Legislative Update from State Representative David Brock Smith

We need more meeting in the middle.

David Brock Smith

We said goodbye to a dear friend, colleague, mentor and true public servant during a State Funeral of The Honorable Dennis Richardson, 26th Secretary of State of Oregon, on March 6th


Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson laying in state in the Capitol Rotunda

Dennis 1

House Republicans surround our colleague, our friend and to many a mentor, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. We continued our respects, hand in hand, by first singing Amazing Grace, before closing with prayer

Dennis 2

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson is escorted out of the House Chambers and the Capitol, for the last time

Dennis 3

Hello Friends,

It was a somber day in the Capitol last week as we paid tribute to the life and public service of our friend and colleague, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. Secretary Richardson was a faithful leader, throughout his life, and his work for the people of Oregon embodied who a true statesmen is. He was a mentor to many, and we are better from his guidance, his passion, his service.
As stated above, "Secretary Richardson's legacy can best be summed up by his personal motto, Pro tanto quid retribuamus, which means: Having been given much, what will you give in return?"

From Secretary Richardson's Memorial:
"Because I have been given much, 
I too must give;
Because of the great bounty Lord, 
Each Day I live;
I shall divide my gifts from thee
With every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed
By thy good care;
I cannot see another's lack and I not share;
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
My roof's safe shelter overhead
That he too may be comforted.

Because I have been blessed by
Thy great love dear Lord;
I'll share thy love again
According to thy word;
I shall give love to those in need,
I'll show that love by word and deed;
Thus shall my thanks be thanks in deed."

God Bless you Dennis, and God Bless your family, friends and all Oregonians. 

New Legislative Committees, Legislative Appointments, Task Forces and other Legislative Responsibilities

This Legislative Session I have the honor to serve as the Chair of the Bicameral Bipartisan Legislative Coastal Caucus. I sincerely appreciate the guidance of Vice Chair Johnson as well as her support and that of our Coastal Caucus colleagues. I appreciate the Speaker appointing me to serve on some great committees, that have excellent Chairs and Vice Chairs. My committee assignments allow me the opportunity to do good work for our District, Southwest Oregon and Oregon as a whole.

The Legislative Committees I have the privilege to serve on are the Co Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, on the House Committee on Agriculture & Land Use, on the House Committee on Natural Resources and on the Joint Ways & Means Sub Committee on Natural Resources. I also serve as the Co-Convener of the Sudden Oak Task Force, Co-Convener of the Maritime Workforce Development Task Force, Co-Convener of the Oregon Coast Trail, Governor's Opioid Epidemic Task Force, Oregon Delegate to PNWER (Pacific North West Economic Region) and OCSSRC (Oregon-China Sister State Relations Council) Chair-Southern Oregon China Connection.

I also serve on various Workgroups, with the most recent being an Ag Ditch/Wetlands Workgroup. These workgroups are essential to bringing different thoughts and opinions to the table. The members of this workgroup have been diligent, and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts. I look forward to moving our legislative proposal forward and bringing about positive impacts to our farmers, ranchers and watersheds. 

Chief Sponsored Bills of the 2019 Session

HB 2221 - Establishes Ocean Beach Fund

HB 2228  - Establishes Local Government Technical Assistance Program within Housing and Community Services Department.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-4-2019

HB 2294  - Requires that commercial product that contains or is derived from cervid urine and designed for luring, attracting or enticing cervids be from herd free of chronic wasting disease.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-12-2019

HB 2306  - Requires city or county to issue residential building permits upon substantial completion of construction of public improvements in residential subdivisions.

HB 2354 - Directs Oregon Business Development Department to issue loans or grants to City of Gold Beach to construct training facility for public safety personnel.

HB 2355 - Removes minimum orchard size requirements for cider businesses producing less than 100,000 gallons of cider annually on lands zoned for farm use.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-07-2019

HB 2356 - Transfers regulatory authority over propagation of finfish in private commercial aquaculture facilities from State Department of Fish and Wildlife and State Fish and Wildlife Commission to State Department of Agriculture. 

