The Halfway Point

Representative Smith Warner

The Halfway Point


Lobbying your legislators is worth it!


Friends and Neighbors,

I want to start off this newsletter with a huge ‘thank you’ to all the constituents who have visited me in Salem to share your stories and discuss the issues that are important to you. Your act of coming to the Capitol to express the real-life implications of bills and policies with your elected officials is extremely powerful. This year's lobby days have been particularly well-attended. Keep it up!

While not everyone can take time off work, arrange childcare, or physically travel to Salem, there are a variety of other ways that you can reach me. Along with an upcoming in-district weekend event (detailed below), I encourage those who can’t come to Salem to give letters to those attending lobby days, submit written testimony for bills, organize letter writing parties, and of course call or email my office. I want to hear from you and greatly appreciate your perspective.

Deadline update

As you may know, the legislative session is governed by several deadlines over the six months that we meet every-odd numbered year. Last week marked the first chamber work session deadline, after which any bill that without a committee vote in its chamber of origin expired. The exceptions are for bills that are in non-policy committees, such as Rules, Revenue, or Joint Ways and Means committees.  You can track the bills and see if they are alive or dead based on their current location listed on their OLIS page:

Most of my priority bills made it past the deadline, but unfortunately my bill HB 2130 which would help keep children from unintentionally accessing guns, did not move forward. I look forward to working on this legislation in the future, and I am hopeful that other bills that offer gun violence prevention will be successful. Just outside my district, a young man was tragically shot and killed in Holladay Park this month. If the Legislature can assist in preventing even one death by implementing sound policy for gun violence prevention, I will consider that a success.

I am still working hard on my bills that support oil train safety, teacher professional development, corporate transparency, and affordable housing. One of my bills, HB 3377, passed the House unanimously and is now in the Senate for consideration. HB 3377 requires that the Oregon Business Development Department report back to the Legislature in 2018 about their work to change their procedures and address efficiency concerns raised from an audit of their department.

Constituent Coffee

I will be hosting another Constituent Coffee event on from 9:30-11am on May 20th at the Hollywood Senior Center, which is located at 1820 NE 40th Ave in Portland. I hope you can join me to have some coffee and share what’s on your mind.



Education update

This is a challenging time for education. With rising costs of services, healthcare expansion, and ballot measure mandates, our budget is facing new challenges. I have heard from many of you who are witnessing the impacts that this will have on your children’s schools – the letting go of school staff, cuts to physical education, and decreased funding for counseling or mental health services. I feel your frustration and am saddened by your stories. As a mother of two public school students, I share your concern for the quality of education for your children, and children across the state.

As one of the Co-Chairs of the Education Subcommittee of Joint Ways and Means, I will need to make difficult decisions for these preliminary budgets. However, I am optimistic that we can raise the revenue necessary to return funds for critical services such as education. Oregon’s broken revenue system is unreliable and needs reform so that everyone, especially the largest corporations, pay their fair share to fund education. Public support for this effort is critical and I encourage you to talk with your friends, family, and colleagues and keep this conversation going.

We are waiting on the May forecast to know what the final budget numbers will be, but my focus remains on fixing the ways in which state revenue is generated. We cannot cut our way out of this shortfall. We must find long term solutions to our revenue problem that allow us to make long term investments in quality education, healthcare, and other important services for Oregonians.

 Cleaner Air Oregon News

I know that air quality and air toxics are issues that many House District 45 are very concerned about. Here is an update on the Cleaner Air Oregon program from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

“Last November, DEQ requested that permitted industrial facilities provide information on their emissions of air toxics. This information was requested so that DEQ could more clearly understand what pollutants are emitted and potential areas of concern.  The deadline for the initial request was March 31, 2017.  Most facilities met the deadline but several hundred facilities have not.

For those facilities not meeting the deadline, DEQ will be sending a reminder letter and making calls to encourage compliance.  We are extending the deadline to June 1, 2017 without penalty.  After this date, DEQ will publish a list of facilities not in compliance and may take enforcement action.”


Workers Memorial Day

Every Oregonian deserves a safe work environment where they can earn a living wage and return home to their families. Sadly, more than 60 Oregon workers were killed on the job last year. It was my honor and privilege to read their names in remembrance at this year’s Worker’s Memorial Day event in Salem. To me, reading these names is a commitment that policy makers have a responsibility to do everything in our power to prevent workplace fatalities and keep Oregonians safe.

Stick with me, and I look forward to the second half of the legislative session!



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-487, Salem, OR 97301