Senator Jason Atkinson: Transparency bill passes Oregon Senate

Senator Jason Atkinson: transparency bill passes Oregon Senate
By Senator Jason Atkinson Press Release

Salem, OR – On Thursday, the Oregon Senate passed a bill that would make the legislative process more transparent. Senate Bill 739 is sponsored by Senator Jason Atkinson (R-Central Point) and will require anyone who testifies on a bill in a public hearing to sign in and will make the list of who testified available immediately online along with the measure’s history.

“For years the Legislature has tried to make the entire political process more transparent,” Atkinson stated in his floor speech. “From requiring candidates to declare who gives money to their campaigns to opening meetings to the public; however, one thing we have missed in our open meetings laws is posting who testifies on a bill before committee.”

Under current law, legislative committee meetings are open to the public and individuals who testify on bills are required to sign in, but the sign-in sheets are not available to the public. SB 739 would require individuals to sign in with their name, position on a measure and what organization, if any, they represent. Using an iPad or similar device, those lists could be instantly available online. Sen. Atkinson said in his floor speech he believes a number of Oregonians will be surprised at how little testimony some bills receive, as well as who testifies for or against certain pieces of legislation.

“We all campaigned on transparency and accountability, this measure will help us fulfill those promises,” said Atkinson. “This is a good bill to show the Oregon people how the legislative process works.”

SB 739 passed the Senate on a 29-0 vote and now goes to the House for approval.

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  • Lonn C Sweeney

    I certainly do not have a problem with this bill. It’s a step in the right direction. For real transparency and accountability lets have the list of who is slipping into whose legislative office and working what backroom deal, or adding a last minute admendment that no one seems to know about untill the committee starts to take testimony. Lets have a list of the deals cut between legislators before a hearing takes place. Lets make the committee chairpersons who refuse to hold a hearing on a bill, publicly and in writing respond to why they refuse. Transparency for a no hearing is just as important as transparecny for a hearing held. Lets also have some transparency and accountability for “Gut and Stuff” legislaton. Or a transparency and accountability for legislator who refuse to respond to polite inquiries from citizens. I’m with you all the way Senator Atkinson. Lets move the process out into the light

    • wnd

      Hey, hasn’t Ason Jatkinson been previously perceived as a RINO in deft clothing?

      Yes, transparency carries sound ring it, yet this doorbell buzzer’s route must be taken as a whatinthehellkins route he’s peddling!

    • wnd

      Hey, hasn’t Ason Jatkinson been previously perceived as a RINO in deft clothing?

      Yes, transparency carries sound ring it, yet this doorbell buzzer’s route must be taken as a whatinthehellkins route he’s peddling!

      • Bedlamnist

        brindy deenkins mooby wib?

        • wnd

          know, effyoukinsrademsnitscdalawag

          • bedlamnist

            quinky dox riggle!

  • no fan of rinos

    Jason should stick his head in a transparent plastic bag.

    • Wolf Creek Ron

      Jason is my State Senator and a fellow Republican. I am what you call a full conservative, socially and fiscally. He and I are not pals. I have met him many times and heard him speak on many occasions. Even the best occasionally come up with what I call bonehead ideas. I am in total disagreement with him on his plastic bag ban idea. He has had a couple of other ideas or positions over the years that I opposed. However, that does not make him a RINO because he won’t do what I want. In this case, this is a great piece of legislation. This is pretty much typical of his work over the years. I appreciate your interest. We should keep a watch on every single elected office holder to see what they are bringing forward. We should let them know when we disagree and we should also let them know when we think they have done something good.

      Ron Glynn
      Member of the Josephine County Republican Central Committee

  • bill

    AG John Kroger issues press release after press release saying that he wants more transparency for state government. I would call him on that. I asked for a copy of all of the 2008 emails that named me personally on two computers in the govenor’s office, Tim Hibbits’ computer and Chip Terhune’s. The governor’s office replied that after they had conducted a search of those two computers I would have to pay for 500 pages to be copied. I agreed. They then had the AG look at those emails before they handed them over. After the AG saw what was in them, they agreed to give me a mere five pages out of the 500. They decided the rest were privileged.

    Privileged? What legal advice about me could the AG have given two former union officials who were working for the governor as chief of staff and deputy chief of staff? It is likely those emails would have shown the extent to which Tim Nesbitt was running the union efforts against measures I had on the 2008 ballot and that he was illegally doing so out of the governor’s office. Privilege was just a way for John Kroger to help them hide their misdeeds.

    John Kroger wants transparency when he wants transparency and when transparency benefits him and his friends. The rest of the time, he hides behind a veil of secrecy and make-believe privilege just like every other politician who has things to hide.

  • bill

    AG John Kroger issues press release after press release saying that he wants more transparency for state government. I would call him on that. I asked for a copy of all of the 2008 emails that named me personally on two computers in the govenor’s office, Tim Hibbits’ computer and Chip Terhune’s. The governor’s office replied that after they had conducted a search of those two computers I would have to pay for 500 pages to be copied. I agreed. They then had the AG look at those emails before they handed them over. After the AG saw what was in them, they agreed to give me a mere five pages out of the 500. They decided the rest were privileged.

    Privileged? What legal advice about me could the AG have given two former union officials who were working for the governor as chief of staff and deputy chief of staff? It is likely those emails would have shown the extent to which Tim Nesbitt was running the union efforts against measures I had on the 2008 ballot and that he was illegally doing so out of the governor’s office. Privilege was just a way for John Kroger to help them hide their misdeeds.

    John Kroger wants transparency when he wants transparency and when transparency benefits him and his friends. The rest of the time, he hides behind a veil of secrecy and make-believe privilege just like every other politician who has things to hide.

  • Joe

    I sure hope it passes. We need to know what is going on in Salem. Much of what happens now is shrouded in secrecy for a bunch of phony reasons. These people are afraid of the truth.
    Afraid, do you hear me?

  • Ron Swaren

    “Foreign principals” and their agents are barred from lobbying of our US Congress unless they are properly registered in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act or the Lobbying Disclosure act. Yet they still organize grass roots campaigns comprised of huge numbers of non-citizens and non-LPRs….i.e. non-constituents ….to influence our own Congress. I am not sure if the FARA law would apply in state legislatures, but at this level we still have a lot of grass roots, foreign principal lobbying going on. I believe we should let the Legislators know that foreign citizens with no lawful presence in the US are coming before them to influence them on the peoples’ legislative business.

    If I speak before a state committee at the legislature I always let them know that I am indeed a constituent of the state of Oregon. When I speak to a commission, board, or committee in another state I let them know that I am not one of their constituents, but thank them for the opportunity to give my opinion as an outsider.

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