HB 2357 - Limits standing in appeals of land use decisions or limited land use decisions to persons that reside or maintain business within 25 miles of boundary of local government or special district and appeared before decision maker in person at hearing if available.

Public Hearing 02-12-2019

HB 2358 - Provides grants to counties that received Secure Rural Schools Program payments in calendar year 2008 equal to at least 30 percent of all moneys deposited into county general fund. 

Public Hearing Testimony 02-20-2019

HB 2359 - Requires county at higher risk of financial distress to withhold from taxing districts costs to county of assessing property and collecting property taxes. 

HB 2360 - Establishes Task Force on Use of Surplus Public Lands for Housing. 

Public Hearing Testimony 2-4-2019

HB 2361 - Requires State Fish and Wildlife Commission to establish and prescribe fees for multiyear resident and nonresident hunting licenses.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-26-2019

HB 2362 - Prohibits entry of order setting aside conviction or record of arrest, citation or charge for person convicted of four or more felonies.

HB 2363 - Redefines "historic home" to include dwellings built before 1974 for purpose of serving as accessory dwelling unit to homes newly constructed on rural residential lands.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-12-2019

HB 2364 - Requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to use dual-frequency identification sonar devices for counting fish.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-12-2019

HB 2365 - Appropriates moneys to State Forestry Department for 2019-2021 biennium to carry out integrated pest management program to combat Sudden Oak Death. 

Informational Hearing on SOD by Forester and Public Hearing Testimony 2-28-2019

HB 2366 - Allocates $1,600,000 of lottery revenue to Oregon Business Development Department to be used to issue grants or loans in support of redevelopment of Port of Port Orford Cannery.

HB 2367 - Requires Governor to certify to United States Secretary of Commerce that terms of national marine sanctuary located within seaward boundary of Oregon are unacceptable unless Legislative Assembly confirms designation.

HB 2368 - Modifies juvenile court dependency procedure to require Department of Justice to bear responsibility for certain expenses arising out of summonses issued by Department of Human Services.

HB 2369 - Requires that court award damages for cost of replanting to plaintiff prevailing against federal government or contractor in action for injury to private land arising from fire originating on federal forestland. 

HB 2370 - Allows electors of county to approve measure allowing use of dogs for hunting, pursuing or taking cougars within county.

HB 2371 - Permits court, after suspension of driving privileges for failure to pay fine, to reinstate person's driving privileges if person is employed.

HB 2372 - Directs Higher Education Coordinating Commission to study effectiveness of implementing chapter 669, Oregon Laws 2017, and determine whether additional legislation is necessary to enhance process of transferring academic credits between community colleges and public universities.

HB 2373 - Allows State Forester to order use of wildfire suppression personnel, equipment and services on any federal lands within state borders.

HB 2374 - Allows credit against net income taxes for portion of eligible costs of newly constructed single-family dwelling that sells for price affordable to household with annual income at or below 120 percent of area median income.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-7-2019

HB 2375 - Requires hospitals and pediatric health care facilities to have plans, approved by Oregon Health Authority, for treating sexual assault survivors who present in need of medical forensic services or for transferring sexual assault survivors to hospital or approved pediatric health care facility for medical forensic services. 

HB 2376 - Appropriates moneys to State Parks and Recreation Department for outreach and development of educational signs warning public about natural dangers of ocean beaches. 

HB 2377 - Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Oregon Department of Administrative Services for payment to Douglas Timber Operators for purpose of implementing first phase of sediment study of lower Rogue River.

Public Testimony 2-28-2019

HB 2378 - Requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish and operate fish incubation box program for rearing of salmonids on suitable waterways in coastal areas of southern Oregon.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-12-2019

HB 2379 - Prohibits State Fish and Wildlife Commission from approving operation of Cole M. Rivers Hatchery by State Department of Fish and Wildlife, unless United States Army Corps of Engineers agrees to fish return goals set by commission.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-12-2019

HB 2380 - Directs State Board of Forestry, pursuant to joint rules adopted by State Board of Forestry and State Land Board, to establish pilot project for county management of certain Elliott State Forest Lands. 

