2011-12 Legislative Session

Career Technical Education – HB 3362
Encourages partnerships to provide Career and Technical Education services to ensure Oregon’s workforce is equipped to compete for high wage jobs in emerging and evolving high growth industries, such as renewable energy and health care.

Foreclosure Reform: Strengthening Protections for Homeowners
 – SB1552                    After working on lending and foreclosure issues in the legislature for the last 4 years, and havingAARP 02/15/08 several bills killed without hearings in the House, I was elated to help negotiate the passage of SB1552.  I worked with Senator Beyer to ensure this legislation would provide strong protections for homeowners facing the foreclosure process and require lenders to mediate possible measures for homeowners to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.  We said “NO” to Republican attempts to weaken this legislation and take our ability to hold the financial industry accountable.  SB 1552 ensures all homeowners will have access to face-to-face mediation with their lender in the presence of a neutral third party to negotiate alternatives to foreclosure.  SB 1552 is based on pre-foreclosure mediation programs that have been successful in 21 other states.

One Stop Shop – HB 3247
Creates a centralized “One Stop Shop” to help new businesses register and gather permits, while also making it easier for current business owners to renew necessary paperwork and receive assistance.

Outcomes-Based Budgeting – SB 676
Changes the budget reporting requirements from “continuous improvement level” to “outcomes based” in order to improve state agency performance.

Reining in Tax Credits – HB 3672
Manages and controls tax expenditures by setting limits and sunsets for tax credits that were chosen for their economic benefit to the state.

Health Insurance Exchange – SB 99
Gives individuals and small businesses easier access to affordable health care options. Sets the framework for a health insurance exchange, which is a central marketplace for health insurance that provides one-stop shopping for individuals and small businesses to compare rates, benefits and quality among plans. The Exchange will also facilitate qualified businesses and individuals to access federal tax credits available in 2014 to help make premiums more affordable.

HB 3280 & SB 960 – Wineries
Oregon is regarded internationally as a leader in the production of fine wines.  Our wine industry has developed into one of our State’s most important agricultural producers and fastest growing industries, but the statutes that define our wineries have become outdated.

I introduced and chief sponsored HB 3280, updating current statute to reflect the growth in Oregon’s wine production by addressing the current needs of Oregon’s wine industry, while maintaining the integrity of farm land use policy.  HB 3280 has found balance by allowing some activities, such as a restaurant, on large wineries where their primary purpose of agriculture and wine production is well established and their size mitigates potential impacts to surrounding areas.

I also helped pass another bill, SB 960, which would allow farmers to supplement their farm income with secondary commercial activities, helping rural Oregon without threatening the underlying agriculture base.

HB 3596 – Rail
I sponsored HB 3596 to strengthen economic development in Oregon by allowing the Port of Coos Bay to increase imports and exports between domestic and international markets.  I have been working on this issue for several sessions and this is the final piece of legislation. The bill allows the Port to own and operate the rail line between Eugene and Coquille, which is very important to our district.  Restoration of freight rail service to Coos, Lane and Douglass counties provides a crucial transportation link for regional manufacturing and maritime industries.

SB 1510 – Marine Reserves
Three additional marine reserves in Oregon were created under SB 1510. This will establish a system of reserves and protected areas along the coastline and will allow us to determine if marine reserves are an effective management tool for Oregon’s valuable fish species. Socioeconomic effects of any fishing prohibitions are of huge concern to Oregon’s coastal economies, and steps will be taken to make sure there are no adverse impacts to the Coast.  The Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) recommended these sites near Cape Perpetua, Cascade Head and Cape Falcon.

SB 989 & SB 990 – Redistricting
For the first time in a century, the Oregon Legislature came to agreement on a plan that fulfills the Legislature’s constitutional responsibility to redraw both the legislative and congressional boundaries once every ten years to reflect population changes, with the passage of SB 989 and SB 990.  These bills are based on hours of public testimony taken in a series of public hearings held throughout the state and they honor the statutory requirements to create districts of equal population. I am honored to have served on the Joint Redistricting Committee that developed these proposals.

General Government and Consumer Protection

Government Efficiency Task Force – HB 2855
Re-authorizes the Government Efficiency Task Force to work in collaboration with state and local government, to review shared governmental services and make recommendations to the legislature.

Employee to Manager Ratio – HB 2020
Requires agencies to move toward an 11:1 employee to management ratio, saving money and promoting government efficiency.

Paperless – HB 2321
Allows public agencies to send notices electronically if recipients consent.

Buy Oregon First – HB 3000
Allows state agencies to give preference to goods and services produced in Oregon when bidding out contracts.

Government Efficiency – HB 2825 & HB 2788
Requires state agencies to report on the transparency Web site who receives a tax expenditure, the amount received, the promised results, and an explanation of why the agency certified the expenditure.  HB 2788 adds the State Treasurer’s Office to the Transparency Web site, expanding Oregonians access to

HB 4165 – Early Learning Council Education (2012)
HB 4165 creates a new Early Learning Council to redesign, merge, and improve the coordination of early childhood services for our children. By creating a comprehensive children’s budget – and increasing our financial investment in early childhood services – our state will yield a very positive return on investment as these children enter school healthier and more ready to learn.

Bottle Bill – HB 3145
Farm to School – HB 2800
Farmers’ Market Bill – HB 2336

Good Bills that Did Not Pass
Rainy Day Fund & Kicker Reform – HB 3681 & HB 3685
Would have amended the Constitution to expand Oregon’s Rainy Day Fund and reform the kicker tax law.  Would have stabilized Oregon’s long-term budget and prevented both tax increases and budget/service cuts during future recessions.

Foreclosure Protection – SB 827
Would have streamlined Oregon’s foreclosure laws and improved the loan modification process for struggling homeowners. SB 827 would’ve ensured that homeowners facing foreclosure receive timely, standardized information about how to request a loan modification and gives recourse if there is a violation.  This bill would have stopped the foreclosure clock during the loan modification process and provide real accountability by giving the Oregon Department of Justice and homeowners the legal recourse they need to remedy mortgage servicer violations.  This is an issue that I remain committed to addressing in the future and hope that work can be done over the interim to reach consensus on how to best help struggling homeowners.

BPA Ban – SB 695
Would have prohibited manufacturing, distributing, and selling child’s beverage container or reusable bottle made or lined with bisphenol A (BPA) or a BPA substitute that is a carcinogenic or reproductive toxicant.

State Bank – HB 3452 & HB 2519
I believe we must increase lending opportunities and make credit available to Oregon’s small businesses and family farms to encourage sustainable economic development and job growth in our state.  A state bank would have helped us accomplish this in a way where Oregonians, not Wall Street bankers, benefit from those investments.

GMO/GE Foods – HB 3346 & HB 3272 & HB 3326