2020 Legislative Session Update

Representative Vicki Breese-Iverson

2020 Legislative Session

As your State Representative for House District 55, I wanted to give you an update on the 2020 Legislative Session, and to remind you that I will ALWAYS stand up for rural Oregon. 


Cap and Trade

I am sure you have been hearing quite a lot surrounding the current cap and trade proposal and the subsequent walkout by many of my Republican colleagues.  I want to take this opportunity to explain my perspective and reasoning to those who I represent.


Let the People Decide

My colleagues and I have repeatedly pleaded with the Democrat supermajority to allow the people of Oregon to vote on this.  I introduced an amendment in committee to allow the bill to be referred to the public for a vote.  Unfortunately, my colleagues in the supermajority rejected this, and every other Republican-introduced amendment intended to increase transparency and allow for a public voting process.  They claim that the issue is "too complex" for the people of Oregon to understand, which I find to be insulting and downright wrong.   


Respect the Process

The lack of respect for the legislative process I have witnessed from the supermajority on cap and trade has been concerning to say the least.  In a 35 day short session, the supermajority is attempting to ram through a massive cap and trade proposal that has had over 50 amendments introduced, including a 177 page amendment that they adopted less than 24 hours after it was made available.  Professional, non-partisan economists at the Capitol have stated that they do not have the time, resources or general capability to perform a thorough economic analysis on this bill; but the supermajority has decided to continue pushing it through anyway.  This is NOT good governance, it is irresponsible.


The Walkout

After my Republican colleagues and I have exhausted our efforts to improve the bill and refer it to the voters, we were left no other recourse but to deny a quorum to conduct business.  We are now being accused of not representing our constituents by leaving town, but I would argue we are doing exactly what our constituents sent us here to do.  My colleagues and I were not elected to represent all of Oregon, like the supermajority seems to be eluding to.  Instead, we were sent here to protect our constituents and their way of life from a supermajority that claims to know better.  I have received hundreds of emails from my district, thanking  my colleagues and me for doing the right thing; and the support is truly appreciated.  The supermajority controls the legislative calendar and chose to advance this deeply flawed bill rather than prioritizing budgetary fixes, knowing full well what would happen if they decided to proceed with this reckless action.  We won't accept the blame for what they have done.  My colleagues and I remain open to further communication on this topic; but we won't be bullied or into submission by legislators and citizens from urban areas like Eugene and Portland.


Gun Control

Aside from Cap and Trade, another issue that my constituents have overwhelmingly opposed is House Bill 4005 - which would require safe storage of firearms.  I think most gun owners appreciate the power firearms have and want to ensure safety.  However, this bill would make the owners of firearms liable in civil suits for lost or stolen firearms.  Think about it this way, if someone stole your car and committed a crime with it, you could be fined.  This is not only wrong, it is an infringement on the sanctity of our Second Amendment rights.  Currently, the bill is scheduled for a vote on the House Floor; but fortunately they will be unable to pass it if my Republican colleagues and I continue to deny a quorum.  I am determined to protect your second amendment rights and will do whatever it takes to keep this bad legislation from becoming reality.

Constituent Relations


Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding this session, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet constituents and advocates in the building.  Here are some of the groups and people I've gotten to meet with.


Crook, Deschutes and Klamath Early Head Start

I was able to meet with advocates, teachers and parents in Head Start programs from Crook, Deschutes and Klamath Counties.  Head Start helps to prepare children who are under 5 years of age for school.  These kids typically come from low income families and the results of programs like Head Start are undeniably positive.  I loved getting to meet so many special people and learn more about a great program in Oregon.

Credit Union Day


Credit Union Day at the Capitol is a fun way to connect with some of my favorite constituents.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet with representatives from Mid Oregon Credit Union, to hear about the immensely constructive impact they have had in Central Oregon. 

Oregon Farm Bureau

As a 5th generation rancher in Oregon, I know firsthand, the unique challenges of working in agriculture in this state.  My father was the former president of the Oregon Farm Bureau and so there will always be a special place in my heart for these folks.  I was honored to speak to their group when they visited the Capitol this session.  We covered a variety of topics and issues that are of concern and I loved being able to catch up with some old friends as well.


County Commissioners in the Capitol

This session I've been lucky to see plenty of my county commissioners.  One of the most frequent visitors to Salem is Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone from La Pine.  He works so hard on behalf of the county and his constituents, and has been a great friend of mine for years.


Crook County Middle School

My sons both attend Crook County Middle School and having them around the Capitol has been a blessing.  My son's 8th Grade Leadership Class recently visited the Capitol and toured the sites.  They learned a great deal and I want to personally thank their amazing teachers for chaperoning the trip!