HB 2381 - Requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to operate program in southwest Oregon to control populations of species that prey on salmon.

HB 2382 - Allows certain counties to adopt ordinance to impose tax on medical and recreational marijuana production. 

Public Hearing Testimony 3-11-2019

HB 2383 - Appropriates moneys for distribution to Curry County assessor for pilot program to increase employment in assessor's office in order to achieve assessment rotation of seven years for taxable property. 

HB 2384 - Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Oregon Department of Administrative Services for distribution to Curry County for purpose of installing fiber optic telecommunication line to Cape Blanco Airport.

HB 2385 - Allows school district with remote small high school to use moneys received under High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Act on existing career and technical education programs.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-20-2019

HB 2386 - Creates income tax credit for teachers in rural schools.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-7-2019

HB 2457 - Directs Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, Department of Education and Office of Child Care to make specified evaluations to increase number of educators in Eastern Oregon Border Economic Development Region who are available to teach courses in secondary math and science and in career and technical education programs.

House Floor Vote

HB 2573 - Removes cranberry farms from definition of "high-value farmland."

Public Hearing Testimony 2-21-2019

HB 2579 - Expands types of entities that may receive grant from Farm-to-School Grant Program to purchase food produced or processed in state.

HB 2585 - Allows Chief Medical Examiner to complete and file report of death for person missing in wilderness and presumed dead.

HB 2618 - Requires State Department of Energy to adopt by rule program for providing rebates for purchase, construction or installation of residential and commercial solar electric systems and paired solar and storage systems. 

Public Hearing Testimony 2-28-2019  

HB 2740 - Establishes Oregon Industrial Hemp Commission

Public Hearing Testimony 2-19-2019

HB 2741 - Requires State Board of Forestry to transfer ownership of former county forestland back to county, upon request, if former county forestland is 10 percent or less of all former county forestland owned by board.

HB 2804 - Prohibits retail pet store from selling or offering to sell dog, cat or rabbit acquired from source other than animal shelter or rescue organization.

HB 2841 - Allows State Department of Fish and Wildlife to refuse disclosure of information relevant to department ability to manage or protect described fish or wildlife species or individual members or populations of species.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-7-2019

HB 2844 – Allows facilities for processing farm products under 2,500 square feet on lands zoned for exclusive farm use without regard to siting standards.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-26-2019

HB 2952 – Establishes new subaccount within State Forestry Department Account.

HB 2953 – Requires State Forestry Department to report to committee of Legislative Assembly regarding environmental and employment impacts of Good Neighbor Authority Agreement projects funded in whole or in part by moneys made available to department for project purposes.

HB 2955 - Requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to allow person meeting criteria to hunt game mammals using crossbow.

HB 2963 - Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Department of Human Services for development of gatekeeper programs to serve seniors and people with disabilities in local communities statewide.

HB 2979 - Appropriates moneys to Oregon Department of Administrative Services for distribution to Association of Oregon Counties to contract for provision of technical assistance and information to landowners for complying with certain requirements related to replacement or repair of tide gates with opening size of four feet or smaller.

HB 3132 - Directs State Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt by rule and administer program for authorizing voluntary projects for stream restoration and habitat improvement through construction of environmental restoration weirs.

HB 3213 - Authorizes counties to establish safety corridors and directs counties to post signs in selected safety corridors.

HB 3251 - Authorizes Oregon Business Development Department to make loans and award matching grants to membership organizations and business accelerators in outdoor recreation industry.

HB 3272 - Limits extension that Land Use Board of Appeals may provide petitioner whose objection to record is denied to seven days from later of original deadline or date of denial.

HB 3276 - Creates credit against income taxes for amounts paid by veteran as principal or interest on qualified education loans.

HB 3309 - Directs State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries to study and make recommendations on provisions of state law related to geological and mineral resources of state.

HB 3360 - Provides that bonds may be issued under Article XI-Q of Oregon Constitution if Chief Justice of Supreme Court determines that remodeling, renovation or expansion of court facilities is necessary or desirable.

HB 3361 - Renames crime of criminal impersonation of a peace officer to criminal impersonation of a law enforcement officer.

