Representative Deborah Boone April 12, 2013 Update


Representative Deborah Boone
D-Cannon Beach, District 32

Phone: 503-986-1432 900 Court St. NE, H-375 Salem Oregon 97301
Email: Website:

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During the Legislative Assembly, deadlines must be met in order for legislation to keep moving through the process. On Monday, bills that had failed to be scheduled for a committee work session by April 18th, died in committee.   I was particularly disappointed that one bill I co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 21, the Equal Rights Amendment, was held in the House Human Services and Housing Committee and did not receive a hearing or work session. This issue is not dead however, as a matching bill, Senate Joint Resolution 24, was introduced on the Senate, where it was assigned to the Senate Rules Committee.   If SJR 24 is approved by the Legislature, a vote on the Equal rights Amendment in Oregon would be on the 2014 General Election Ballot.

 Oregon has been a pioneering state for women’s rights. In 1912, Oregon was the seventh state to allow full voting rights for women.  In 1973, Oregon’s Legislative Assembly was one of 35 states to approve the federal ERA, but it was not ratified because it did not get the required number of states (38) to pass it before the deadline. 21 states now have a version of the ERA in their state constitutions, and I would like to see Oregon join that list. I have followed the ERA effort since I was a college student, and believe that adding the ERA to Oregon’s Constitution is long overdue.   Even if the current legislative effort fails, a statewide committee:, has been formed to take up this issue, with the goal of getting this proposal before the voters in 2014.

 In other Legislative news, House Bill 2182 designating September 27th as First Responder Appreciation Day received unanimous approval both in the House and Senate and has been signed by the Governor.   The Governor has now issued a proclamation naming September 27th, 2013 as First Responder Appreciation Day.   It was gratifying to see all state lawmakers recognize those community members who stand ready 24 hours a day to come to the aid of their community. This is an issue that near and dear to my heart, as I served 16 years as a volunteer Medical First Responder with the Hamlet Fire Department.   I think the average citizen would be surprised to learn how much is required of First Responders.   In addition to weekly drills, there is on-going education and training requirements for annual re-certification.   First Responders must be ready at all times in case of a call out. There is no way to anticipate the type of emergency to which you are responding, which is why training for a variety of emergencies is so important. First Responders help our communities in many ways, and I’m gratified to see the support for First Responders Appreciation Day.   Unfortunately, the Legislature did not support HB 2177, my bill to give Volunteer Fire Fighters a tax credit.   The good news is that the tax credit for Emergency Medical Technicians was extended, and most fire fighters are either currently certified as an EMT, or they are in the process of qualifying for that designation.

 Work is continuing on the Oregon Resilience Plan, with Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission Chairman Kent Yu and Vice Chair Jay Wilson meeting with legislative leaders.   Kent is a seismic engineer, and Jay is the Clackamas County Emergency Manager, and they have been at the Capitol meeting with chairs of the House and Senate Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committees. One of my bills, HB 2176 is the seismic upgrades bonding bill and will help implement some of the resilience plan recommendations. Governor Kitzhaber also recognizes the importance of seismic upgrades, his proposed budget includes $30 million for upgrades, $15 million for schools, and $15 million for fire stations and other emergency buildings.

 Last week I mentioned that Senator Johnson and I were planning a series of in-district town hall meetings at the end of April.   We have decided to postpone these meetings until after the May State Revenue Forecast, and will let you know the new schedule as soon as it is established. If you have a concern or comment regarding legislation, or if you’ve encountered a problem with a state agency, you can also write, phone or email my office, or when you’re in Salem, stop by my office in the Capitol.