House District 19 Update March 8, 2019

Representative Denyc Boles

Capitol Connections:Remembering Richardson

Republican Caucus in Rotunda

Hello Friends,

Committees paused this past Wednesday to honor Oregon's Secretary of State, Dennis Richardson. The stateside service in the House Chamber, was a first since that of Governor Tom McCall in 1983.  Secretary Richardson's passion for public service was inspiring and mirrored the dedication he honed as a father and husband to his large family. Many of those who spoke that afternoon remarked on his energy, his wit, and his willingness to place service over self even in his final days.

Richardson’s leadership while Secretary of State shed much needed light on agency audits, uncovering over $100 million in questionable government spending and needed improvements to agency transparency for Oregon taxpayers. As a fiscally conservative public servant, he routinely called out the need for real PERS reform to secure Oregon’s fiscal future, and improve county, city and school budgets to increase funds available for front line services.

Budgets & Spending

This week the Joint Committee on Ways & Means Co-Chairs released the Co-Chairs Balanced Budget 2019-2021 Biennium.This is a starting point for the budgeting process. I appreciate that the Co-Chairs put together a budget based on current law, and not aspirational. It is decent framework to begin discussions. Moving forward, I hope the co-chairs prioritize the education budget and get it passed early in the session.  Typically this budget is delayed until late June, who hold public hearings and adopt their budget in mid June. This makes it incredibly challenging for our schools to plan and prevents much needed stability in their budgeting process. 

This budget also reflects the growing PERS debt and its incredible impact on our school and government budgets.  This is a puzzle that all stakeholders need to commit to solving.  The majority party seems to focus more on raising fees and taxes than efforts to reduce the cost of operating our state government.  I am particularly concerned about the Governor’s latest idea: pickpocket SAIF. Governor Brown proposes taking 1.4 billion from SAIF, a model non-profit administrator of the state’s worker compensation system. The agency covers nearly half of the state’s payroll workers and their reserves have been built to have funds available to cover worker’s claims when they are disabled not to back fill the general fund to expand state programs.  This is not a solution we should entertain. 

Speaker for the Day

House Speaker Rep Boles

Thursday I had the opportunity to be Speaker of the House for floor session. 

It’s a little harder than it looks, but the Chief Clerks office and Speaker Rep. Holvey did a great job keeping me on track. I was told I did a great job slamming the gavel.  What an amazing experience. 

Please contact our office if you'd like more detailed information legislation you read about in the papers, or ideas you feel would help improve Oregon!

Rep Boles Signature

email: I phone: 503-986-1419
address: 900 Court St NE, H-385, Salem, OR 97301