HB 3362 - Prohibits person that transacts title insurance in this state from refusing to issue policy of title insurance or refusing to close or insure real property transaction solely because real property that is subject of the transaction has been used for purpose of growing, producing, manufacturing or selling cannabis, or conducting other activities related to cannabis, if growing, production, manufacture, sale or other activities occurred in compliance with state laws relating to regulation of marijuana items.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-11-2019

HB 3363 - Directs Legislative Policy and Research Director to study methods for legislative oversight of administrative rules and report to appropriate committee or interim committee of Legislative Assembly no later than September 15, 2020.

HB 3364 - Prohibits business, or employee of business, that sells canisters or other products from which individual may directly inhale restricted inhalant from selling or delivering canister or other product to individual who is under 18 years of age.

HB 3365 - Changes process for forming or dissolving livestock district, annexing land to livestock district or withdrawing land from livestock district.

HB 3366 - Directs Environmental Quality Commission to adopt rules authorizing single-family dwelling and accessory dwelling unit constructed on same lot or parcel to be permanently connected to same subsurface sewage disposal system or alternative sewage disposal system.

HB 3367 - Prohibits counties from establishing minimum lot size of more than one acre for residential zoned land.

HB 3368 - Authorizes counties to allow contiguous clustered nonresource dwellings on clustered development tract in lieu of approval of individual nonresource dwellings on exclusive farm use or forest lands.

HB 3369 - Allows counties to authorize subdivision of land zoned for exclusive farm use or forestland into parcels no smaller than the average size of county parcels of the same type.

HB 3370 – Directs State Marine Board to provide optional licensing of boats as charter boats if boat carries fewer than seven passengers for hire.

HB 3371 - Expands crime of criminal impersonation of a peace officer to include possession of false law enforcement vehicle.

HB 3372 - Requires State Department of Agriculture to adopt rules governing processing and sale of beef and lamb that does not travel in interstate commerce.

HB 3373 - Prohibits Department of Justice from charging officers and agencies of state government for assistance rendered.

HCR 3 - Establishes requirement that committee of Legislative Assembly may adopt amendment to legislative measure only if chief sponsor of measure approves amendment prior to amendment adoption by committee.

HJM 1 - Urges President and Congress to pursue Oregon and California Railroad grant land management reforms.

Public Hearing Testimony 3-4-2019

HJM 8 - Urges federal government to adopt and enforce stringent regulations related to accuracy in wine labeling, packaging and advertising.

Public Hearing Testimony and Work Session 2-20-2019

House Floor Vote

HJR 7 - Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to require separate vote by each house of Legislative Assembly on emergency clause if measure is intended to take effect earlier than 90 days after end of session at which measure was passed.

SB 254 - Expands potential recipients of levee project grants to include any public body. 

Public Hearing 2-19-2019

SB 255 - Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Higher Education Coordinating Commission for Oregon Institute of Marine Biology at University of Oregon.

SB 256 - Repeals sunset on moratorium on oil, gas and sulfur leasing in territorial sea.

Public Hearing Testimony 1-29-2019

House Public Hearing Testimony 3-5-2019

SB 259 - Establishes Task Force on Maritime Sector Workforce Development.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-12-2019 w/ SB 260

SB 260 A - Requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish program for strategic investments in initiatives related to ocean acidification and hypoxia.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-12-2019 w/SB 259

SB 417 - Establishes new exemptions from carrier of last resort obligation for telecommunications utilities, cooperative corporations and municipalities certified by Public Utility Commission to provide local exchange telecommunications service.

Public Hearing Testimony 2-7-2019

SB 898 - Changes qualification process for building officials and inspectors.

SB 934 - Expands exemption from limitations on employment of retired members of Public Employees Retirement System employed by certain law enforcement and correctional agencies.

SB 936 - Expands crime of assault in the third degree to include physical injury to health care worker performing official duties.

SB 940 - Excludes portion of revenue received from federal forest reserves when calculating Local Revenues for purpose of State School Fund distributions.

