Week 18 Recap: PERS Reform, Education Funding, and Protecting Workers from Wage Theft

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

Week 18 Recap: May 20 - 24, 2019

We have reached another committee deadline, took steps to better fund our schools, and put processes into place to protect workers from wage theft. Find out more about your State Senator's week in the Capitol here:

Visit from Josh and Becky Nagle

Visit from the Nagles

On Monday, I was accompanied by Oregon Senior Trooper Josh Nagle, and his wife, Becky Nagle on the Senate Floor.

Josh and Becky are both ordained ministers at Mirror Pond Church in Bend and led us in prayer to open our floor session. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to get to meet and spend time with such dedicated community servants. Through both law enforcement and the church, Josh and Becky have dedicated much of their lives to giving back to those who need them. I appreciate them taking the time to visit the Capitol and participate in the legislative process and hope they'll visit again!

Support for Student Success Investments

Classroom Funding

Last week, I supported two bills in the Senate that would specify how our education budget will be spent. HB 5016 & HB 5047 dedicate critical funding to the services our students currently rely on and to developing new programs to help with the overall performance of our schools. This includes statewide full-day kindergarten, counseling & psychological services, school nurses and more. These bills will also help us reduce our class sizes to ensure that each of our students receive the attention they need and our teachers are not overwhelmed and burned out. 

After over a year's work on the Joint Committee for Student Success, I am excited to see our work to improve our education system coming to fruition. As always, I will fight to ensure this additional funding is spent as wisely as possible to ensure our students are getting the most out of our education budget. 

Protecting Workers from Wage Theft

Stop Wage Theft

On Thursday, the Senate passed HB 3193, which will help our State protect workers from wage theft and crack down on bad actors. Trades workers have had their wages delayed or stolen by employers who become unwilling or unable to pay them for work that's already been done. 

This bill outlines the Bureau of Labor and Industry's ability to use bond funding to ensure workers' wage claims are paid quickly and in-full. Under HB 3193, Oregon's Construction Contractors Board would have the ability to revoke, suspend or refuse licenses to individuals who have failed to pay their workers in the past. With many families living paycheck to paycheck in Oregon, we need to ensure that workers receive the wages they've earned on time. This bill would help prevent the strain many have experienced when they have not received their wages and I am glad to have supported its passage in the Senate. 

PERS Bill Passes the Senate

PERS Reform

It has been a priority of mine for multiple sessions to reform our public employee pension system so that it can have a sustainable future. Our nearly $25 billion debt in our PERS system is an issue that many have avoided and ignored for too long. If we fail to act, we will be forced into layoffs and budget cuts to our teachers, fire departments, police departments, and more. This bill saves millions each year for our school districts. 

Luckily, we have come to a temporary, bipartisan PERS solution. SB 1049 makes a number of technical changes to the amortization period of select liabilities, enables more retired workers to return to work,  provides more member choice in future investments and more.

While this legislation is not everything I have advocated for in PERS reform, it is a start and what is politically possible right now. We took necessary, bi-partisan action to stabilize our public pension system and will continue our work in future sessions.  

Visit from Seven Peaks Students

Seven Peaks Elementary

On Wednesday, this group of 4th graders from Seven Peaks Elementary School visited the Capitol and came by my office to meet their Senator! For many of them, it was their first time in the State Capitol, so I enjoyed getting to hear their first impressions and what all they had learned so far.

After a quick meet & greet, we had a chance to go down to the Senate Floor to go over Senate Floor and Voting procedures, but they seemed to enjoy using the gavel at the dais the most! Thank you to the teachers, administrators and parents who made the trip for these terrific kids possible. It was great getting to meet them! 

IDA Lobby Day


The Oregon Individual Development Account Initiative was created in 1999 by the Oregon State Legislature to bring together state agencies, private non-profit, and tribal partners, and private contributors, to create opportunity in Oregon. Today, the Initiative is composed of the State of Oregon, under the leadership of Oregon Housing and Community Services Department and the Oregon Department of Revenue, and a host of private partners and contributors working together to help Oregonians achieve their dreams. The Initiative is managed by a statewide 501(c)3 organization, Neighborhood Partnerships.

Participants in this program are low-income Oregonians who are hoping to organize their finances and save money to buy a home, pay for higher education, start or buy a business, or other essentials for financial stability in their lives. These accounts are a great example of what can be achieved when individuals, non-profits, businesses, and government all work together. They have been a  successful tool to help low-income individuals save for the future and I will continue to be an advocate for them in the future. 

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
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