Fire Update, Affordable Housing Preservation, "Veteran Stand Down," & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-417, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     September 2018

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Dear friends,

    Beginning September 7 and continuing for 60 days until election day (November 6), incumbent candidates for office — including myself — will be prohibited by Senate rules from sending unsolicited general legislative correspondence from state e-accounts or postings on state websites. This includes my monthly e-bulletins. Please watch for my next e-bulletin after the election. My office will still be able to receive and respond to constituent e-mails during the "blackout" period. Please remember to be an informed voter and exercise your right to vote in November.

    Schools are back in session, so please remember to slow down in school zones and watch for kids on your commute.

    Below you will find information on:

        - Fire Update
        - Latest Revenue Forecast
        - "Veteran Stand Down" in Roseburg: September 20
        - Scam Alert: Con Artists Using Fake Documents to Steal Your Money and ID
        - Funding to Preserve Affordable Housing in Senate District 4
        - Be College Ready Program Launches for 2018-2019 School Year
        - As Requested at Town Halls: Q&A on McKenzie Highway Scenic Byway
        - As Requested at Town Halls: PERS Facts

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                                Sen. Prozanski signature

Fire Update

    Containment on the Terwilliger Fire's south side grew last week, bringing overall containment to 26 percent. Progress continues to be made on control lines on the northwest perimeter adjacent to private lands and from the road to the reservoir's west side.

    For a up-to-date information on the Terwilliger Fire and others burning in Oregon, visit Department of Forestry's Wildfire Blog:

Latest Revenue Forecast

    The September 2018 Economic and Revenue Forecast was released at a joint meeting of the Senate and House Revenue Committees. As the forecast shows, Oregon's economic growth has slowed slightly. Employment is down by approximately 1,010 jobs, but Oregon remains near full employment. We’ve brought thousands of workers off the sidelines and more workers are participating in the economy.

Revenue Outlook
    The projected ending balance is up $166.8 million from the June 2018 forecast. This includes projected combined net General Fund and Lottery resources. The projected ending balance is also up $1.3 billion (5.9 percent) from the 2017 close-of-session estimate. The Rainy Day Fund is projected to receive an additional $199.3 million following the end of the 2017-19 biennium.

    Furthermore, the 2017-19 net General Fund resources are projected to increase by $140.3 million, representing a 0.7 percent estimated increase from the June 2018 forecast. Projected 2017-19 Lottery resources are also up $26.5 million (1.8 percent).

    The projected ending balances for the reserve accounts for the 2017-19 biennium are as follows: Education Stability Fund- $614.7 million, Rainy Day Fund- $595.7 million, and General Fund- $1.248 billion. This totals $2.458 billion in reserves.

Kicker Outlook
This data indicates that both the personal and corporate kickers will be triggered. A personal kicker of $686 million is projected for 2019-21. The corporate tax revenue of $207.8 million is projected to be dedicated to K-12 education spending in in the 2019-21 biennium. These are the largest kicker amounts we've seen in more than a decade.

Economic Outlook

    Oregon is close to reaching full employment, however the growth is expected to slow down into the next couple of biennia. Long-term demographic projections indicate population growth may outpace job gains during this time. Most industries are continuing to grow, but there is significant variation amongst rural regions' potential to offset their Great Recession losses.

Risk Forecast
The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis anticipates a lot of risk factors causing instability in future biennia, including issues such as trade, oil shock, housing affordability, climate change and natural disasters. Oregon Office of Economic Analysis recommends preparation for future recessions, given these variables.

Other Notable Items
    Changes in federal monetary policy and international relations issues also could impact the economy dramatically in the future. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis will monitor these changes closely, paying attention to how they affect the cost of goods, such as oil prices. 

Veteran Stand Down in Roseburg: September 20

    On September 20, the Roseburg VA Medical Center will host the 2018 "Veteran Stand Down." Please see below for a details and a list of free services available for veterans.

Scam Alert: Con Artists Using Fake Documents to Steal Your Money and ID

    The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is warning about a new scam that is circulating the country. It uses DOJ to try to scam its targets out of their hard-earned money.

    The scam is designed to get you to think you are a victim of identity theft. In fact, you are not, but you may become one if you follow the scammers instructions, which are aimed at getting access to your Social Security number, bank and retirement accounts, and other personal records. At first glance, the documents the scammers use appear to be official: They have a DOJ seal and address as well as references to what look like real Oregon state criminal laws.

   Here's some of what DOJ has learned about how the scam works: The target of the scam receives a phone call from a person claiming to work for a federal agency a fake government agent. The "agent" tells people answering the phone that somebody has stolen their identity and is trying to break into their bank account. In order to keep the bank account safe, the target of the scam is told they need to wire all of their funds to a foreign account.

Government officials will never call you and ask you to transfer or wire money. Most importantly, DOJ will never ask you to complete forms that ask for bank accounts, Social Security numbers or other very personal data. Once money has been wired overseas, it is very difficult to recover.

    If you think you have fallen victim to this or any scam, contact DOJ at or 1-877-877-9392.

Funding to Preserve Affordable Housing in Senate District 4

Housing Stability Council has awarded $2.2 million in resources from Oregon Housing and Community Services to fund the preservation of 20 affordable homes in Senate District 4.

Pioneer Enterprises Apartments is an affordable housing preservation project involving the acquisition, rehabilitation, and consolidated ownership and operation of existing multifamily housing projects currently being operated as separate USDA Rural Development Senior and Disabled complexes in Veneta. The projects include Pioneer Park (20 Units).

    This project will preserve the existing affordable properties and guarantee that these apartments remain affordable and available to low-income senior and disabled families in these communities for 60 years.

Be College Ready
Program Launches for 2018-2019 School Year

    Be College Ready is once again being offered as a statewide program for the 2018-2019 school year. The program is another way to help Oregon families meet their higher education goals. It brings college savings information directly into classrooms, homes and communities.

    Be College Ready is uniquely designed to be easy for elementary schools to incorporate. Here is how the program works:

  • Participating schools will receive free homework folders, pencils and bookmarks for every student.

  • 100 families (20 per each of the five congressional districts) will be eligible to win $100 for an Oregon College Savings Plan account.

  • Schools will simply be asked to distribute information and provide opportunities for parents/families to learn more about the how the OCSP can help a make post-secondary education more affordable.

    Schools/school districts can visit to order free supplies for their elementary school students.

As Requested at Town Halls: Q&A on McKenzie Highway Scenic Byway

    In follow-up to a question received during one of my community town halls earlier this year, the following includes questions I submitted to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the agency's responses:

  1. Is it a freight truck route or a federal truck route? Can you explain the difference? Are either or both of those designations compatible with the highway being designated a scenic byway?

        a. Different segments of the McKenzie highway have different designations.

        b. From Eugene to the 126/242 junction, the McKenzie Highway is a federal National Network route (these federal designations regulate the size of the trucks that can travel on a given route; the National Network designation limits the trucks to no more than 102 inches wide and 53-feet long semi-trailers.

    c. From Sisters to Redmond, the McKenzie highway is both:
        i. an Oregon freight truck route (which means it’s a highway designated for freight by the Oregon Freight Plan, which is a piece of the larger Oregon Highway Plan); AND
        ii. a federal National Network truck route.

    d. From what I can tell, there isn't anything that would make a freight route designation incompatible/inconsistent with a Scenic Byways designation. There are several criteria that must be kept intact for routes that have a Scenic Byway designation (how to protect the value, have the values will be interpreted for the public, how the route and parking will be maintained to enhance the values and ensure public safety) but there isn’t anything formal or otherwise that make these two designations automatically mutually exclusive.

  2. Floyd was told there may be some prohibition on signs and unsightliness on private property along the highway now that it's being designated a scenic byway. Can you educate us about that?

        a. When a roadway is designated a Scenic Byway, no new Outdoor Advertising Signs (OAS) are allowed. Those already in place may remain, be maintained and repaired, but they cannot be made larger, nor can the owner change a static sign to a digital sign.

        b. Under Oregon law, a sign is an OAS in either of two situations. First, if it is posted for compensation: for example billboards (space is rented), or paying a land lease or exchanging something of value for the right to put your sign on someone else’s property. Second, if the sign is not posted at a business or other place open to the public.

        c. Outdoor Advertising Signs along state highways are heavily regulated under the federal Highway Beautification Act and the Oregon laws implementing the Act. One element of those sets of laws is this restriction along Scenic Byways.

As Requested at Town Halls: PERS Facts

    Also in follow-up to a question received during one of my community town halls earlier this year, the following includes facts provided by the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) in response to an inquiry I submitted:

  1. The last major reform to PERS member benefits occurred during the 2003 legislative session. By the end of the session (a couple of bills passed mid- and late-session) the Legislature created the most current member pension "tier" called Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP), but also created the Individual Account Program (IAP) for all Tier One, Tier Two, and OPSRP members which is the "defined contribution" account equivalent to six percent of the member salary plus annual earnings/losses. You can see a timeline of major legislative changes on pages 9/10 here:

  2. State and local governments can't go bankrupt, and even if they try, PERS is first in line for the financial obligation to their previous employees.

  3. The current PERS tiers are Tier One (people who began public employment before January 1, 1996); Tier Two (people who began employment January 1, 1996 – August 28, 2003); and OPSRP (people who began employment after August 28, 2003). A table of the benefit structure is available on page 3 in the "PERS by the Numbers" document linked in answer number 1 above.

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