May 10, 2017 Newsletter

Rich Vial

May 10, 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Here is an update on my work as your State Representative.

Bill Report

HB 3056, HB 3057, and HB 3059, which I introduced, each passed unanimously on the floor of the Senate today.  These bills clarify and correct certain portions of existing state law relating to issues of condominium and homeowner associations including liens, shared finances, and special declarant rights.  I look forward to their being signed into law by the Governor.

HB 2722, relating to governing documents of housing associations, received a work session in the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources this afternoon.  This bill prohibits condominium and homeowner associations from enforcing irrigation requirements during periods of drought, when water becomes scarce or expensive.  The bill passed on the floor of the House on April 3rd and will now likely move to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

As a land use attorney, I co-founded the law firm of Vial Fotheringham LLP in 1986.  Over the past 35 years, myself and a group of other lawyers and stakeholders have worked to craft the State’s first laws relating to condominium and homeowner associations.   Nearly every home in the Portland Metropolitan Area belongs to one of these associations and, although I no longer hold any investments in the law firm, I am pleased that I can bring my experience to the State Capitol to advocate for legislation that will have positive impacts on Oregonians.

May 19th and June 2nd mark the next legislative deadlines.  Policy committees must post agendas that schedule any remaining second chamber bills for which they intend to hold work sessions by May 19th.  Bills in policy committees that are not scheduled for a work session by this deadline cannot receive further action and are considered “dead.”  From there, the scheduled work sessions must occur by June 2nd.  These deadlines do not apply to bills have been assigned to the House Committee on Revenue, the House Committee on Rules, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, and other joint committees.

In the Capitol

Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce 2

On May 3rd, representatives of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce came to the State Capitol to share their legislative priorities with members of both the House and Senate.  Senator Betsy Johnson, Senator Chuck Riley, Representative Ron Noble, and I answered members’ questions on a number of topics ranging from Washington County’s transportation needs to the potential for a gross receipts tax and predictive scheduling legislation. I appreciate those who attended for making the trip down to Salem to share their thoughts and concerns with us.

In the District

Equity & Innovation in Education Dinner

Also on May 3rd, my wife and I attended the 3rd Annual Equity and Innovation in Education Dinner. The speakers were very engaging and well-versed in their areas of expertise, which included school choice as well as online and virtual educational opportunities.  It was great to be back at World of Speed in Wilsonville, and I want to extend a special thanks to the Portland Business Alliance, Building Excellent Schools Together, the Cascade Policy Institute, and Stimson Lumber Company for organizing such a great event.

Your Voice Your Vote

Your Voice Your Vote

On April 30th, I appeared for the second time alongside fellow freshman Representative Janelle Bynum on the KATU News program, Your Voice Your Vote.  This time, Rep. Bynum and I were asked to provide a mid-session update on topics including the 2017-19 Budget, PERS, and what we have learned so far about the culture in Salem.  You can watch the segment online by clicking here.

Transportation Package

KATU Interview

On Monday evening, the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization presented a framework for what I am hopeful will become a Transportation Package that the legislature can pass this session.  The proposal contains funding for a number of much needed maintenance, preservation, and congestion relief projects both in the Portland Metropolitan Area and around the State, as well as some innovative new ways of funding our transportation system going forward.  KATU News interviewed me about the proposal, which you can read or watch by clicking here.

Personal Reflections

Jeff Wight

Yesterday, the President of my Church’s local Stake, Jeff Wight, came to the State Capitol to deliver a prayer as part of our Opening Ceremony on the Floor of the House.  It was an honor to introduce Jeff to my legislative colleagues.  His message of gratitude and plea for wisdom was particularly meaningful for me as more complex and divisive issues begin to take center stage in Salem.  You can watch a video of his prayer and my introduction by clicking here.

In addition, I am grateful to have been included in weekly “fellowship” meetings, organized by a bipartisan group of six to eight Representatives each week during our lunch hour.  These gatherings give us an opportunity to reflect on matters of faith as they relate to our experiences in the State Capitol.  During these meetings, one of us will typically start the conversation by telling our personal story of faith, which will then prompt a discussion about where each of us agrees and how we differ on the “big questions” of life.  Although the members of this group find themselves voting in different ways on the Floor, one thing that we all agree on is the need for genuine understanding of each other as people.  I find that these sessions remind me of the respect that most members of the legislature have for one another, despite our political differences.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your State Representative. 




Capitol Phone: 503-986-1426
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-484, Salem, Oregon 97301