Wrapping Up the 2018 Legislative Session

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

Wrapping Up the 2018 Legislative Session

OSU Cascades

In a historic moment for Central Oregon, OSU-Cascades received $39 million in bonds to help construct an entirely new academic building on campus to house new programs focused on STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). OSU-Cascades has struggled to keep up with student demand and the demand for highly trained workers in Central Oregon. The new resources brought to bear at the campus will help grow and diversify the local economy. The approval of the bonding money is the culmination of a major effort by a broad coalition of people in Central Oregon. I am very excited to see the growth of the campus and to see the positive impact it will have on Central Oregon. This was my top priority this session and I'm thankful to all who played a role in getting it done.

Parental Rights for Parents with Disabilities

A key piece of legislation that was passed by the Legislature is Senate Bill 1526. The bill would prevent a court from removing custody of children from parents only based on their disability status unless their disability poses an actual risk to the child’s well being. Parents who love and care for their children shouldn’t have them taken away because they don’t meet arbitrary standards of care. The child welfare system shouldn’t resort to breaking up families if there are other, better options. Learn more on OLIS.

Harsher Penalties for Strangulation

The legislature passed Senate Bill 1562 which escalates the penalty for strangulation in domestic violence cases from a misdemeanor to a felony. This is a critical piece of legislation that will allow the judicial system to better prosecute individuals who have carried out heinous acts of violence against their family. It is important that we take domestic violence and violence within families very seriously and this bill is a way to set the expectations of how individuals should treat each other. I was a Co-sponsor of this bill and worked hard to get it passed. To learn more visit OLIS.

Equine Therapy

At my request the Senate Interim Committee on Workforce introduced a bill to ensure that equine therapy facilities would be allowable on land zoned for exclusive farm use. I partnered with Rep. Duane Stark in the House to pass this important bill. Equine therapy and counseling are important treatment methods that improve the quality of life for a broad spectrum of people with physical and mental challenges. The bill passed unanimously in both chambers of the Oregon legislature. To learn more about the bill check out OLIS!

Public Employee Retirement System

The short session is an opportunity to address emergencies and pressing budgetary issues and this year we looked at a couple of bills, Senate Bills 1566 and 1529, that addressed PERS. While they were not going to eliminate  the sustainability issues surrounding PERS, they were steps in the right direction. The two bills create funds and direct existing revenue sources towards paying down the PERS unfunded liability. Addressing the burden of PERS costs on public employers, especially schools and local governments, is critical to preventing and reversing the degradation of essential public services. Learn more about the bills on OLIS.

Small Business Taxes

The Oregon Legislature, in a poor economic decision which I opposed, decided to impose $1.3 billion in new taxes on small businesses over the next 6 years. In a strange move, the tax changes implemented by the Democrats will focus on small businesses which generate the majority of jobs and economic activity in Oregon rather than large corporations which are the most common targets of calls for higher taxes.

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