What a week

Representative Smith Warner

BSW Updates from Salem

Whew! It’s that time in session when the days are long but the weeks are short, and energy and drama are both running at high levels down in the Capitol.

Spoiler alert: on Wednesday, May 1st, the Oregon House passed the first dedicated source of revenue for education in almost 30 years when I co-carried the Student Success Act to passage by a 37-21 vote.

Now the Senate is the last stop in creating this game-changing investment in our kids and our state. But wait! The Republican super-minority is on the run. They are refusing to attend floor sessions, where the Constitution requires a 2/3 presence (in their case, 20 members) to do the people’s business. Not only are they trying to deny billions for education, they are refusing to do the job they were elected to do. Meanwhile, some of them are in Salem for hearings on their own bills, which I find unacceptable. If you are represented by a Republican Senator or know someone who is, please call and email them to tell them to do their job and show up to vote.


Teacher Walkout

On Wednesday, thousands of Oregon educators walked out of school to demand more funding for schools. I was proud to join thousands of Oregonians here in Salem to say that the time to invest is now.

BSW at Rally


Higher Education Advocates

While funding PreK-12th grade has been my top priority, I know that for many, education doesn’t stop after a high school graduation. That’s why it has been great to meet with education advocates from the University of Oregon (pictured below), Portland Community College, Portland State University, and many others this session. I hope we can budget the necessary funds to keep tuition from increasing at hugely unaffordable rates, and I want to tackle the issue of higher education funding more comprehensively in the next legislative session.

UofO advocates


Portland Thorns in the House!

What a treat to have Thorns players Emily Menges, Katherine Reynolds and Celeste Bourielle join us last week for the passage of HCR 27! It was a privilege to honor their accomplishments as amazing athletes and celebrate women’s sports.

Thorns Players


Interesting bill updates:

HB 3063

This week, I joined the bipartisan majority and voted ‘yes’ on this important public safety bill. Following a recent measles outbreak, this bill requires full vaccinations for children to attend Oregon public schools, unless they have a medical exemption. I heard from many constituents on all sides of this issue, and I appreciate everyone taking the time to reach out to me. Ultimately, I made a vote that I think will keep Oregonians safer and healthier -- and I would take that vote again.

HB 2007, Public Hearing 5/13, Possible Vote scheduled on 5/13

Air quality is an important issue facing House District 45, especially as many of our neighborhoods are close to heavily trafficked roads and highways -- including lots of diesel-fueled vehicles. This bill would set diesel-emission standards that requires reductions in baseline emissions and retrofit of old engines within the Portland Metro area. The details are being finalized in committee and I look forward to voting ‘yes’ on this important piece of environmental legislation.


Student Success Act - HB 3427

I already laid the scene on this bill earlier in the newsletter, but I want to direct you to a recent op-ed in The Oregonian that I wrote to provide you with a few more details on this bill. This bill is a gamechanger for our students, which is why Senate Republicans appearing for public hearings on their bills but refusing to appear vote on HB 3427 is so unacceptable. They are bringing Washington D.C. Republican tactics to the halls of Salem, and it is insulting and a waste of taxpayer funds.

I also want to make one thing crystal clear: this funding is fully and specifically dedicated to the classrooms and specific programs linked to student success. The bill also has strong accountability measures to make sure that new funding benefits students by requiring schools to meet performance benchmarks for student outcomes; participate in regular audits of their performance; and receive coaching and stronger oversight if they aren’t reaching benchmarks quickly enough.

Safe Storage for Firearms  – SB 978

Unfortunately I have no updates to provide you with for the omnibus gun bill. It is still sitting in the Senate Rules Committee and is being amended. I am working hard to keep this important public health legislation -- safe storage -- alive and in a strong form.

Adi’s Act: Suicide Prevention in Oregon Schools – SB 52

Adi’s Act is coming up for a vote next week. I am honored to carry the bill on the House Floor and bring Adi’s story to the attention of my colleagues. Passing this bill both can honor her and help save lives of young Oregonians dealing with depression, bullying or suicidal ideation.

Oil Trains - HB 2209

I have been having meetings to try and push the Ways and Means Committee to have a public hearing and vote on this oil safety act. This bill is an important step forward to institute the necessary emergency planning and environmental protections to help keep railroads in check and keep Oregon communities safer. The programs from this bill are funded by a fee imposed on the railroads. As someone who represents a community with a lot of railroads, carrying oil and other hazardous substances, I believe that we need to pass this bill as soon as possible so that we can be more prepared in the case of an emergency.

Also, I can’t forget to offer a congrats to the Grant High School “We the People” Constitution Team for taking third in the nation at the National Championships in D.C. I am proud to represent you.

Have a great weekend.



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-286, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithwarner