Legislative Update #3

Senator Dallas Heard

Hello Friends,

     I am reaching out today to offer a quick update to the legislative session. I think the biggest step forward since I last reached out has been that the Senate is finally reading the entire language of the bills as they come to the full Senate for a final vote. While it is the least we can do to try and stem the flow of harmful legislation passed, I want to remind everyone that this is constitutionally what the Legislature is supposed to do. It is in there for a reason, and we should respect that. In response, the Democrats now have a computer program reading it at what most people would consider twice the normal speed. My point of contention is with Democrat leadership who look to skirt around the rules by having a machine do the work in a way most humans might not be able to so as to push as much legislation through as quickly as possible. Low quality fast food law is what we can all expect from a super majority that has long since left behind concerns of unintended consequences from reckless speed.

     The other big piece of legislation that I have been focused on is Senate Bill 865. For those not familiar with the matter, this would prohibit "State Officials" (State Senators, Representatives, Governor, Treasure, etc...) from being an Officer of a State Central Committee (volunteer political party leadership). For those who may not know I was recently elected to serve you as the Oregon Republican Party Chair/Leader back on February 20th of this year. This bill is a direct effort by those who are seeking to overturn the will of the people in both Senate District 1, and across the entire state who elected me to serve in both positions. The bill would fine individuals/me $250 for every day that I hold both offices. I want to set aside how this will affect me personally if it should pass. Instead I would like to bring a couple points forward as to why this bill would set a very dangerous precedent in our state. 

     First and foremost, Political Parties (Democrats of Oregon and The Oregon Republican Party) are private entities much like your local Rotary Club or charitable organization. This bill would interject state government into the governance of these private organizations! It is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic for the government to choose who can and cannot represent you! It should be up to the free citizens of Oregon to decide who their leadership shall be, not elitist politicians who think they know better than you. This step towards a Big Brother like state shatters the very principle of a democratic republic chosen BY and FOR the PEOPLE! How anyone can think they are upholding their sworn duty to defend the Constitution while supporting a measure like this is beyond me. 

     Secondly, I have heard arguments that this measure is designed to prevent confusion as to official positions of the party vs. an individual member. Those who make this argument are willing to sacrifice freedom for a false sense of security. For this, Thomas Jefferson put it best when he wrote "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." By allowing the government to dictate who can and cannot represent the people, we sacrifice our ability to freely express ourselves and to make OUR opinions heard, and not just those of the ones on the government approved list. This infringement on the autonomy of private citizens (or citizens acting in their private capacity as we legislators are only part time) should frighten anyone who holds freedom near and dear to their heart. 

     Regretfully, this bill is already scheduled for a work session this Thursday, despite over 90% of the testimony so far being against. If you are wanting to voice your opinion on SB 865 and move the needle on this issue, then follow the three steps below!

Step 1: This is just the agenda for tomorrow!

Step 2 (Written Testimony): • Electronic: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Testimony/SRULES • Mail: Senate Committee on Rules, 900 Court Street NE, Room 453, Salem, OR 97301 (Written testimony may be submitted up to 24 hours after the meeting start time.)

Step 3 (Remote Testimony): • Registration is required to testify by phone or video. • Register online: https://survey.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e4jIlqVToSZgkQe You will see a confirmation screen and be sent an email with information on how to join the meeting. If you do not, contact the committee assistant. • Register by phone: 833-588-4500 (U.S. toll free). You will be given a phone number to call into the meeting. • YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY THE TIME THE MEETING STARTS TO TESTIFY THE DAY OF! A public access kiosk is located outside of the State Capitol Building for anyone without access to a phone or computer to join a meeting by video.

If you are testifying via phone or video, you must:

  1. Address the Chair, Vice-Chair, and the members of the committee.
  2. You will state your name for the record.
  3. You will start your testimony.
  4. At this point I do not know if testimony will be timed or not. Please be prepared to adjust your testimony based on that. The Chair is the only one who gets to make that choice ( Senator Rob Wagner). 

     I encourage you to make your thoughts known and to engage in your legislative process. You can agree or disagree with me (especially on this issue), but the key is to make your voice heard! Reach out to the sponsors as well and let them know your thoughts! As always, many blessings to you and yours and please continue to pray for those who serve you. 


Yours truly,

Senator Dallas Heard Senate District 1

email: Sen.DallasHeard@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1701 address: 900 Court St NE, S-315, Salem, OR 97301 website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/heard

email: Sen.DallasHeard@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1701
address: 900 Court St NE, S-315, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/heard