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IN THIS ISSUE
Rep Thatcher Bills Passed
House Dist 25 New Map
Other Laws of Interest
Thoughts for Thatcher
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Rep Thatcher hosts Town Halls
Tuesday July 12th
Public Safety Building
401 East 3rd Street
Wednesday July 13th
Keizer Fire Station
661 Chemawa Road
You Can Make a Difference in the Oregon Legislature [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…jqxo=] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now that the 2011 Legislative Session is over, many of you are wondering what happened. What laws did legislators pass to make our state a better place for families and businesses? Thousands of bills were introduced, hundreds were adopted. Below there is information about the handful of measures I sponsored that were approved and another list of policy changes that might interest you.
Overall this session was all about compromise. With 30 Republican and 30 Democrat members in the House we used a system of co-governance with two committee chairs and even two speakers representing the different parties. I believe this prevented a lot of bad legislation from passing that would have further harmed Oregon’s economy.
The recession prompted legislative leaders and the governor to approach the state budget by spending within our means using available revenue rather than budgeting to a wish list and being pressured to raise taxes. This was my first session serving on the budget committee and I learned how challenging it can be to manage funding for state services.
I’m proud that we were able to fund K-12 schools first giving them a little more money than the last state budget. We also exercised fiscal responsiblity by setting aside $460 million in a reserve fund so we can supplement critical state services if the economy doesn’t pick up by next year.
While I am glad we were able to produce some positive reforms in state government, I’m dissappointed that several issues were left behind. These include sensible reforms to the retirement and health benefits system for state workers, cracking down on illegal immigration, requiring idenification for voter registration, supporting 2nd Amdendment rights, regulating protests at funerals, and changing state policies which discourage job growth in Oregon.
I will continue to work on these topics and many others. I was recently appointed to serve on a new committee to work on policy matters [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…G8ocf]for the February 2012 legislative session and I encourage your input. You can send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com..]
Rep Thatcher Bills Adopted by Legislature
House Bill 3075 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…V7A==]requires first time DUII offenders to install ignition interlock devices on their cars as part of their diversion agreement. This legislation would have raised the court fees paid by offenders by $25 to help cover the cost of installing the devices for indigent people. Another bill was also adopted increasing the fee by $125.
House Bill 3204 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…j3Q==]makes sure certain sex offenders who live out of state but work or
attend school in Oregon are included in the Oregon sex offender registry. The new law also modifies which county and which agency an offender must register.
House Bill 2825 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…tbQ==] enhances the Oregon Transparency website,
www.oregon.gov/transparency [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…KVjBg], by posting reports of economic development tax incentives and information about whether the projects receiving tax breaks are meeting expectations. Pictured above is the signing ceremony with Governor Kitzhaber, including Senator Larry George, Representative Thatcher, and Representative Phil Barnhart.
House Bill 2788 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…pNA==]also expands the Transparency website by adding information about the State Treasurer’s Office and a place for the public to find out about meetings for state agencies, boards and commissions.
2nd Amendment Rights
House Bill 2792 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…zEg==] clarifies Oregon laws governing how you can carry a firearm on a motorcycle, ATV or snowmobile. First it says if you have a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) you can legally carry a loaded firearm concealed or openly on any of these vehicles. It also specifies the conditions for how you can carry if you don’t have a CHL. The firearm can either be in a locked container or be equipped with a trigger lock of some sort. Or you can carry openly. For an ATV or snowmobile you can carry openly if there is no round in the chamber or aligned with the hammer in the case of a revolver. This measure included provisions which prohibited some felons from having their gun rights restored by the courts.
House Bill 2280 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…zUw==]improves the ability of the Secretary of State’s Audit’s Division and the Oregon Department of Education to audit school distircts and Education Service Districts using performance or financial audits.
House Bill 2770 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…FDg==] takes the first step toward establishing a Business Ombudsman for Oregon to help companies navigate the state’s rules and regulations.
A "Few" of the Other New Laws
Adopted by 2011 Legislature
* Oregon Wineries received a boost from a new Wine Country license plate which will be used to promote tourism and the wine industry (Senate Bill 442 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…Z2w==]). Other bills (House Bill 3280 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…uAQ==] and Senate Bill 960 [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ms4r6efab&et=1106453161…J7g==]) will make land use laws more flexible for some wineries.
* The Enterprise Zone program was extended until 2025 allowing communities to offer property tax incentives to businesses that want to locate, expand and create jobs (House Bill 30