SB 941 - Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Oregon Department of Administrative Services for distribution to Curry Health District for purposes of acquiring ambulance for maternity care and opening emergency room in Curry Medical Center.

Workgroup and Task Force Legislation

HB 2436 – Wetlands 404 Permit - Directs Department of State Lands to conduct study on potential changes to laws, or implementation of law, regulating removal or fill activities.

HB 2437Wetlands - Authorizesactivities in dry, traditionally maintained channels to be conducted without removal or fill permit subject to certain conditions.

Public Hearing Testimony 1-31-2019

HB 2438 – Wetlands Mitigation Package - Directs Department of State Lands to conduct study on issues related to wetlands mitigation.

HB 2257 A – Opioid - Declares legislative intent to consider substance use disorder as chronic illness.

Public Hearing Testimony w/ Governor Brown 2-5-2019

Partisan Rent Control Passes with no consideration of amendments and is signed by the Governor for immediate implementation 

Although I do not sit on the committee that took up SB 608, (Click Here for the bill) I did work on and offer a number of amendments for the bill. I also drafted and published a "Bad Bill Red Alert" Newsletter (Click Here for the Rent Control Red Alert) that you received asking for your assistance with the legislation. I sincerely appreciate the emails and calls you made on this critical issue.  We tried to make it better, we tried to lessen the impact on our rural communities and their residents, and although a number of us offered a wide range of amendments, none were accepted. 

The amendments I offered would have GIVEN LOCAL CONTROL to our communities and their residents. They would have ALLOWED LOCAL GOVERNMENTS the ability to opt-in to the programs outlined in this bill. Please (Click Here) for the amendments. They are the -7, -8 & -9 amendments that would have:

-7 allow local governments to opt-in to the bill’s a no-cause termination regime;

-8 allow local governments to opt-in to the bill’s rent control regime;

-9 combine the provisions of -7 & -8.

I have received a number of calls since the implementation of SB 608. Those wanting to invest in building or acquiring long term rental properties, are hesitant. Others that have long term rentals, are considering selling or converting into short term vacation rentals. Our residents that reside in RV Parks; which are some of our lowest income and most vulnerable, are being denied a rental space due to their older RV. Meanwhile, landlords that have never increased rents annually in upwards of 7% or more, are feeling it necessary, so that they may stay ahead of the rising costs of inflation, repair and maintenance. I have serious concerns regarding this legislation driving up the costs of rent across all sectors of housing, and the majority party's future legislation will be to continue to lower the annual increase percentage. This will be devastating for renters, landlords and adding the supply of housing that is desperately needed. It will cause the building owner to not have the resources needed for repair and maintenance of roofs, floors, walls, electrical, heating and other basic structural maintenance. 

Click Here to view my Remonstrance given the week prior to the bill passing. (See the links on the right side of your screen and click on Smith D B under Remonstrances to go to the video portion of my comments)

Click Here to view my Questions of the Carrier and Floor Speech on the bill. (See the links on the right side of your screen and click on Smith D B under Third Reading of Senate Bills to go to the video portion of my comments)

Some work in photos in and around the Capitol

swearing in

Swearing in ceremonies for the 80th Oregon State Legislative Session and the Inauguration of Governor Brown, 38th Governor of Oregon. Top Right are my parents, Frank and Bonnie Smith, joining me on the House Floor for the ceremonies.


Top left, testifying with Governor Brown for our Opioid Task Force recommended legislation. Top Right, reception at the Governors Residence with my good friend from District, Mike Dodson joining me. Bottom left, joining Coos County Commissioners Main, Cribbins and Sweet at the Annual Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. Bottom Right, myself in your HD 01 inner office.


