Representative Deborah Boone Newsletter March 26, 2015

Deborah Boone

Greetings from Salem!

This is National Tsunami Preparedness week, and the Coastal Caucus received an update on federal resiliency efforts from Kristin Rasmussen, from the Office of Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.  There are ongoing federal efforts to secure funding for a West Coast earthquake early warning system, developing earthquake resistant building design, programs for hazard mitigation of private residences, and the acquisition of schools in safety areas.   Oregon lawmakers suggested schools be prioritized, so older schools be replaced with facilities outside of the tsunami inundation zone.   This is problematic for communities like Seaside, which has no urban growth area outside the tsunami zone, and the process for expanding an urban growth area can be lengthy and difficult.    Patrick Corcoran, the Oregon Sea Grant Extension Coastal Hazards Outreach Specialist suggested a need for land use planning guidance, and a tsunami overlay zone.

Coastal Caucus members were pleased with the 2014 Dredging Season Review. A combination of Federal, State and private funds allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to remove 360,713 cubic yards of sediment from Oregon ports in 2014.   In House District 32, 95 thousand cubic yards of material was dredged out of the Skipanon River in Warrenton near the marinas. The Skipanon dredging was only made possible with the financial support of Pacific Seafoods, establishing a unique public private partnership improving waterway usage for all.  At the Port of Garibaldi, federal funds were used to dredge the Federal Access channel, removing more than 23 thousand cubic yards of material with the project being completed last month.  In Garibaldi port officials are now working on the permitting process to dredge the boat basin area.

The Oregon Education Association members visited this week, and the $7.255 Billion K-12 funding package passed out of the Ways and Means Education Subcommittee on Tuesday, with the full Ways and Means Committee scheduled a work session for Thursday.   The funding package could come up for floor votes in the House and Senate as early as next week.  

This week in the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness we held a public hearing on HB 3479, which creates a Women’s Veterans Coordinator position in the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs.   I am very supportive of this legislation, women are the fastest growing segment in the military, and there are currently more than 28 thousand Oregon women veterans.  Only 3 out of 10 Oregon veterans receive veteran’s benefits, and the percentage of women accessing their veteran benefit is significantly lower than their male counterparts.  Given the gender specific differences, our committee received some extremely compelling testimony about the need for a Women’s Veterans Coordinator.  HB 3479 is scheduled to receive a work session next week, with subsequent referral to Ways and Means.   

On Tuesday, Henry Samuelson an eighth grade student from Astoria, visited the capitol as part of the 4-H Student Leadership Program.  Henry is very active in 4-H, raising both swine and beef as his livestock projects.  He is very involved in school, and Henry’s athletic pursuits include football, basketball and track.  The son of former Clatsop County Commissioner Matt Samuelson, Henry was able to visit both the Senate and House floors during session.

Deb and Henry Samuelson
Deb and Henry Samuelson on House Floor

Tuesday night I was able to join other women legislators for Governor Kate Brown’s Women’s History Month reception at Mahonia Hall.  The Governor and her husband Dan Little are now settling into the Governor’s mansion.

Last weekend I was honored to be able to speak at Shirley Kalkhoven’s Celebration of Life.  Shirley was the City of Nehalem Mayor for the past decade, and spent her final three decades serving her community, Tillamook County and state of Oregon.  Shirley was a leader on transportation, economic development, and coastal livability issues and her efforts were recognized Sunday afternoon by over 300 people who attended her celebration at the Port of Tillamook Bay.

This Saturday SOLVE’S Oregon Spring Beach Cleanup will be held from 10am to 1pm.  Volunteers can sign up at any of 45 different check-in points along the entire Oregon Coastline.  Many families visit the coast during spring break and have made the SOLVE Beach Cleanup part of their annual routine, and we welcome everyone’s help!   Over the past three decades SOLVE volunteers have picked up more than 3 million pounds of trash off our beaches.  There are lots of registration sites all along the coast, with friendly volunteers handing out trash bags, and giving beach cleanup assignments.  

In order to best represent my district, I need to hear about your concerns.   My door is always open to constituents from House District 32, and I enjoy meeting with friends and neighbors when they visit Salem.   My office has moved to the fourth floor, I’m now in H-481.   If you are planning to visit the Capitol, let my office know a few days in advance so we can schedule an appointment.   If you have a concern or comment about a state agency or legislation under consideration, you can write, phone or email my office.

If you are interested in the legislative process, you can learn all about the Oregon Legislature, follow proposed bills, and watch committee meetings and floor sessions live, by accessing the Oregon Legislative Information System via the following link:

It is my privilege to represent you in the Oregon House of Representatives and I look forward to hearing from you.


Deborah Boone

email: I phone: 503-986-1432
address: 900 Court St NE, H-375, Salem, OR, 97301