January Legislative Days Update

Kim Wallan


This is our last "Legislative Days" week of the 2018-2020 term. On February 3, we will convene for the five-week Short Session.  Read on for an update from this week's happenings at the Capitol.

Yours truly,


Affordable Prescriptions

I am excited to be chief sponsoring a bill in the upcoming short session that will help Medford residents and Oregonians across the state save money on their prescription medications. Many of us are burdened by the high cost of prescription drugs, and it is my goal to help decrease that burden. This bill would allow drug re-importation from Canada, a practice which was made virtually impossible in recent years. Opening the Canadian market to Oregonian patients will help increase availability and drive down the cost of life-saving prescriptions like insulin, albuterol (rescue inhalers), and epinephrine (EpiPens). The bill also requires oversight to ensure that patients are receiving the correct drugs, dosages, and quality they would get in an American pharmacy, simply at a lower cost. The bill has bipartisan support, and I am excited for our state to take this important step in protecting vulnerable patients. 

Support for Mercy Flights

The second bill I am sponsoring this short session will allow private ambulance companies, like Mercy Flights, to leverage federal grant dollars for full reimbursement of services. Currently, private companies are left with a deficit when they transport Medicaid patients to the hospital. This bill would allow them to operate at full funding, providing a safer and more stable ambulance service to Medford residents.

Wildfire Council

The Wildfire Council, which is made up of stakeholders and fire experts from around the state, has made recommendations to decrease the severity and length of wildfires. We are all aware that wildfires have devastating economic and health impacts, the extent of which aren't fully known yet. Managing our forests and improving fire response are crucial to the health of our state and our citizens. 

We have an opportunity this short session to prioritize funding for the Wildfire Council's recommendations. As a southern Oregon native and citizen, I will be pushing for this funding during the short session. Rather than spending the very limited 35-day session on the controversial and costly cap-and-trade agenda pushed by the supermajority, we should be working diligently to protect Oregon businesses and citizens. 

To add your voice to the wildfire conversation, contact Council Chair Matt Donegan at matt.donegan@oregon.gov.

Timber Unity Rally

At 7 a.m. on Thursday, February 6, there will be a Timber Unity rally on the Capitol steps. If you are concerned about how the high cost of the cap-and-trade bill will affect you, your family, or your business, you are welcome to join the rally. 

The original cap-and-trade bill was defeated in the 2019 long session, but proponents are trying to bring it back in the short session that begins February 3. Voters approved the short session for budget adjustments, and it was not meant for major policy adoption. 

Now called Senate Bill 1530, the cap-and-trade proposal received minor tweaks aimed at quelling fuel cost concerns, but its proponents in the Senate made these changes without a listening tour and without engaging with any House Republicans. The cap-and-trade bill was edited by its supporters, and the people's representatives were left out of the discussion.

Known as "cap-and-trade", "HB 2020", "SB 1530", and the "clean energy jobs bill", this carbon-pricing legislation aims to raise gas prices by 22 cents per gallon in the first year, up to $6 per gallon in the final year of price hikes. Home heating costs are expected to rise up to 80%, and the price of goods delivered to stores on trucks is expected to rise in accordance with higher fuel costs. These factors are a serious concern for working families, Oregonians in poverty, and business owners alike. If you would like more information about the effects of cap-and-trade, or would like to add your voice to the conversation, please don't hesitate to contact me at Rep.KimWallan@oregonlegislature.gov.

Caucus Election

I am deeply honored to report that my colleagues elected me Whip of the Republican caucus. As I have stated before, I believe our caucus is full of leaders, and any one of them would have served successfully in this role. I am honored to take my turn serving my caucus as Whip.

Oregon 101

Did you know? 

The "Whip" position is commonly known for his or her role in "whipping votes", or gaining support for certain bills coming up for a vote. 

Other roles of the Whip include managing parliamentary procedure during floor sessions, when legislators are gathered to speak and vote on bills. 

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1406
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
Email: Rep.KimWallan@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/wallan