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PERS, tethering, and testing auction houses for meth
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Legislative Update

       April 12, 2013

This Week in Salem:


PERS bill passes in Senate along party lines
GOP says cuts don't go far enough to solve budget crunch
 

A bill to cut public pension benefits passed the Senate along sharply partisan lines Thursday, less than three weeks after being introduced. Senate Bill 822 received entirely Democratic support although much of it was lukewarm.

The bill was approved on a 16-13 vote and will likely head to the House floor next week. Read Statesman Journal article.

PERS bill passage sparks variety of reactions

Press releases flowed out of various groups on Thursday afternoon, all offering reactions to the passage of Senate Bill 822. The bill would cut public pensions to save money for schools and received entirely Democratic support in the 16-13 Senate vote. The following is a sampling of reactions to the billís passage, in the order received.
Read Statesman Journal article.

Public debate begins on driver's license bill

A two-hour debate Thursday on issuing state driverís licenses without proof of legal presence got personal for both sides. Read Statesman Journal article.

Tethering bill clears House, on to Senate

Tying a dog or other animals to an object could soon become illegal in Oregon.

The House passed a bill Wednesday that would restrict tethering for domestic animals, sending the legislation to the Senate. Read Statesman Journal article.

Medford school doesn't recite Pledge of Allegiance, but bill would require it, flag in classroom

The director of a public charter school in Medford has defended the school's practice of not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, saying that it has nothing to do with lack of patriotism.

The Waldorf-based school believes children should understand the pledges they make, before they make them, said Joseph Frodsham, director of the Madrone Trail Public Charter School

Read Oregonian article.

 

A Message from Representative Whitsett

Oregon has a methamphetamine problem. Recent legislative action has helped reduce the incidence of meth manufacturing labs in private residences throughout the state, but the problem of meth contamination of homes still exists. Many of these homes are now in the foreclosure system and the legacy of meth contamination continues on.

A House District 56 constituent, Jonthan Hankins and his wife unknowingly purchased a foreclosed home in Klamath Falls, which had not been tested for meth residue. He, like many homebuyers, never considered that they might be buying a home which would ultimately be unlivable due to previous meth activities. 

The familyís first clue something was wrong was when they and their young child began experiencing strange health problems associated with breathing, allergies, rashes, etc. The neighbors informed them that the home they had purchased and remodeled had been a meth lab previously. Mr. Hankins purchased a $50 kit to detect meth residue and learned that despite extensive remodeling and sanding of the hardwood floors and painting the home, testing still found 38 micrograms of methamphetamine residue, which surpassed Oregonís legal limit of 0.5 micrograms by 80 fold.

House Bill 3499 seeks to establish that auctioned foreclosed homes have a posted notice at the time of auction, alerting prospective buyers that testing has not been undertaken to determine the presence of methamphetamine. In the case of the Hankins' sale, testing could have been performed for meth residue, but how many of us would ever think to test for meth before buying a home? I am requesting that auctioned foreclosed homes that cannot be accessed before sale be posted with a notice.

Best regards,


Representative Gail Whitsett
House District 56
 

Klamath Falls Realtors Visit the Capitol - April 4th

Rep. Whitsett met with Klamath Falls Realtors during Realtor Day at the Capitol
 

Committee Updates

 

Agriculture & Natural Resources


Agendas:
Tuesday 4/9/13 - Thursday 4/11/13

Tuesday's bills:
 
  • HB 2700 - Directs Oregon Business Development Department to develop and implement Beginning and Expanding Farmer Loan Program to assist beginning farmers with acquisition of agricultural land, agricultural improvements and depreciable agricultural property
  • HB 3086 - Provides that private entity that proposes action that affects core habitat of sage grouse shall give State Department of Fish and Wildlife certain report
  • HJM 2 - Urges United States Secretary of the Interior to allow enhanced management of cormorants by State of Oregon
  • HJR 16 - Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution establishing right to hunt, to fish, to trap and to harvest wildlife
Thursday's bills:
  • HB 3358 - Allocates lottery moneys to Water Resources Department for purpose of issuing grants to ensure meeting existing water mitigation obligations in general zone within Deschutes River Basin
  • HJR 25 - Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution prohibiting government imposition of fees or taxes on construction, alteration, abandonment, conversion or operation of water wells
  • HB 2032 - Sets forth requirements for payments for off-site compensatory mitigation to Oregon Removal-Fill Mitigation Fund
  • HB 2025 - Repeals statutes pertaining to defunct Astor experiment station
  • HB 3109 - Requires Director of Oregon Health Authority to report regarding forest fire impacts on public health, fish and wildlife and river habitat to interim committee of Legislative Assembly related to general government matters no later than October 1, 2013
  • HB 2259 - Increases certain fees charged by Water Resources Department
  • HB 2427 - Prohibits raising canola within Willamette Valley
  • HB 3364 - Amends list of state agencies and public universities required to adopt integrated pest management practices
  • HB 3441 - Establishes Oregon Hatchery Research Center Board

