Week 4 Recap: Let the People Vote! Robots Take Over the Capitol

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

Week 4 Recap: February 24 - 28

As the second to last week of the short session comes to a close, there was much to reflect upon. Here are some of my thoughts and meetings I've had this last week. 

Let the People Vote on Cap & Trade!


The Cap and Trade bill, Senate Bill 1530, is a flawed bill. It treats my constituents different, and ultimately unfairly, based on which city they live in Deschutes County. It does not account for carbon sequestration that occurs naturally in our forests. It also dramatically raises the cost of living through increasing natural gas prices, a resource that many rural or fixed low-income families rely on for heating. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our environment, and I want to see a bill that does a better job of addressing wild fires through better forest management. We can find a way to protect our environment that does not economically punish the rural or low-income families while having what was described by an environmental scientist from Oregon State University as an “imperceptible” impact on global climate change while he was testifying before the legislature last year.

The progress of this bill has also added to the controversy surrounding it. Amendments offered by Republicans to either remove the Emergency Clause on the bill or remove blocking of public records requests to the bidding and trading process of carbon credits by businesses, were blocked. The majority party not only believes that the public should not be allowed to vote on the bill, they do not believe that the public should know what happens when the bill goes into effect with regards to how the government will be selling credits.

For these reasons and others, nearly all Republican legislators have denied quorum through a Constitutional protest; a form of protest that Governor Kate Brown has been an advocate for in the past while she was a state senator. Abraham Lincoln once jumped out of a window to deny quorum during his time in the legislature in 1840. Each legislator has an obligation to represent their district to the best of their abilities in whichever manner they see best. My constituents have made it clear to me that they want me to oppose SB 1530, but they want me to do it from Salem in the Capitol. We have made it abundantly clear to our colleagues in the majority about what is needed to end the protest; either removing the emergency clause from SB 1530, or better yet, referring it to the voters. There is bi-partisan opposition to this bill within the Capitol, but only partisan support from the majority for it.

Senior Property Tax Freeze Moves Forward

Testimony on SB 1541

During the short session in even numbered years, senators can introduce only one bill. This session I introduced and chief sponsored Senate Bill 1541. The bill freezes the property tax rates from low income seniors at least 68 years old or who are disabled that are eligible for the state’s tax deferral program. The bill was initially introduced to the Senate Finance and Revenue committee, which I am a member of. After a public hearing and two separate work sessions the bill was unanimously voted out of our committee to the Ways and Means committee. While there is still further to go before it becomes law, this in an important step in the process. I am optimistic that there will be a chance to pass this into law, our seniors deserve it.

Multifamily North West

Multifamily North West

I had the opportunity to meet with small business leaders who are in affordable housing development and move up markets. These stakeholders serve a critical role in providing the housing development industry a voice in local government to help elected officials help to find solutions to the housing crisis. Thanks for your  advocacy, keep up the good work!

Robots in the Capitol!

Robots in the Capitol!

The Capitol was visited by the robotics team, known as Chaos Theory, from several high schools in Bend. These students are a wonderful example of the importance of supporting Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs. With the skills they develop in programs like this, these students often go on to become leading engineers and scientists. As the issues facing our state become more complicated, I am confident that the future is in bright and creative hands. I am proud to have supported STEM programs and have expanded access to post high school learning through Central Oregon Community College and OSU-Cascades campus. Thank you for visiting your Capitol Chaos Theory, I can’t wait to see what you build next time.

Commercial Activities Tax on Gross Sales Needs a Fix

Sorry, Closed

Before the legislature this session is House Bill 4009; a bill that addresses some of the issues concerning the Corporate Activities Tax, often referred to as the CAT. This tax is complicated, expensive, and dangerous to the economic health of Oregon. Companies are taxed on their gross revenue, and while there are some write offs for certain parts of labor or material costs, employers must choose one or the other. I have had several constituents reach out to share their stories about their businesses are turning from profitable to a loss with this tax. Even worse are the stories where companies who have had a bad year are still taxed and are forced to either cut benefits, fire employees, leave the state, or simply close up.

This tax was introduced to fund schools, a critical and necessary charge of our state government; but we can do that without crippling the local businesses that make up our state economy. We need these businesses to grow and succeed to help support our schools and communities, otherwise we risk a collapse of both. I am working with my colleagues to find a better solution to funding our schools without driving up costs on businesses and local governments. We have a responsibility not only to our local businesses to find a more sustainable and responsible path, but our students as well, so that they can have stable and reliable school funding. I support new investments in education, but this tax is ill timed and ill advised in its scope.

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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