Various testimony in committees as well as a picture on the bottom right of members of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction in Medford during our recent Road Show.

student pic

I really enjoy having students in the Capitol. It is difficult for students from our District to make it to the Capitol, as they must travel such a long way. I always try to give each student an agate from the coast! Thanks to Mrs. Padilla, I had the opportunity to take her niece Madelyn and her classmates in Mrs. Henderson's class from Stayton Intermediate, down to the House Floor after answering some questions. I sincerely appreciated the card they sent me and I had a wonderful time speaking to them. Bottom Right, my dear friends from District, Levi, Travis and Colleen, with Travis and Colleen's daughters McKayla and Jasmine


Visitors to their Capitol. Top Left, Rogue River-Siskiyou Forest Supervisor Merv George and I. Top Right, Curry Public Library Director Jeremy Skinner and I. Bottom Right, Culinary Students from the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute at SOCC in Coos Bay and I. Bottom Right, Brett, Oren and Ty from Curry County and I.

various pics

Top Left, Representative Zika HD 53 in Central Oregon and I, Top Right, the Best Dressed Senator in the building, James Manning from Eugene, Bottom Right, addressing the House Floor on a bill, Bottom Left, Legislative Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction Co Chair, Rep. Karin Power, and myself, Co Vice Chair, on the cover of the Ruralite Magazine.


My talented, smart and beautiful niece, Antonia. I enjoyed spending time with her in Portland during the uneventful "Snowpocalypse" earlier this year.

Carbon Cap & Trade?    Carbon Cap & Invest?
Emit, Tax & Fund Special Interest?
Carbon Tax?

I would first like to thank the Speaker of the House and the Senate President for moving forward the request of the Senate and House Republicans to have the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction meet with citizens in different areas of the state so that we may hear their opinions on how the proposed HB 2020 (Click Here for a link to the bill) would impact them. We also were able to set up remote skype testimony from Newport and Baker City. Although, the remote skype testimonies were only scheduled for an hour and Baker City had over 200 people, who traveled through blizzard conditions to testify, we only heard from a fraction of those that made it due to the time constraints. 

Road Show Springfield

Carbon Cap & Trade Road Show, Springfield OR 2-22-2019

Road Show Medford

Carbon Cap & Trade Road Show, Meford OR 2-23-2019

Road Show The Dalles

Carbon Cap & Trade Road Show, The Dalles OR 3-1-2019

Road Show Bend

Carbon Cap & Trade Road Show, Bend OR 3-2-2019

cap and invest


Many of you know that I have been involved with Oregon Carbon discussion for many years, have published multiple newsletters with discussions on this topic and drafted competing legislation last session to assist in stopping and broadening this conversation, while limiting the impact to rural Oregon, our residents and their communities... well its back with a super-majority! 

First, let's bring once again some context to this discussion... remember that Oregon produces 0.14% or less than one sixth of one percent of total global carbon emissions. 

Oregon is already a national leader in respects to reducing it's global carbon footprint.
In 2015, the Legislature passed SB SB 324 "Low Carbon Fuel Standards" (Click Here for a link to the bill) which, "Relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels; and declaring an emergency. Repeals sunset on provisions related to low carbon fuel standards. Extends target date for meeting certain emission goals under phased implementation of low carbon fuel standards. Requires Environmental Quality Commission to adopt by rule provisions for managing and containing costs of compliance with low carbon fuel standards. Prohibits fuels that contain bio-diesel from being considered alternative fuels unless certain standards are met. Adds certain exemptions to low carbon fuel standards. Declares emergency, effective on passage."

In 2016, the legislature passed SB 1547 "Coal to Clean" (Click Here for a link to the bill) which, "Relating to public utilities; and declaring an emergency. Requires each electric company providing electricity to retail electricity consumers located in this state to eliminate coal-fired resources from electric company's electricity supply. Allows Public Utility Commission to consider net gain or loss of sale of coal-fired resources for certain allocations to retail electricity consumers. Modifies qualifying electricity for purposes of renewable portfolio standards. Changes compliance requirements for renewable portfolio standards. Makes other changes to provisions setting forth renewable portfolio standards. Permits carry-forward of certain renewable energy certificates for specified periods. Provides rules on application of renewable portfolio standards when electric utilities acquire service territory. Permits commission to approve cost recovery for costs related to renewable energy storage. Provides process to address conflicts between requirements for electric company to comply with renewable portfolio standards and reliability standards of North American Electric Reliability Corporation. Changes goal to acquire electricity from community-based renewable energy projects to requirement to acquire such electricity. Expands sources that qualify for community-based renewable energy projects to include facilities that generate electricity using biomass and that also generate thermal energy for secondary purpose. Directs commission to establish stranded cost obligation associated with condemnation of or transaction related to service territory or property of electric company. Requires public utilities to annually forecast projected state and federal production tax credits received due to variable renewable electricity production. Clarifies that term "public utility" does not include people's utility district or electric cooperative for purposes of being regulated by Public Utility Commission. Requires each electric company to file applications with commission for programs to accelerate transportation electrification. Allows return of and return on investment made by electric company for purposes of program. Directs commission to establish program for creation of community solar projects. Repeals minimum solar energy capacity standard for electric companies. Declares emergency, effective on passage."


