Week 11 Update

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

Springtime in the Willamette Valley

view from the capitol

It is spring here in the Willamette Valley. The picture is the view from my office.

Democrats Propose Unnecessary Cuts to K-12, Seniors, and Safety Net Programs

Yesterday, leading Democratic legislators put forward a laundry list of cuts to key programs that are unwarranted and poorly conceived. Instead of working across the aisle with their Republican colleagues to identify and reform major cost drivers, Democrats have decided to aim painful cuts at the citizenry in order to justify large tax increases similar to the failed Measure 97 campaign. There are numerous proposals to contain government costs that won’t impact services citizens need and want. We should consider proposals such as reforming state employee health care, reclassifying certain employees, or instituting targeted hiring freezes to name a few. Oregon needs legislators to work together to solve problems and that means looking at both sides of the budget equation not just new revenue. The citizens of Oregon need to know that the legislature is working in good faith to contain costs before they can support revenue increases. There is still time to craft better solutions, they just have to be willing to join us in making it happen. 

First-Time Home Buyer Savings Accounts

family home

A unique idea was heard last week to help families become first-time home owners. Senate Bill 849 would create home buyer savings accounts which would assist individuals and families in coming up with a down payment by reducing their taxable income if they use a HBSA to save. Much like an education savings account helps individuals get a college education, a HSBA would assist people in achieving the economic stability provided by home ownership. While the bill did not pass, I sponsored the concept and other innovative ideas to expand housing access and home ownership. 

Supporting Victims of Breast Cancer

bc awareness

House Bill 2660 is another good bill heard last week in the Senate Health Care Committee. The bill would require the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Consumer and Business Services to make written materials available to patients about options related to insurance coverage of breast reconstruction surgery, breast prostheses, and breast forms. Information about insurance coverage and treatment options is critical for individuals and families to make the best decisions for their health and financial stability. I support the passage of this bill and it is a good opportunity to help people affected by a terrible disease.

Oversight of Agency Fees

Last week, a hearing was held in the Senate General Government and Accountability Committee on a bill that would increase legislative oversight on agency fees. I helped sponsor the legislation, Senate Bill 1052, which stipulates that new or increased fees adopted by state agencies do not become effective unless approved by the Legislature by law. While much of the government runs on tax revenues, another sizeable source of income for government is fees. Oftentimes, agencies charge a fee for providing a service and largely these are under the control of the agency with limited oversight by the legislature. Requiring legislative approval will protect citizens and taxpayers from being priced out of services they need and require agencies to provide solid reasons for why a new fee or fee increase are necessary. 

Protecting Victims of Stalking


In an effort to protect victims of stalking from further harassment and violence, Senate Bill 315 was introduced this session. The legislation authorizes a court to order a special condition of probation restricting the location of a convicted stalker’s residence if they are released. Sponsors of the bill include Senator Winters, Senator Ferrioli, and myself. The bill would go a long way towards improving safety and providing a sense of security for those impacted by stalking. While the bill itself died in committee, I support the concept which lives on in an amended version of SB 714. Look for future updates on SB 714 online.

Encouraging Excellence in Our Teachers

The Senate Education Committee heard one of my bills last week, Senate Bill 578, which aims to help and encourage teacher’s to become National Board certified. The bill mirrors a bill sponsored by Rep. Gene Whisnant. According to the National Education Association, “National Board Certification (NBC) is a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure. NBC has national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.” The science shows that students taught by teachers with National Board Certification learn more and do better in class and on standardized tests. 

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