Legislative Update from Senator Bonham

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Senator Daniel Bonham

Legislative Update

Hello Friends,

My name is Daniel Bonham, and I am an Oregon State Senator, representing District 26. I live in The Dalles, where I own a small business. I have also served for the past 5 years as a State Representative. With session underway - I will be intentional about sending updates.

Politicians' pay raises

Some legislation has no place in our beautiful state. This week, on the Floor of the Senate, I spoke out against SB 786. SB 786 would increase elected legislators’ salaries (paid for by taxpayers) by nearly double from $32,000 to $62,000. This year, total legislative pay, including per diem, will be approximately $57,000 – making the new goal salary upwards of $87,000. I’ve yet to meet a constituent who demands higher pay for state lawmakers. But what do you think? Share your opinion on my Facebook.

Assault victim justice

team ezra

I am reintroducing Ezra’s Law: SB 430, which now sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is named after Ezra Jerome Thomas; the Jefferson County boy left with permanent severe disabilities from a violent beating by his parent’s partner when he was just 2 years old.

Had Ezra died from the original trauma - his abuser would have faced 30 years to life in prison, a sentence that gives the family justice. Instead, Ezra’s abuser received only a 12-year sentence. Ezra, an innocent little boy, will spend a lifetime experiencing the medical impacts from the vicious brutality.

I will work in Salem for innocent victims and their families by fighting for stricter sentencing when victims of violent crimes suffer permanent life altering injuries. Great coverage on Ezra’s Law here and here. #teamEzra

Keep your $5,200 per average household

It only took three days for the drumbeat to start. The majority party is already looking to steal Oregonians' hard-earned money by taking the constitutionally protected kicker refund. For example, SRJ 26 and SB 774 would deny Oregonians their much-deserved $5,200 (average per household) personal kicker refunds and redirect that money to grow an already bloated state bureaucracy. Once I saw SJR 26 and SB 774 post on day 3, I spoke out immediately.

kicker remonstrance floor

From my Floor speech: "This is Oregonian's hard-earned money that they deserve to spend how they see fit... If we leave it to them, they will spend it wisely and spur on economic development."

Check out my full remarks at 7:08 minutes here.

Between 2001 and 2021, Oregon’s budget more than tripled from $34.1 billion to $121.2 billion per biennium. That is an insane expansion of government and demonstrates the legislature's insatiable appetite to spend. Since 2001, annual inflation has averaged 2.4%, and Oregon’s population grew by 24%.

Refer it to the voters

While I am working in Salem for Oregonians, and those in District 26, I am chief sponsor of multiple bills that refer issues pertaining to all Oregonians to the ballot.

After a contentious redistricting battle that included obvious gerrymandering, I have introduced SJR 9 to fix a partisan legislative map drawing process. This resolution seeks to remove redistricting from the hands of self-interested lawmakers and instead give that power to the people by creating a Citizens Redistricting Commission. I want this rule change to be referred to voters in the next election. SJR 10 is similar and has bipartisan support and SJR 25 is also targeting a redistricting fix.

SJR 6, a resolution to address escalating property tax burdens on retirees with fixed incomes, is another issue that I would like to see referred to the voters. One of the most alarming aspects of the Oregon legislature controlled by one party is their penchant for passing tax increases, almost in the stealth of night, when voters have no say over the impacts. SJR 6 proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution that would direct the Legislative Assembly to enact property tax relief program for certain seniors.

Your voice matters

Public testimony will be allowed both in-person and remotely.

I’ll be back with more updates!

Until then,

Senator Daniel Bonham, District 26

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1726
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-423​​, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.DanielBonham@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bonham​