Republican Special Session priorities advance

From House Republican Office 12/14/2007:

Ways and Means Co-Chairs to Consider Funding Requests for February Special Session

SALEM”” House and Senate Republicans today submitted formal funding proposals to the Joint Ways and Means Committee for the February special session. Republicans called on the committee to fund 24/7 Oregon State Police coverage, sustain Oregon Project Independence for senior citizens, and restore the “Big Look” Commission to update Oregon’s land use system.

House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) and Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) submitted the proposals via a joint letter to the Ways and Means Co-Chairs. Last week, the Co-Chairs invited legislators to submit written funding requests for consideration in February.

“Oregonians are expecting the Legislature to take action on the issues they care about,” said Sen. Ferrioli. “There is no reason we can’t provide the resources needed to help seniors and keep Oregonians safe and secure.”

In their letter to the Co-Chairs, the Republicans note that these issues are priorities for Oregonians. The letter adds, “These priorities must be addressed during the February Session given their critical importance to public safety, seniors’ health care, and our state’s outdated land use system.”

Both leaders said funding should not come from the 2007-09 ending fund balance, as some Democrats have proposed, but from identifying waste and mismanagement in current spending.

“Rather than directing money away from our reserve funds, we should establish and utilize a Legislative Audit Office to increase accountability and find real savings in our budget,” Rep. Hanna said.

Progress on House and Senate Republican Priorities
As of December 13, 2007

Republican Priority

Provide 24-hour Oregon State Police Coverage
– Republicans have submitted funding a request to Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Hold State Government Accountable for Spending and Waste
– Sen. Larry George has submitted a legislative concept to create the Legislative Audit Office.

Secure Oregon Driver’s Licenses and ID Documents
– Legislative concepts are being drafted in both the House and Senate.

Protect Oregon Project Independence for Senior Citizens
– Republicans have submitted a funding request to Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Train Oregon’s Teachers for Excellence
– Sen. Ted Ferrioli has submitted a legislative concept to provide professional development programs to teachers.

Expand Water Resources for Eastern Oregon Agriculture
– Sen. Dave Nelson has submitted a legislative concept addressing water storage issues in Eastern Oregon.

Reform Oregon’s Land Use Laws, Restore the “˜Big Look’
– Republicans have submitted a funding request to Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Protect Oregonians from Predatory Scams
– The House Consumer Protection Committee has submitted a legislative concept to address predatory foreclosure scams.

*Under Speaker Jeff Merkley’s session guidelines, no Representative is allowed to individually introduce legislation.