Rep Boone May 11 2017

Deborah Boone


A top priority of Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon 79th Legislative Assembly has been to come up with a comprehensive transportation package, and a 14-member transportation committee has been working on this effort for months.     Monday, they unveiled a ten-year transportation plan that would raise $8.2 billion by raising the state’s gas tax and its vehicle fees, creating taxes on bicycle and new vehicle purchases and implement a statewide payroll tax to fund mass transit.  The proposal also opens the door to tolls on Oregon’s roads.

Oregon has been underfunding our transportation network for years and it has now reached a critical turning point.  The state’s population has grown, there is increased traffic congestion in the cities and around the state.  The transportation plan would help alleviate congestion by adding lanes on I-5 and Hwy 217, as well as widening I-205.  Money would also be used to strengthen bridges with seismic improvements in preparation for a mega-thrust earthquake. 

The package would raise Oregon’s gas tax by 6 cents per gallon in 2018, followed by 2-cent per gallon increases every two years until 2026.  Vehicle registration fee increases would also be phased in, beginning next year with a $10-30 increase, and with $5 increases every two years.  Vehicle registration fees will be based on fuel efficiency, with those that get more than 40 miles per gallon seeing the higher fees, because they contribute less in gas taxes.  Half of the new vehicle fees and gas tax revenue would pay for state projects, 30 percent to counties and 20 percent to cities.

The transportation committee was formed last year after the 2015 legislature was unable to agree on a transportation plan, committee members from both chambers and political parties have been working on this proposal for months, and it should be considered a framework that the public and other lawmakers will now consider and debate.

While a lot of attention is focused on the transportation package rollout, the House and Senate continue to hold floor sessions and approve legislation. This week at the Legislature, several of the bills I sponsored on behalf of Oregon Ports completed the process of working through both chambers.  I was joined by other members of the Coastal Caucus in sponsoring this suite of Port legislation designed to help streamline port management and operations.

HB 2899 Provides that ports may enter into Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) for any purpose permitted under ORS 190.  Senator Arnie Roblan carried this bill on the Senate floor on Tuesday, where it was unanimously approved.  Speaker of the House Tina Kotek signed the bill on Wednesday and Senate President Peter Courtney signed it on Thursday.  It now is in the Governor’s Office awaiting her signature.

HB 2900 Authorizes port to advertise activities of ports and the activities of others using the port facilities.  This bill was also carried by Senator Roblan on Tuesday, received unanimous approval, was signed by Speaker Kotek and President Courtney and awaits the Governor’s signature.

HB2901 Relates to the appraisal of real property purchased by ports.  This bill increases the threshold from $500 thousand to $2 million, of real property value that requires ports to obtain a second appraisal prior to purchase.  Senator Jeff Kruse carried this bill on the Senate floor on Tuesday, where it was approved on a unanimous vote, it was signed by Speaker Kotek and President Courtney and is now in the Governor’s office for her signature.

House Concurrent Resolution 31 Recognizes December 6, 2017 as the 100th anniversary of Finnish Independence.   The large migration of Finns to northwest Oregon began about 1870, and Finnish immigrants were vital to building Astoria’s fishing and timber industries.  By 1920, there were some 4,000 Finns living in Clatsop County, with more than 2,500 in Astoria.  To honor their important contribution of building the north coast economy, I was delighted to Sponsor HCR 31 at the request of the Finlandia Foundation Columbia-Pacific Chapter President Greg Jacob.  Greg and Dave Alford of the Finlandia Foundation were on hand Wednesday when the House unanimously approved HCR 31.  The resolution now moves to the Senate for consideration.

This Saturday Cannon Beach will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill.   Fifty years ago Oregon Governor Tom McCall signed Oregon’s landmark beach bill into law.  His son Tad McCall will be part of the Cannon Beach festivities this weekend to mark the event.   Scheduled activities include construction of a six-foot tall sandcastle by Form Finders, a master sand sculpting team.  The Haystack Rock Awareness Program will have tide pool interpretive information, and Geologist Tom Horning will hold a guided beach tour from Haystack Rock to Silver Point.   Spotting scopes will help visitors view tufted puffins and other seabirds nesting on Haystack Rock, plans for a Beach Bill-related public art project will be reveals, and lots more.   It is a great excuse to spend a day in Cannon Beach!

On Sunday, take a little time out to remember mom on Mother’s Day.   Being a mother is the most rewarding and challenging responsibility a woman can undertake.   The sacrifices a mom makes for her children are continuous, but so worth it!   If you still have the chance, let her know how much you appreciate her.  Thanks, Mom!

Bouquet for Mom
Bouquet for Mom

To best represent House District 32, I need to hear about your concerns.   Again this week the state email server was flooded with spam messages, and we may have inadvertently missed a message from you.   If you have a concern or comment about a state agency or proposed legislation, you can write, phone or email my office.  If you are coming to Salem, let my office know a few days in advance so we can schedule an appointment.   I’m in H-481, and my door is always open to constituents.  

It is my privilege to represent you in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Deborah Boone

email: I phone: 503-986-1432
address: 900 Court St NE, H-481, Salem, OR, 97301