2009 Legislative Session

Chief Sponsored Bills

  • SB 528– Field Burning: After years of work, I was happy to pass SB 528 at the end of the session. This legislation will improve air quality and help protect thousands of people in the Willamette Valley from the health impacts from exposure to field burning smoke. Field burningFIELD BURN SUNSET in the Southern Willamette Valley will be reduced by half in 2009 and eliminated in 2010. A compromise allowing 15,000 acres of burning for identified species and steep terrain areas, mostly in Marion County, was necessary to address the economic arguments of farmers and to garner the votes needed to pass the bill. The bill remains a major accomplishment in balancing the interests of all Oregonians and was only possible with the help of many other legislators, the medical community and other constituents and advocates.
  • HJR 7-Veterans Home Loan Assistance: The resolution proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution that would broaden the eligibility pool of veterans for the ORVET home loan program. It does this by removing the ‘out of service for more than 30 years’ provision to ensure all qualified veterans are eligible. The idea for this bill was brought to me by a resident of our district, and I am glad to have been able to sponsor and pass this legislation on his behalf and that of other veterans. It will now go to the voters to approve the needed change in the Constitution.
  • HB 2396– West Eugene EmX: This billauthorizes the issuance of lottery bonds to finance an extension of the bus rapid transit system in west Eugene. The expansion of the EmX rapid transit system into West Eugene is essential to offering sustainable transit solutions to Lane County residents and to relieving traffic congestion in west Eugene. HB 2396 ended up being included in the final lottery bonding bill; SB 5535
  • HB 2815– Addressing the Underground Economy: I sponsored HB 2815 creating the Interagency Compliance Network to bring greater efficiency in enforcement of tax compliance, employment and licensing laws. The also bill streamlines information sharing among state agencies participating in the Network. This bill will help reign in illegal operators who unfairly compete against legitimate businesses who pay their fair share and provide their employees with the required wages and benefits. This bill passed the Senate on the final day of session and awaits the Governor’s signature. This compliance network will bring millions of dollars of money already owed to the state, helping us reduce the burden on our budgets and the taxpayers of Oregon.
  • HB 2470– Cracking Down on Puppy Mills: This bill aims to help curb the abuses inherent in puppy mills.  It ensures that dogs are provided with space and the ability to exercise, and caps the number of breeding animals per facility to reduce the quantity of large puppy mills in Oregon. The bill also requires pet stores to provide the name and location of breeding facilities, so that consumers have the information they need to make informed purchase decisions.

House Committee on Consumer Protection

  • HB 2365– Toy-like Lighter Ban: This bill bans the manufacture, sale, and distribution of dangerous and deceptive toy-like novelty lighters. Easily available at hardware stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, these novelty lighters are easily mistaken for toys and as a result have routinely contribute to unintentional fires and resulting injuries to children and families. Now that this bill has been signed by the Governor and the law is in effect, these lighters will no longer be a danger to our children.
  • HB 2191– Oversight of Debt Settlement Industry: This bill aims to protect Oregonians from unscrupulous companies that claim to settle debt for consumers. The bill puts strict limits on debt settlement fees, caps the amount they can charge for settling the debt, puts limits on advertising claims and requires the companies to fully disclose the nature of their services to consumers. The bill also caps the amount of money a company can take monthly from the customer to pay off the debt.
  • SB 328– Protecting Consumers from Unscrupulous Debt Collectors: Debt collection is not currently subject to the provisions of the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA).While an individual who can afford legal costs may take action against a debt collector for violating the Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act, the Attorney General has no authority to take such action. SB 328 provides the Attorney General with the authority to enforce debt collection laws in Oregon under the UTPA and to participate in multi-state suits against out-of-state debt collectors.
  • HB 2188– Home Mortgage Protections: This billprohibits mortgage banker, mortgage broker or loan originator from making negative amortization loans without verifying borrower’s ability to repay.
  • HB 2189– Home Loan Originator Requirements: HB 2189 requires licensing of all loan originators and forces compliance with the regulation and ethics of the Federal Safe Act. This major piece of legislation will help bring accountability and stability to the mortgage lending industry.
  • HB 2371– Identity Protections: This billrestricts situations in which retail outlets may read, store, share or sell information electronically retrieved from driver’s licenses, permits and identification cards.

House Committee on Sustainability and Economic Development

  • HB 2626– Energy Efficiency Finance Program: This bill will expand the Oregon Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Finance Program with a combination of state bonding and private loans. It will provide jobs for Oregonians, while also improving buildings and working towards a green future for Oregon.
  • HB 3300– Green Jobs: I am a sponsor of HB 3300, which directs the Oregon Workforce Investment Board to create a green jobs plan. The bill intends for OWIB to make investments in workforce training programs in order to create opportunities for high-wage, high-demand jobs in the green economy. The ultimate goal of the bill is to invest in a skilled green workforce as our infrastructure adjusts to become more energy independent.

House Committee on Business and Labor (and subcommittee on Workforce Development)

  • HB 2203– Unemployment Insurance: In conjunction with SB 462, this bill qualifies Oregon to receive $85 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It also allows for Oregon to except federal funds to offer extended benefits to unemployed workers who would otherwise not qualify.
  • HB 3140– Work Share program: I sponsored this bill extending unemployment compensation benefits for the state’s work share program, allowing employers to reduce weekly hours while eligible employees receive a percentage of unemployment insurance – as an alternative to laying off employees.
  • HB 2398 Career Readiness Certificate: The career readiness certification program allows and encourages certification of workplace readiness skills to be offered through high schools, community colleges and career centers. It will also create grants to projects that promote hands on experience and education in skills required to meet workforce needs. This program will also help implement youth summer work programs.