E-Newsletter Volume 7, No. #9




Representative Brad Witt
District 31

Phone: 503-986-1431    900 Court St. NE, H-374, Salem Oregon 97301
Email: rep.bradwitt@state.or.us    Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/witt
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March 28, 2013              E-Newsletter              Volume 7, No. 9

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Hi Everyone,


ORS 496.275 states that “The Legislative Assembly hereby declares the necessity to review all options and means for the protection and restoration of Oregon’s salmon resources that promote local economic development and enjoyment by all the citizens of Oregon.”  So, how are we doing?  We could be doing a better job, according to many of us who co-sponsored HB 3441, a bill that would establish an Oregon Hatchery Research Center Board to oversee the work of the Oregon Hatchery Research Center located on Fall Creek near Coos Bay. 

Insuring that science is the driving force behind salmon research is not a new concept, and in fact, reaches back to at least 2001, when representatives from ODFW presented the Legislature with a vision of a new salmon research center to be located on the Alsea River.  Specific to this research station would be the question, “Is there a difference between wild and hatchery fish?”  If so, how can we change hatchery management practices to lessen the effect of hatchery fish on the wild population? 

These questions, among others, remain unanswered and illustrate the need for increased oversight and new directives. Here are some key elements of HB 3441, which seeks to enliven the mission of the Fall Creek Hatchery and fulfill the vision that was created in 2001:

  • Revises the makeup of the Hatchery Research Board and redefines its duties
  • Outlines the objectives of the Research Center with special attention to research methods, procedures and educational outreach
  • Establishes an Oregon Hatchery Research Fund consisting of ODFW grants, appropriations from the Legislature, donations and gifts
  • Directs that a new agreement be negotiated with OSU that reflects these new goals

I have every confidence that this new course for the Research Center will help ODFW fulfill the mandates of ORS496.275, give new direction to the excellent scientists that work at Fall Creek Hatchery, and achieve the goal that everyone wants, more fish in a safe and sustainable environment.

More on GMOs...

Last week we heard about the potential unconstitutionality of bills that dealt with genetically engineered organisms, either by mandatory labeling or an outright ban on cultivation or importation. This week, Legislative Counsel issued a preliminary judgment that these bills are constitutional. When this decision has been made official we will have a better understanding about what to do with these pieces of legislation.  Stay tuned for future updates.

Bills of Interest…

HB 2992:  Allows Seniors and low-income families to use food assistance services to purchase fresh produce at farmer’s market or roadside stands.
HB 2643:  Aims to helps small business owners climb out of the recession by directing the Secretary of State to examine the licensing fees.
HB 2345:  Creates the West Coast Critical Infrastructure Exchange Task Force that would work to attract private capital to finance public infrastructure projects.
HB 3452:  Describes circumstances in which gray wolves may be taken.
SB 496:  Requires moneys in county’s road fund that is expended for patrolling to be used solely for direct and indirect costs associated with patrolling.
SB 238:  Allows child less than seven years of age to operate motorcycle on public lands if specified conditions are met.

You are receiving this newsletter a day earlier than usual because the Legislature has scheduled Good Friday as an in-district day, so I will be taking the time to travel throughout District 31.  On Saturday, I will be helping out at the mEGGa Easter Egg Hunt at the Columbia County Fairgrounds.  Gates open at 9:30am and the hunt begins at 11:00am.  It's a great event and it's fun to watch the children enjoy this first rite of spring.  Speaking of spring, the trees are in full bloom here at the Capitol - please enjoy the pictures that follow, and Happy Easter to everyone!




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Tera, Chava and Lev Wolf brought me a yummy apple pie on Apple Pie Day at the Capitol. 
They advocated the benefits of home schooling.