April 13 2017 Legislative Update

Deborah Boone

Greetings from Salem!

On Wednesday, The Oregon House of Representatives unanimously approved HB 2933.   This bill lifts the limit on the amount the Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority may grant from the Special Public Works Fund for emergency projects.   I sponsored this bill as part of my ongoing efforts to help Oregon move towards better emergency preparedness, disaster resiliency and recovery.  Exceeding the current upper limit of $2.5 million per project should only occur in the case of a catastrophic seismic event.  HB 2933 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

HB 2930 is another bill I sponsored this year, and relates to reporting child abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities.  This bill was requested by the Department of Defense, and encourages the notification of the military regarding child abuse and neglect allegations of families with members on active military status.  Similar bills have already been approved in the states of Washington and South Carolina, and on Thursday, this bill received a “Do Pass” recommendation in the House Human Services committee, and now moves to the House floor for a vote.

The Coastal Caucus consists of all Senators and Representatives that have been elected from districts along Oregon’s coastline.   Each week we meet to discuss various topics and legislation that will impact our communities and constituents.  This week Richard Whitman the new Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality attended our meeting and among the discussion topics were the Oregon Cleaner Air effort and the process to renew the wastewater permits for Oregon Seafood Processors.  Next week DEQ will be meeting with seafood processors along the coast, in Astoria on Tuesday, Coos Bay on Wednesday and Newport on Thursday.  Coastal Caucus members are paying close attention to this effort that could have huge economic impacts on our fishing communities.

We received word this week that the salmon projections for the Klamath River Basin are down again this year, and the Pacific Fishery Management council ordered a season-long Pacific Ocean salmon closure from Humbug Mountain, near Port Orford, Oregon to Eureka, California.   There will be no ocean salmon fishing for commercial or recreational anglers allowed this year out of Gold Beach or Brookings.  Oregon’s commercial salmon industry brings over $10 million dollars into the coastal economy, and recreational anglers spend even more than that during an active salmon season.   The closure of the south Oregon coast for salmon fishing will have devastating impacts for our coastal communities, so caucus members will be working with the Governor on a disaster declaration, and helping to facilitate the way fishing communities can get assistance.  The Coastal Caucus plans to focus on this issue next week, and develop a strategy to help our fishing industry.

Thursday at the Capitol, Leah Chen an Astoria High School junior served as an Honorary Page in the Oregon House of Representatives.  Leah is interested in history and political science, and came to the Capitol to witness first hand political science in action.   It is wonderful to have young people from the district showing an active interest in the business of Oregon, sometimes that interest results in new legislation.

In 2015 I sponsored HB 3042 at the request of Seaside 8th grader Hayley Rollins, who was requesting a day to honor Oregon artists.   HB 3042 was signed into law designating April 14 of each year as Honorary Artists of Oregon Day.  Hayley is now a sophomore at Seaside high and this Friday she is coordinating the 2nd annual Honorary Oregon Artists Day at Seaside High School.  On Friday, I’m honored to be part of the program where many artists will be at the school conducting 90-minute workshops for students teaching them a variety of art techniques.  The workshops will be followed by an assembly and Art Walk to view the student creations.  I’m so pleased to be a part of this successful student-driven effort to celebrate and promote art in Oregon.

This Saturday at the Warrenton High School, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici will be holding a Clatsop County Town hall from 11:00am to Noon.   The Congresswoman will update her constituents on her efforts for the tsunami early warning system, talk about her opposition to the proposed cuts to NOAA, FEMA and the US Coast Guard, and explain her goals to strengthen public education.   Congresswoman Bonamici will answer questions, and have staff on hand to work with people who are experiencing problems with federal agencies.   Everyone is encouraged to attend this Saturday’s Town Hall in the Warrenton High School Gymnasium to get an update on federal issues that affect our communities.

Things are moving quickly in the Legislature now, and my schedule tends to get very busy.   If you are planning a trip to the Capitol, it’s best to contact my office a few days in advance so we can schedule an appointment.   My office is in H-481 and my door is always open to constituents.  If you have a concern or comment about proposed legislation or a state agency, you can write, phone or email my office.

It is my privilege to serve you in the House of Representatives and I look forward to hearing from you.  Your input is vital in helping me make the decisions that best represent House District 32.


Deborah Boone

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