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IN THIS ISSUE
Bills of Interest
Thoughts for Thatcher
You Can Make a Difrerence in the Oregon Legislature [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…ywSs=] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The deadline has passed for most bills coming from the Oregon House to be adopted and sent to the Senate and vice versa. Hundreds of bills are now making their way through the process and I encourage you to contact your local legislator if you want to weigh in to support or oppose a particular issue.
The new state budget continues to dominate discussions at the Capitol and as a member of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means I will be voting on all the various budget items as they move forward. The new revenue forecast [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…Bvw==] will come out May 12th and that should give us our last update on the budget situation before the legislature adjourns at the end of June.
One significant step has been adoption of the budget for K-12 schools [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…Nl1Bn], the first time in 15 years lawmakers have approved this budget early in the session, giving local districts the information they need to adjust their funding needs for the next two years. The legislature has approved more money than was included in the Governor’s budget for schools and we might be able to add more money when the legislature comes into session in 2012.
In addition to work on the state budget, I have been very busy with a number of policy bills (see below). Many of you have asked about immigration issues. None of the bills I introduced this year to crack down on illegal immigration made progress. However, other bills in the Oregon Senate to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrant students and grant drivers’ licenses to people without proper legal status have gained traction. It has been discouraging but I am not ready to give up on efforts to sensibly address illegal immigration in Oregon.
Rep Thatcher Bills of Interest
The integrity of Oregon’s voter registration system rests with the House Rules Committee. Rep Thatcher has proposed amendments to House Bill 2804 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…eEJ0=]which would require people registering to vote in Oregon for the first time to provide identification. This would put in state law the same requirements now in federal law. Please help get this bill adopted by contacting members of the House Rules Committee.
The Oregon House recently approved a bill sponsored by Rep Thatcher to allow Oregon State Parks [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…p4eXm]to seek corporate sponsorships and other private donations. House Bill 2778 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…AUw==]is now waiting for action in the Senate.
A couple of bills to increase citizens access to information about state government programs and budgets have been adopted unanimously by the House and need movement in the Senate. These transparency measures [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…ESA==]include House Bill 2788 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…XFg==]and House Bill 2825 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…e4w==].
House Bill 3204 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…ZDw==], passed by the House this week, closes a loophole in Oregon law for those who are required to register as sex offenders. Under current law if a sex offender moves to another state but still works or goes to college in Oregon they don’t have to register here. This bill requires registration for those individuals.
The legislation to require ignition interlock devices for drunk drivers on diversion is now
in the hands of the legislature’s budget committee. Rep Thatcher would like you to write members of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means urging them to support House Bill 3075. [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…8NA==]
2nd Amendment Rights
A measure which would remove the Oregon State Police as the "middle man" for conducting gun background checks and instead go directly to the federal government was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee. It is now in the hands of the legislature’s budget committee. Not only would the federal government do the checks without a fee but in the long run the state bureaucracy could potentially save millions of dollars. Again, you are urged to contact members of the Joint Ways and Means Committee and encourage them to move House Bill 2791 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…4xA==] as soon as possible.
Three other bills to help Oregon gun owners are now in jeopardy in a senate committee. They include House Bill 2787 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…-1g==], Concealed Handgun License (CHL) privacy, House Bill 2792 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…Kug==], recognizing other states CHLs, and House Bill 2797 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…52A==] to clarify the laws to carry firearms on motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. Senator Doug Whitsett [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…m3A==] wrote a great summary of what’s going on with these bills. Please ask members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to pass these three bills without major changes.
Both of Rep Thatcher’s bills to improve our schools in Oregon are now sitting in the budget committee. House Bill 2280 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1105402982…nJQ==]would enhance the ability to audit school districts similar to the recent follow-up audit on the Willamette Educat