Rep. Kim Thatcher offers 2008 Session bill list

Press release from Representative Kim Thatcher:

Rep Kim Thatcher Gets Items Approved for
2008 Session To-Do List

Government Accountability & Volcanoes Win,
Immigration Reform Loses

(Salem) On the final list of bills approved today for the Special Legislative Session in February 2008 were requests by State Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, Newberg, St. Paul). “We need to limit the Session to pressing issues and I’m hopeful Legislative leaders can do that,” said Thatcher. She asked for more accountability in state agencies, immigration reform and special recognition for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball team. This morning the House Elections, Ethics and Rules Committee approved two of those requests.

As a member of the House Government Accountability and Information Technology Committee (GAIT), Thatcher asked her colleagues to resubmit Senate Bill 1039 for the 2008 Session. In a letter she wrote to the Committee last month, Thatcher said, “the GAIT Committee should recommend some kind of legislation for better oversight of state agencies, including a higher quantity and quality of performance audits.” SB 1039 was vetoed by Governor Kulongoski last summer. The Rules Committee agreed with the GAIT Committee to send a revised version of SB 1039 to lawmakers in February.

The Volcanoes were recently named “National Team of the Year” by Minor League out of 184 eligible teams. Thatcher sent a note to House Speaker Jeff Merkley this week asking for special recognition for the Volcanoes who were Northwest League Champions the past two seasons. “The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes stand alone”¦as a state should be very proud of this team,” wrote Thatcher. “A House Joint Resolution in their honor would be very appropriate and timely.” The Rules Committee approved the resolution for the February Session.

Representative Thatcher was disappointed that once again the Rules Committee ignored immigration reform as an issue for the upcoming Legislative Session. Thatcher, who is a member of the Committee, wanted to require proof of citizenship for voter registration. In a letter to the Committee, Thatcher explained, “there has been a lot of recent discussion by legislators to ensure people who are issued drivers’ licenses in Oregon are in the country legally, and driving is a privilege. Voting is a constitutional right granted only to citizens, yet we are making no effort to provide proper screening for that process.”

With a crucial election year ahead it’s important to protect the integrity of Oregon’s elections system. 53 laws dealing with proof of citizenship and voter registration have been proposed in
23 other states this year according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. During the 2007 Legislative Session, Thatcher was a Chief Co-Sponsor of two similar measures. (House Bill 2680 and House Bill 3554)