Week 5/6 Update

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

We have been very busy around the Capitol the last couple weeks. I have met with many constituents and local organizations and discussed many important issues and pieces of legislation. Here are few of the highlights…

CASA Constituents

A Visit from Court Appointed Special Advocates

It was great to hear from these wonderful advocates from Central Oregon. They do some of the most critical and emotionally demanding work there is. CASA is fundamental to making the justice and child protection system function in the best interests of children and families. Pictured Left to Right: Anita Elliott, Jenna App, Senator Knopp, Linda Greene, Michelle Solley, Penny Skoog

Proposed Bills Undermining Home Ownership

Two pieces of legislation have been introduced this session that will significantly limit access to home ownership. They would make it much more expensive for individuals to purchase and own a home. In a time of significant economic turmoil, especially in rural areas, it is essential for individuals and families to have quality, affordable housing. I am opposed to HB 2006 and HB 2771 which are in the House Human Services and Housing Committee and House Revenue Committee respectively. 

OSU Extension

OSU Extension

I really enjoyed meeting with folks advocating for the OSU Extension system. Left to Right: Steve Forster, Dan Sherwin, Dana Martin, Veronica Grant, Senator Knopp, Carol Tollefson, Sue Williams, and Mike Weber.

V-Tel Conference

Legislators representing parts of Central Oregon tele-conferenced with leaders from Central Oregon cities. It is critical to legislators as well as local leaders to meet and discuss to make good public policy. We meet regularly to make sure that all stakeholders in the policy process are informed and represented. 


Balancing the State's Budget

State Hiring Freeze
One way to address Oregon government’s spending and budgeting problems is to temporarily freeze the hiring of government workers. Governments in Oregon have added nearly 16,000 employees to the payroll since 2014, a staggering rate of 17 new government employees per day. The unsustainability of this trend is illustrated by the massive current State budget shortfall combined with record tax revenues.

State Employee Health Care 
Oregon’s government provides some of the most generous state employee health care in all of the United States. A never-before-done study of 49 states showed that Oregon’s government employees receive the sixth most generous state healthcare. Employees are asked to cover very little of the premiums, according to the study, with only two states requiring employees to pay less for their health care insurance than Oregon. Along with the costs of PERS and other employment benefits, health care costs impact state budgets enormously. Finding ways to reduce the costs of healthcare for employees and the state will go a long way in freeing up resources for education, infrastructure, and other important government services.

Public Employee Retirement System
Yesterday in the Senate Workforce Committee, we discussed some ideas from everyday Oregonians to address PERS. I get many ideas from folks from around the state that wish to make positive, lasting improvements to the system that will allow employees to have a fair retirement while also minimizing the system’s burden on state and local governments.

Current Service Level = Desire Service Level
In discussions about the State’s budget, you will undoubtedly hear the term “current service level” in reference to agency requests for funding. This type of budgeting is meant to show what resources will be needed to maintain the current amount of services in a new biennium. This approach has its flaws among them transparency and accountability over the cost determination process. It is also “status quo”-driven versus outcome-driven as in the case of Zero-based Budgeting which requires agencies to use outcomes and need to justify increases in funding. 

Pastor Richard Peil of Victory Baptist Church

I love having visits from those in the faith community in Senate District 27. It is fun to hear about the continued growth and vibrancy of places of worship in Central Oregon.

Left to Right: Ryan Banducci, Senator Knopp, and Richard Peil

Pastor Peil and Ryan B
OSU Extension cropped

OSU Foundation

It is always a pleasure to meet with folks from OSU. They do a ton of great work and I love seeing Oregon State University expand and grow.

Left to Right: Andrew Foster, Molly Svendsen, Senator Knopp, and Tony Williams.

Best Regards,


Senator Tim Knopp 
Senate District 27

email: sen.timknopp@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1727
address: 900 Court St NE, S-309, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/knopp