This legislation and others, has brought Oregon to rank 4th in the Nation as a state, on carbon emissions per capita. Click Here for the link to the independent statistics and analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oregon's low emissions and 4th rank has also been achieved with the former legislation discussed above, that has yet to be fully implemented. Once our state's prior carbon reduction legislation is fully implemented, Oregon could arguably be the lowest carbon emitting state in the Nation, per capita, without the implementation of HB 2020. 

This is one of the many reasons why HB 2020, and it's increasing multi-billion dollar price tag on our residents, is not good policy for Oregon. We are low, we are still implementing reductions outlined in prior legislation and we have yet to realize that prior legislation's positive reduction impact. 

Our Oregon Agency Director's and PhD's have also weighed in on the impacts of the passage and subsequent implementation of the expensive carbon reductions schemes within the proposed HB 2020. When the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director Richard Whitman, was asked by me in Committee what impact on global carbon would occur if Oregon were to reduce its’ emissions to zero, he responded, "Representative Brock Smith you are correct. That Oregon's portion of global carbon emissions is, I'll use the word minuscule." When Dr. Philip Mote, Director, Oregon Climate Services and Oregon Climate Change Research Institute was asked by me what the impact would be on the global climate if Oregon were to reduce their emissions to zero, he responded the impact would be, “Imperceptible.”
(Click Here for video of the committee hearing with DEQ Director)
(Click Here for video with Oregon Climate Change Research Institute Director)

With these facts, the narrative then shifts to where Oregon must do "its part" and "lead by example", but at what costs to our residents, especially those in rural Oregon that continue to struggle, when we are already doing our part and are leading by example. 


I further explained my long work on this issue and the impacts on Oregonians, their communities and the industries that support them in a recent Op-Ed in the Salem's Statesman Journal Newspaper. (Click Here for a link)
It reads:

"Having been involved with the Oregon carbon conversation for a number of years; attending all of the workgroups during the ’17 interim and as a member of the House Energy & Environment Committee during the ’17 & ’18 Legislative Session, I believe we all can agree that there are changing climate conditions across our landscape. On the global scale, Oregon contributes less than one sixth of one percent of emissions, and so the question is, what do Oregonians do to further reduce their carbon emissions and at what cost to them? Oregonians, and their businesses and industries are already making investments on their own to reduce emissions, and they do so within their free market policies. Prior Legislation has been passed; such as the Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS), that continues to lower emissions as well. So, what’s next?

I continue to have the privilege; as the Co-Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, to work with colleagues on answering these questions, and I can tell you that HB 2020 is not the answer. Fellow Committee Co-Vice Chair Bentz, Chairs Power and Dembrow and I, worked on language for a Carbon Reduction bill for many months prior to Christmas of ’18. We discussed language to protect children and families, their communities and the businesses that support them. We discussed the gargantuan economic impacts to our working families across the state, and how we might mitigate those impacts. Unfortunately, I feel this work was in vain and powers above the Co-Chairs and Co-Vice Chairs decided to eliminate these mitigating concepts out of HB 2020.

Concerns plague HB 2020, from farm to families to transportation. One example is the estimated $.15 cent a gallon gas tax increase; although the bill does not call it out as a tax, that is estimated to generate over $330 million dollars a year. Although constitutionally mandated to be used on roads and bridges, reduce congestion and other transportation related projects, HB 2020 has language that is ambiguous at best and creates a new fund for these dollars where moneys could flow to projects and programs outside of roads, bridges and congestion relief.

