Portland, and includes additional air toxics of potential short-term concern around the state. The “Proposed Short-Term Guideline Concentrations” are posted at the Cleaner Air Oregon website at http://cleanerair.oregon.gov/.

  • Public comment on the document will be open through March 31, 2017. Comments can be submitted to ehap.info@state.or.us.



Legislative Updates:

Revenue Forecast and Corporate Transparency:

The March Revenue Forecast shows the continued growth of Oregon’s economy in both rural and urban areas and, unfortunately, highlights the broken nature of our revenue system. As the Vice-Chair of the Revenue Committee, I am happy to report that the committee is having extensive conversations about the tax structure of our state, and I continue to advocate for solutions to our state’s revenue problem. Requiring that large corporations pay their fair share of taxes is a big part of this, and I have introduced HB 2019 in order to bring transparency to the corporate tax expenditure process. The Oregonian wrote a piece discussing my bill, which you can read here.

Transportation Package:

I know that congestion is a large concern for the people that I represent in Portland, and the impact of congestion on the transport of people and goods ripples throughout the state. With the threat of climate change looming and an ever-increasing population using multiple modes of transportation, I remain strong in my belief that we cannot pave our way out of congestion. Instead, we must continue our commitment to clean fuel standards and multi-modal infrastructure.

Gun Safety:

HB 2130, the Child Access Prevention bill, would help keep guns out of the hands of children and alert the public to the requirement to keep firearms secured anywhere children might access them. My bill is one of a group of gun violence prevention bills introduced in the legislature this year, and I encourage all who are passionate on the topic to make your voices heard to members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

gun press conference

I am proud to stand for gun violence prevention that will keep our communities safe with advocates like Governor Brown and Moms Demand Action.



How to Find a Bill with OLIS

During the course of the Legislative session, I receive hundreds of emails, phone calls and other correspondence on issues that are before the Legislature. My office works hard to not only communicate constituent ideas, concerns and positions to me, but also to empower those who are interested to learn how to track bills, watch hearings and floor votes, and effectively participate in the lawmaking process as engaged citizens.

HOW TO FIND A BILL
If there's a bill you want to learn more about, start with the legislative website.  From the homepage, you can access bill information by clicking on the OLIS icon (that stands for Oregon Legislative Information System) in the menu bar.

 Once inside OLIS, you'll see a summary of the day's events, including hearings, floor sessions and other Capitol events.  You'll also see a menu at the top right with an icon for "Bills", which is a great place to start.

You can search for bills by the bill number, by a keyword, or by the bill's sponsor. Both House and Senate bills can be searched and by hovering over the results, you can read the bill summary, to help to narrow it down to what you're looking for. If you are looking for a bill in a previous session, you can click “Session” to search only within that year – just remember to switch back to 2017 if you want to do further research on the current session.

I FOUND THE BILL, NOW WHAT?

Once you've located the bill, you can find a PDF of the specific legal language, a brief summary of the bill, and all uploaded materials and testimony. On the right side is a link labeled "e-Subscribe Email", which allows you to subscribe to alerts on the bill. This feature will alert you by email when there's an upcoming hearing or vote.

If the hearing has already happened, or is live, you can even watch the stream on your computer. Simply scroll down to “Measure History” and click on the Public Hearing link. On the next page that you are directed to, look on the right side panel for the date of the hearing and click on the triangular "play" symbol.

If a Committee vote or work session has not occurred yet, this is an ideal time to communicate with the members of the Committee or submit written testimony to the "exhibit email" link for the specific Committee by which the bill is under consideration.

Senate bills originate in the Senate and House bills in the House. The bill's Chief Sponsor(s) are the Legislators introducing the bill, and Regular Sponsors are other Legislators who support the bill. It's important to know the bill's Sponsors so you can communicate your support or opposition to them directly. These are listed on the bill’s page on OLIS.

All bills must first pass in their chamber of origin prior to moving on to the next chamber for consideration.  For example, if you're looking at a Senate bill, my first opportunity as a Representative to weigh in on that bill would be in one of my Committees. Otherwise, I will not interact with the until it's headed to the House floor. All bills must first be voted on by a policy committee and if the bill calls for allocation of funding sources, it is sent to the Ways and Means budget committee before it can go to either the House or Senate floor for a vote by the Members. 

AM I TOO LATE IF THERE HAS ALREADY BEEN A VOTE?

It depends.  If the Committee has already voted, the bill will still need to be voted on by the members of the full chamber. All bills need to repeat the process in both the House and the Senate, so if it hasn't made its way through the other chamber, there is still time to weigh in with those members prior to a final vote. Every bill that passes in the Legislature must also be signed by the Governor to become law.

WHAT SHOULD MY MESSAGE BE?

Through phone, email, letter or an in-person visit, express your support or opposition based on facts and your personal experience. If you don't quite understand what a bill does, my staff is happy to clarify. If you can offer a suggestion on how a bill may be changed to garner your support, let us know!  Bills are usually amended during the course of the vetting process and legislators want to support strong policies with bipartisan support whenever possible.


As always, please stay in touch and let me know if you have any questions about OLIS, upcoming legislation, or how to get involved in local and state politics. Hope to see you on the 25th for coffee!

Sincerely,


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Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-487, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithwarner