January 29, 2020 Newsletter


January 29, 2020 Newsletter

Happy New Year 2020 HD18

Lewis Floor Photo

Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope the first few weeks of the new year have been good to you and your family. We are just days away from the start of the February 2020 legislative session. In 2012, the legislature began meeting annually on the even-numbered years for a 35-day short session. The short session was designed to address budget issues and technical fixes to measures passed in the previous long session. Unfortunately, this practice has not been the case in recent years, as the majority party continues to push for broad policy changes during the short sessions.  This 35-day period does not allow adequate time to fully examine complex policy proposals and for YOU "the public", to provide critical input.

Rushing complex policy changes to drive a partisan agenda does not result in the best policy outcomes for all Oregonians. To do our jobs responsibly, policy-making requires careful and thorough consideration, with input from citizens and key stakeholders from every part of our state.

This newsletter is intended to provide information about the short session timelines, how you can be involved and how you can share your views and values with lawmakers. Your voice is critical to the process. I hope to hear from you so that I can best represent your perspectives in the days and weeks ahead.

In the Capitol

Ariel Image of the Oregon State Capitol

Photo of Rep. Lewis attending mandatory pre-session training

To prepare for the short session,  legislators returned to Salem on January 13-16th for committee meetings and mandatory training. Committee bills were introduced and the deadline for legislators to drop their measures ended on Friday, January 17th. The 2020 session opens on Monday, February 3rd, where bills will be first-read in their chamber of origin, to begin their journey through the fast-paced legislative process.  

For the short session, representatives are limited to two bill introductions and senators to one bill. The two bills I will introduce are related to housing and veterans issues as follows:

This bill deals with those individuals previously listed as Missing in Action who have since been identified and returned home for burial. It allows families to apply directly to the Oregon Department of Transportation for a roadside sign honoring their family member. Currently, seven former MIA’s from Oregon have been positively identified and returned home for burial.  As is the case with other roadside signs of this nature, fees for the signs are paid either by the family or through donations and there is no expense to the State or the taxpayers.

This measure provides tools and incentive for developers in cooperation with rural cities and counties to build affordable multi-family housing. Under the provisions of the bill last session, HB 3406, participating communities would waive System Development Charges (SDC's) to developers in exchange for an agreement with the State, whereby base rent would remain at or below the State’s affordable housing threshold for a period of at least 10 years. This is a voluntary opportunity for cities and counties that wish to participate. Participating cities and counties would receive 100% reimbursement for their SDC’s from a fund created by the bill so as not to burden existing rate payers with the cost of the development. The bill also gives preference to cities and counties that will allot a certain percentage of units to veterans who qualify for affordable housing. The bill sunsets in 2027, and requires a regular report to the legislature on how the funds are spent. The measure has solid bipartisan support and I look forward to its successful passage this session. 

In addition to those two bills, I have also signed on as a sponsor to several other measures. Those bills improve services for veterans, support public safety, protect children, enhance emergency preparedness efforts, as well as mitigate consumer costs associated with certain commodities and prescription drugs which were subject to the passage of the 2019 Corporate Activity Tax.

It is my hope that this session's landscape is not scarred by partisan posturing but that lawmakers will come together to bridge the rural and urban divide to create policies that are fair, thoughtful, and protect Oregonians way of life in every corner of the state. I am committed to being a part of those discussions and look forward to working on your behalf. 

My committee assignments remain the same. I serve on the House Judiciary and Joint Transportation Committees and as Vice-Chair of the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee. You can view the previous committee hearings online by clicking on the committee links above.  This will catch you up where we left off during the last round of interim committee meetings earlier this month.     

Citizen Engagement is Critical to Good Governance

Citizen Engagement Graphics

Here's where you come in... 
During the legislative session, there are several ways to get involved to share your views with lawmakers about the issues that are important to you. Start by visiting and touring the Capitol. Call to schedule a meeting with your legislator or observe a committee hearing or floor session. 

Can't be here in person?
Reach out to your legislator by email, submit written testimony for a committee hearing on a measure you are passionate about, or observe hearings and floor sessions online in real-time.  If you missed a hearing or floor debate, catch up later by viewing the archived recording online.

The Citizen's Engagement page on the Oregon State Legislature's website is an excellent tool to get you started. You can find your legislator, search a billlearn how ideas become law, as well as, learn how to testify, submit written testimony, or e-Subscribe to emails, news alerts, track bills, and more.  The legislative glossary of terms is also a helpful tool to navigate the language of the process.  Click HERE for informational videos detailing the Oregon State Capitol, Legislative Process and Oregon History.  

We are here to help you!
Please don't hesitate to call on my office for assistance. 

OLIS & e-Subscribe Images

As of Monday, 256 measures proposed for introduction for the 2020 session have been posted online to the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). Additional measures could come forward given the power the House Rules committee has to submit unlimited bill introductions under HCR 38, a resolution passed in 2019, which established the limitations and deadlines for legislative measures for the 2020 session. 

As measures move through the legislative process, you may feel strongly about one or more bills.  I encourage you to share your thoughts and views with me and to follow bills of interest to you online through OLIS

To get an idea of how fast the short session travels for those 256 bills that enter the legislative highway on February 3rd, here are the timelines: 

For bills to remain alive, committee chairs must post scheduled work sessions for measures in their chamber of origin no later than Friday, February 7th.  These measures must be moved out of first chamber committees by Thursday, February 13th.  

Work sessions for measures in the second chamber must be scheduled no later than Thursday, February 20th and must be moved out of the second chamber committees by Tuesday, February 25th. 

Although the House and Senate Rules committees, House Revenue committee, Senate Finance and Revenue, Joint Committee on Ways and Means, and other joint committees are not subject to the policy committee deadlines, the legislature, by constitution, must finish its work on or before March 8th.

You can view the 2020 session calendar timelines here.   

Honorary Page Program - Student Participation

Oregon Legisltive Education & Outreach Office logo
House Honorary Page Program photo

The House Honorary Page Program is a great opportunity for youth to experience Oregon's lawmaking process first hand. 

The Chief Clerk’s office is accepting applications and they are excited to announce that in addition to the traditional, single-day program, they now offer the option of a week-long program. The new program is an exciting, educational opportunity for students, ages 12-18, who would like to spend an entire work week in an in-depth exploration of civics and the legislative process. 

The Chief Clerk’s website has links to applications and information on both programs HERE. 
House Honorary Page Program (One Day)
Legislative Page Program (One Week)
If you need more information or materials for your student(s), please do not hesitate to contact Brian McKinley, Oregon Legislative and Education Outreach Office Director at:  brian.mckinley@oregonlegislature.gov - or (503) 986-1883

The new Legislative Page Program will operate for two weeks during the 2020 short session, Feb 17-28th. There are fourteen spaces available so please let them know if you have a student that is interested.

The traditional Honorary Page Program will operate as usual, Feb 10-28 of the short session. 

In the District

Marion County Juvenile Department Ribbon Cutting photo

On January 9, I attended the Marion County Juvenile Services Building Ribbon Cutting and Open House in Salem. The new facility will house the Juvenile Department's administration, probation, family support, educational advocates, records, and more. The Marion County Juvenile Department works with justice-involved youth and serves a vital role in providing accountability, interventions and positive pro-social skill development for youth and families to mitigate community risk and increase public safety.

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day graphics

January 9th was also National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Police officers have a very difficult job, often under very challenging circumstances.  I give a huge shout out to say, "Thank You" to our law enforcement officers, who daily put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe.  Also, I extend a big "Thank You" to the families and children of our public safety officials who share the sacrifice during the long hours their loved ones are called to serve. 

Chemeketa Legislative Breakfast photo

On January 13th, I joined area legislators for the Chemeketa Commuinity College legislative breakfast. The morning included a brief overview of Chemeketa's Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, followed by a tour of their state-of-the-art Applied Technologies and Health Services buildings. Thank you to President Howard, her faculty and staff, for hosting this event and for your dedication to our students to ensure our future workforce is well educated. 

Interview photo with Molalla Senior Student completing a senior project

January 23rd was a busy day in the district.  I met with Silverton City officials, Marion County Commissioners and law enforcement leaders. Then, on to Molalla to meet with city officials and participate in an interview with a high school senior working on a school project. I enjoyed this opportunity to catch up with constituents and community leaders before the short session begins. 

Another Reminder about Real ID

Real ID Graphics

In case you missed my October 20th newsletter, an update on Real ID was released by the Oregon Department of Transportation this week.  The word is to expect long lines at DMV in July.  Below are the details: 

Do you need Real ID?

Something big is happening on October 1st of this year. If you aren’t paying attention, it might mean missing your flight out of PDX or any other airport across the U.S.

On that date the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), begins requiring a new type of identification to board a commercial aircraft. The new ID must be compliant with the Real ID Act. It’s designed to keep us safer in the air, but if you try to board an aircraft using your current Oregon driver license starting in October – it won’t work. That’s because the current Oregon driver license is not Real ID compliant.

Oregon DMV will begin offering a Real ID option on July 6, 2020. To fulfill the demand of nearly one million Oregonians who will want the Real ID option, DMV would have to issue 32 licenses a second every business day from July to October. That’s just not possible.

If you don’t have a Real ID compliant form of ID at the airport, TSA will put you through an alternate identity verification process that could take an hour or more, and you could miss your flight.

There is an answer for Oregonians: obtain and use a passport or passport card. The cost of getting a new passport card is roughly equal to that of getting a replacement license with the Real ID option – and you can apply now at one of over 76 acceptance sites across Oregon.

To find out more, visit https://www.Oregon.gov/REALID

By the way, Washingtonians already have the option of getting a Real ID compliant driver license. If you are a Washington resident, go to https://id2020wa.com/ to find out more.

It is my great honor to serve as your State Representative. Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter and for remaining engaged in the legislative process.  I value your voice and want to hear your thoughts and ideas. 

Again, please don't hesitate to contact my office if I can assist you in any way, whether it is through the legislative process or through personal assistance with state government - I am here to help.



Rick Lewis
State Representative 
House District 18
Oregon's Christmas Tree District

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1418
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-484, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Rep.RickLewis@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/lewis