From Senator Bonham: Felon Voting Hurts Victims

View in browser
Senator Daniel Bonham

Legislative Newsletter


Welcome back to my newsletter and thank you for reading.

Felon Voting

What is the most patriotic thing people can do? Vote. Voting is a right and a privilege. SB 579 would give adults in custody the right to vote, giving the OK for people who have harmed their fellow citizens an equal voice to decide rules and laws, while they have abdicated their own civic responsibilities by breaking them. Watch my floor speech on this bill here.

With SB 579, in many cases we are talking about voting for criminals who have committed murder. These are people who have taken the lives of others, permanently removing the voting rights of their fellow Oregonians. 



My colleague, Sen. Suzanne Weber (Tillamook), listed some of the awful offenses committed by adults in custody who will get to vote if SB 579 passes.

For example, in 1997, meth user Jesse Compton brutally murdered 3-year-old Tesslynn Elizabeth O'Cull. In 1999, Tesslynn’s mother Stella was convicted for child abuse. With SB 579, Jesse and Stella get to vote, but Tesslynn will never get the chance.

Randy Lee Guzek was convicted of killing Terrebonne couple Rod and Louise Houser during a late night burglarly. He shot Louise 3 times, a fourth and final time in a closet, and he shot Rod 20 times. With SB 579, Guzek, who has been sentenced to death 4 times, gets to vote, but Rod and Louise Houser do not.

Where is the justice for victims?

I find it offensive that rapists and murderers will be able to vote on who their judge, the DA, and the sheriff can be. Do we want pedophiles determining who can serve on a school board?

To pass this bill, the legislature will disregard the Oregon Constitution as well. The Oregon Constitution, Article 2, Section 3 says, “A person who has been lawfully convicted of a felony has forfeited their right to vote.”

Return of Cover Oregon?

SB 972 is the supermajority’s attempt to resurrect Cover Oregon, which was an abysmal failure and significant waste of taxpayer dollars. 

cover or

Requested by the Oregon Health Authority, the bill requires the agency to transition health care access from to a state-based marketplace by November 1, 2026. 

With the Cover Oregon nightmare in the background, this bill is like the government saying, “Trust us, we’ll do it right this time.” Watch my reasons for voting no in committee here.

Additionally, I spoke on the Senate Floor about SB 704, a bill that will create a task force to implement the Universal Health Care plan in Oregon that was recommended by another task force created in 2019 through SB770. Watch here.

The SB 770 task force released a report in September 2022 that makes some significant assumptions. The task force presumes the ability to realize nearly $1 billion of administrative savings; that providers will accept cuts in compensation; the federal government would allow Oregon to disenfranchise Medicare beneficiaries, and that middle-and upper-income Oregonians would accept an enormous tax increase and disruption to their own health benefits on the promise that this time, the state will successfully execute an exceedingly complex entitlement program, at which no other state has succeeded.

For historical reference, the only state that tried this system of state health care was Vermont, and after spending nearly 4 years trying to create the nation’s first single-payer health system, they ultimately had to abandon the idea due to several financial constraints.

What we should do instead is use SB 704 to examine how we could provide coverage to the 34,000 estimated uninsured Oregonians who don’t already qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or federal subsidies through

Family Farms

Family farms are not a problem for Oregon. Our farmers are busy raising food for Oregonians, reducing the environmental cost of transporting food from other regions of the US, and contributing taxes to local communities and the state. 


Further regulations on farming operations would increase food costs for Oregonians, complicate supply chain problems, put more trucks on our crumbling roads to bring food from other regions, thereby increasing carbon emissions and crowding our congested freeways.

I'm a no on SB 85. Watch my floor speech on this here. Preserve our local food supply and support the farms and farmers who toil long hours to provide it. 

Prior Newsletters

I’ve tried to focus on a different subject each week in my newsletter. If I didn’t write about an issue you are passionate about in this specific edition, that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been working hard to address some of the most important issues we face each week.

Constituent Moments


Thank you to these bright virtual public charter school students from my district for visiting. Maribella received her democracy badge in Girl Scouts!


Thank you to the participants from REAL Oregon (Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership Program) for visiting.

REAL is an annual leadership program that gives professionals exposure to Oregon's geography, economy, and culture.


Click Here to Subscribe to Senator Daniel Bonham's E-Newsletter.

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1726
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-423​​, Salem, OR, 97301