Legislative Update from Rep. Anna Scharf

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Representative Anna Scharf

Dear Friends,

The 2023 Legislative Session officially adjourned as of the 25th of June. The last week has been a whirlwind, with Floor Sessions in the House Chamber lasting 10 plus hours each day.

Below is a brief update of some legislation that passed at the end of session. Stay on the lookout for a big recap coming to you later in July via a post card in your physical mailbox with a QR code link to an extensive recap of session. 

I am looking forward to taking some time away from the Capitol to work on the family farm this summer, and beginning to think about what 2024 may hold for HD 23 and Oregonians.

That being said, my office is always open, so please reach out with any questions and concerns. The interim will remain busy with Legislative Days in September and November, policy and constituent work, and informational learning events.

As always, thank you for your support.



Anna Scharf
State Representative - HD 23


HB 2002C and HB 2005C

When HB 2002C and HB 2005C returned to the House Floor for a concurrence vote, I attempted to deny quorum and here's why....

I am here to represent House District 23 (HD 23). My office received large amounts of feedback from HD 23 constituents telling me take whatever means possible to try and stop HB 2002C and HB 2005C from passing. Attempting to deny quorum and not voting on these two terrible pieces of legislation was the only option I had left.

Parental rights and protecting our children go hand in hand. The amended version of HB 2002C returned some parental rights in the section of the bill related to abortion services and minors. However, it did not protect our children from life altering transgender medications and surgeries.

HB 2005C, also negotiated by the Senate, removed the worst parts of the bill, but it remains an infringement on our Second Amendment rights – something I promised HD 23 constituents I would uphold when I was appointed and when I ran for election. I will not go back on that promise.

I remain disappointed in the extreme partisanship and lack of collaboration that has been a constant theme this session. After advocating for the values of HD 23 the past six months, I chose to utilize the only resource I had left. Therefore, I was not present the day of the vote and did my part to deny quorum. 

***You can also listen to my KYKN interview regarding these topics here.***

HB 2757B

HB 2757B provides funding for a coordinated crisis system including improving and maintaining the 9-8-8 suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis hotline. I am absolutely in support of 9-8-8. However, I had concerns with the cell phone tax created in HB 2757B.

The new tax consists of 40¢ per line per month, generating approximately $27.4 million per year or $32.9 million for the 2023-25 biennium. Considering testimony stated that only $5 million is needed to fully fund the 9-8-8 system, this bill is a gross overtax. It joins Washington as being the highest in the nation. 

For context, Nevada’s 9-8-8 tax is $0.35, Colorado is $0.27, Virginia is $0.12, and California is only at $0.08 per line per month. 44 states have no phone tax for 9-8-8 services yet, somehow, they are providing this service.

Additionally, I am concerned with the unfunded mandate this could impose on schools, cities, counties, fire districts, etc. Every one of those entities has publicly paid for communications devices and this could be interpreted as a tax on them.

We need 9-8-8, but this is the wrong way to go about it. In a time when the state is flush with money why are we passing a new tax?

I opposed HB 2757B due to the above reasons and I believe there is a better way to support this needed program without imposing a new tax.

SB 5506A

SB 5506A, is also known as the "Christmas Tree" bill because it is an omnibus bill to allocate funds for many individual  district projects and other end of session appropriations. This legislation has many line item allocations rolled into a 125 plus page amendment.

Although I requested funding for several projects in HD 23, only the following were funded. $2 million for the Polk County Mental Health facility expansion, and about half a million for the Falls City Main Line Replacement Project.

Although I am pleased to have received this funding, there were many other projects that needed and deserved state assistance.

Unfortunately, I voted to oppose this legislation when it reached the floor - for several reasons. Not only do I oppose many of the line items listed in the bill, but I am very disappointed the state will be funding the Criminal Justice Commission to perform a study regarding decriminalizing prostitution in Oregon. Those funds, and many other pork projects that will benefit private businesses in Portland, are a waste of tax dollars collected from HD 23 and all Oregonians.

HB 3409C

HB 3409C is an omnibus climate bill that contains pieces of 15 different policy bills, passed toward the very tail end of session. Amalgamated bills that feature loosely related policies are problematic, especially when they appear with little notice.

This omnibus bill contained two particularly objectionable components, which ultimately were modified before passage. First, the introduced version of HB 3409C included the original language from SB 522, which sought to increase the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. This proposal threatened to outpace available technology and infrastructure. It also would have produced new and modified rules, even reopening complicated rules established just last year.

Second, a section in the original bill would have allowed municipalities to adopt building codes that exceeded state requirements. This would have resulted in a patchwork of codes, producing compliance problems and higher costs.

Even as amended, the bill contains some frustrating components, including changes to the Global Warming Commission (now the Oregon Climate Action Commission), new heat pump installation targets (500,000), and some energy performance standards for new and existing buildings. 

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1423
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-387, Salem, OR 97301
Email: Rep.AnnaScharf@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/scharf