Energy & Environment


Agendas:
Tuesday 4/9/13 - Thursday 4/11/13

Tuesday's bills:
 
  • HB 2801 - Authorizes public purpose charge moneys invested on cost-effective local energy conservation that involve updating energy efficiency of nonresidential building to be used for purpose of conducting whole building assessment of energy efficiency of building
  • HB 2893 - Requires Public Utility Commission to establish program under which electric company must agree to purchase from retail electricity consumer electricity generated by solar photovoltaic energy system that is permanently installed by retail electricity consumer
  • HB 2004 - Increases additional moneys to be collected from residential electricity consumers upon Housing and Community Services Department making certain findings related to need for low-income electric bill payment assistance
  • HB 3251 - Provides that person may not operate motor vehicle with gross weight rating greater than 200 pounds or specified all-terrain vehicles in beds or banks of certain waterways
  • HB 2048 - Repeals sunset on architectural paint stewardship program
  • HB 2981 - Allows exception to employment requirements for rural renewable energy development zone exemption from property taxation, and extension of exemption, if provided for in resolution of zone sponsor and business firm makes certain minimum investment in qualified property
  • HB 3337 - Expands state policy relating to ecosystems
  • HB 2807 - Requires State Department of Energy to study certain issues related to energy use
  • HB 3030 - Requires Department of Environmental Quality to establish grant and loan program for certain removal and remedial actions
Thursday's bills:
 
  • HB 3103 - Modifies terms related to oil spills
  • HB 2005 - Requires Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to adopt amendments to state building code establishing mechanical insulation standards applicable to industrial buildings
  • HB 3492 - Creates new definitions for provisions related to reduction of use of toxic substances and reduction of generation of hazardous waste
  • HB 2203 - Prohibits person from constructing electricity transmission line unless person is public utility or person that has entered into contract with public utility, and construction takes place in public utility service area
  • HB 2704 - Directs State Department of Energy to conduct study of issues related to siting and construction of electric transmission lines by certain entities

Human Resources & Housing


Agendas:
Monday 4/8/13 - Wednesday 4/10/13 - Friday 4/12/13

Monday's bills:
  • HB 3301 - Authorizes owner of lot in planned community or unit in condominium to install and use electric vehicle charging station
Wednesday's bills:
 
  • HB 2205 - Requires Department of Human Services to adopt rules to ensure that that investigations of abuse of vulnerable persons are conducted in uniform, objective and thorough manner throughout state
  • HB 2781 - Requires international matchmaking organization doing business in this state to provide criminal history record information and personal history information about client, and basic rights information, to noncitizen, nonresident recruit
  • HB 3032 - Requires Department of Human Services to notify school district, Teacher Standards and Practices Commission and Department of Education of report of alleged abuse occurring at school
  • HB 3219 - Prohibits finding of unfitness, for purpose of terminating parental rights, based solely on emotional illness, mental illness, intellectual or developmental disability or other disability
  • HB 2055 - Extends sunset on changes to temporary assistance for needy families program
  • HB 3440 - Requires Department of Human Services to provide aid necessary to prevent family from qualifying for temporary assistance for needy families program due to temporary loss in earnings
  • HB 3007 - Requires owner of residential facility to offer tenants opportunity to purchase facility before owner offers to sell facility to third party
  • HB 3112 - Exempts from property taxation property of political subdivision used or intended to be used for affordable housing or leased or rented to persons of lower income for housing
  • HB 3244 - Increases age of runaway and homeless youth for whom Department of Human Services must recommend policies for system of services from 18 to 21 years
  • HB 3131 - Requires superintendent of Oregon State Hospital to establish and implement program for continuous employment of health care professionals who specified services
  • HB 3273 - Establishes statewide audio newspaper service for persons who are blind or print-disabled
Friday's bills:
  • HB 2639 - Redefines "source of income" for purposes of prohibiting discrimination in selling, renting or leasing real property
  • HB 2013 - Directs Early Learning Council and Department of Education to assist school districts in implementing process to assess children to determine their readiness for kindergarten
 

COMMITTEES:


- Ag & Natural Resources
- Energy & Environment
- Human Services & Housing
 

Latest Third Readings List
Rep. Whitsett's Record
Bills Passed By the House
Past Newsletter Issues

 

 

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