June 1 - 7 Newsletter

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

Sine Die Is Imminent

The Speaker of the House and Senate President have declared Sine Die for the 2021 legislative session to be imminent. In addition to this meaning that soon we will be finished with the end of this legislative session, it also means that the postings for meetings deadline moves from twenty four hours notice to just a single hour. If you have bills or issues that you have been following, make sure that you are signed up to receive updates of posted meetings on them through OLIS.

Funding Education

Bend LaPine Education Center

This 2021 session, the legislature has allotted a budget of $9.3 million dollars to the schools of Oregon for the next biennium. Given the difficulties that students, families, and teachers have faced during school closures, and the importance of getting children the resources they need to get back to learning as quickly as possible, I am proud of the resources we will be investing in our children for the next two years. This is record funding for our schools and students, and something desperately needed to help our children and our future get back what was lost during the closures. 

Protecting The Kicker For Oregonians

Oregon has $1 billion more dollars than we expected. Given all we have gone through in the last year, that’s good news – especially for taxpayers, thanks to Oregon’s kicker.

Fundamentally, the kicker recognizes that taxes belong to taxpayers, not the government. It’s simple: If Oregon brings in at least 2% more tax revenue than it budgeted for, that excess money is returned to taxpayers proportional to how much tax they paid. The average Oregonian will get more than $300 back.

The kicker has been around since 1980. In 1999, I led an effort to put it into the Constitution to protect taxpayers against politicians who prefer to keep this money for their special interests.

In recent years, the kicker has come under attack by politicians and activist groups who would prefer the government keep this excess revenue. This was the exact reason it was put into the Constitution. Let’s set the record straight on the anti-kicker advocates’ most spurious arguments:

Oregon needs to keep the kicker revenue on hand for future hard times. This argument is the easiest to debunk. It goes like this: “If and when the Oregon economy takes a downturn, the government won’t have enough money to fund itself.” They say that kicker money should go into a reserve account for future needs.

But Oregon already has such an account – the Rainy Day Fund – and it has nearly a billion dollars in it. Of course, the Legislature can always add more to this fund through the regular budgeting process.

During the last year, jobs and our economy were hit hard. Rolling lockdowns have caused long-term unemployment to reach its highest point since the Great Recession. You would think this would be the exact situation in which we would tap that Rainy Day Fund. But we didn’t, because the Legislature was able to shift money around to meet our most pressing needs in the pandemic.

We also have a separate rainy-day fund for schools. The Education Stability Fund still has over $400 million in it, after the state used $400 million to help schools navigate the pandemic. Given last week’s revenue report, there is no reason we can’t replenish that without having to raid the kicker.

The kicker benefits white, well-off Oregonians and robs the state of money that can help address economic disparities based on race and ethnicity: The kicker deals with income, not race. Because the kicker returns tax dollars proportionally to how much tax a household pays, Oregonians who pay the most in taxes get the most back. There are certainly Oregonians of color getting large kicker refunds because they earn high incomes.

Killing the kicker won’t erase disparities. To suggest otherwise is a divisive diversion from tangible and effective ways of removing barriers to opportunity and building prosperity for low-income Oregonians and communities of color. Creating safer communities, improving education by offering school choice and making home and business ownership easier are the building blocks that we know help people climb the income ladder to erase disparities.

In the face of an ever-expanding government, the kicker is the last line of defense for Oregonians to stake their claim on their own tax dollars, while controlling government spending. Anti-kicker activists will try to tell you that the money would be better spent by the government, but we all know how good government is at spending money effectively. I believe that money is better left in the hands of hardworking Oregonians, than politicians’.

My Remonstrance On Vaccine Passports

Sen. Knopp Remonstrance

Click on this image to watch my remonstrance on vaccine passports.

Students Belong In The Classroom


Recently, an article published by the Salem Reporter found that over 4,600 Salem-Keizer high school students, nearly 40% of all high school students,  failed at least one class during the second and third quarters of the school year. This can reasonably be attributed to the shuttering of schools and the difficulties with at home learning while families were forced to adapt. 

These numbers are even more concerning, when taken into account that Senate Democrats blocked the passage of SB 867, a bill I co-sponsored that requires each public school to provide full-time, in-person classroom instruction during 2021-2022 school year. 

Our students and families deserve better and they deserve the peace of mind knowing that they'll be able to return to the classroom this Fall. 

National PTSD Awareness Month

The month of June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month. Too many feel the need to "tough it out" alone, but no one needs to and should face this issue alone. Events due to combat, accidents, disasters, and abuse are just a few of the causes of PSTD. If you feel the stress of PTSD, or know someone who may, there are resources available. You can find resources on the National Alliance on Mental Illness website here

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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