Let us all be very clear, Oregonians emit less than one sixth of one percent (0.14%) of carbon. When the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director, Richard Whitman, was asked by me in Committee what impact on global carbon would occur if Oregon were to reduce its’ emissions to zero, he responded, "Representative Brock Smith you are correct. That Oregon's portion of global carbon emissions is, I'll use the word minuscule." When Dr. Philip Mote, Director, Oregon Climate Services and Oregon Climate Change Research Institute was asked by me what the impact would be on the global climate if Oregon were to reduce their emissions to zero, he responded the impact would be, “Imperceptible.”

Proponents of this massive tax know the impacts are ‘imperceptible’ and ‘minuscule’, so they have begun to shift their argument for this multi-billion dollar increase on Oregonians to a “moral and ethical” narrative. I believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to keep our children and working families warm, fed and employed, with investments in our children’s education, so they may create their own future innovative green energy jobs.

HB 2020 will devastate Oregon families, their communities and the businesses that support them."


As mentioned above, I have also published former Newsletters on this subject as well with more information across our state and impacted sectors. 
Click Here for more information
Click Here for more information 
Click Here for more information 


Oregonians are doing their part and are leading by example with regards to the ever changing climate conditions across the landscape. Our industries across every sector, have invested in efficiencies and lowering emissions on their own, utilizing the free market. The same is true for our residents; especially in rural Oregon, where rural Oregon sequesters urban Oregon's carbon emissions. Yet our rural Oregonians and their communities would endure greater financial burdens and devastating financial economic impacts under HB 2020. This is not acceptable. 

We need to continue to invest in transportation infrastructure that reduces emissions by cars traveled on our roads, mitigating greenhouse gas spewing congestion in our urban centers, while protecting rural Oregonians where resources there sequester that of urban Oregon. HB 2020 sidesteps the constitutional requirement for money's into the Highway Trust Fund for these direct projects, making its objective very unclear.

We must deal with our school districts unfunded PERS liability that is taking away critical education dollars from our classrooms that are desperately needed. We need to fund our Measure 98 career-technical education, college-level courses, and dropout-prevention strategies and give our students these tools for their future.

We need to invest in our schools, community colleges and universities, so that our youth and students have the pathway to create the innovations and technologies of the future, that will sequester carbon and reduce global emissions. Thus, giving them the educational instruments for them to create their "Green Energy Jobs" of the future. 

Oregon and Oregonians have a long standing history of leading the way through technological innovation. As stated earlier, we are already leading the Nation in global carbon reductions; 4th lowest per capita in the Nation, all while our previous reduction legislation strategies have yet to be fully implemented. If we're going to invest in our future, HB 2020 is not the answer, as its' special interest investments are are opaque at best, creates a bloated bureaucracy, links a trade market with California that arguably has the 4th largest GDP in the world and will decimate already struggling communities and their economies with the rising cost of goods and services. 

All Oregonians, from Portland to Port Orford, want to do their part, to lead by example, to have clean air, water, to provide for their families and to invest in our children's future. We can work together to achieve these tenets of the Oregon Way, without negatively impacting our residents, their communities and the businesses that support them. We can and I will continue the efforts, to work together to build a better Oregon.


This fundamental tenet has needed to be referenced far too early and often, already this Legislative Session.


Stay tuned for the next 'Special Edition' of my newsletter that will focus on 'Carbon' and how are natural and working lands are already positively supporting scrubbing our anthropogenic greenhouse gas/carbon emissions in this state!


It has been a very busy beginning of this 80th Legislative Session. I am honored by the privilege to work for you as your State Representative. Thank you for the opportunity and I appreciate all that you do for our communities and their residents. Be safe and God Bless you and yours. 

Yours truly,


Representative David Brock Smith

Together, we will build a better Oregon

Representative David Brock Smith

House District 1
Curry, Coos, Douglas & Josephine Counties
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1401
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-379, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Rep.DavidBrockSmith@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithd