Representative Kim Thatcher: Preview of Special Session

Some of the Issues for the February Special Session
By State Representative Kim Thatcher,

Annual Sessions: a proposed ballot measure which would allow the legislature to meet every year instead of every two years. Senate Joint Resolution 41

Unemployment: a plan is in the works to extend unemployment benefits for Oregonians who have run out. Another would allow up to $2400 of benefits to be tax exempt. Senate Bill 1034

Ethics: an attempt to stop the revolving door of legislators accepting jobs in state government. Instead they would have to wait until after the next regular legislative session is over. House Bill 3638

Water: look for attempts to require permits and limit the amount of water allowed from new exempt wells in areas where groundwater is limited and to add additional bodies of water designated as navigable.

Early Release: for over 4000 inmates is now possible but there might be efforts to reduce the number who are eligible for the program. Senate Bill 1007 (the new release law should be repealed)

Renewable Energy: tax credits would be established for woody biomass. House Bill 3608

Sobriety Checkpoints: would be allowed to stop DUII offenders. Senate Bill 1018

Health Insurance: premiums should be deductable off your federal taxes. House Bill 3611

Oil Drilling: leasing for oil and gas exploration would be prohibited. House Bill 3613

Budget Reserve Fund: made up of agency reserves. Senate Joint Resolution 49, House Bill 3636

Human Trafficking: information would be included in OLCC liquor license renewal packets. House Bill 3623

Kicker Refunds: modifies the current tax surplus law. Senate Joint Resolution 45

Health Care: for all Oregonians would be a right. House Joint Resolution 100

Religious Clothing: repeals ban on teachers’ ability to wear religious garb in classroom.

Spending Limit: on state government expenditures based on inflation and population. House Bill 3641

State Agencies: would have to downsize functions and evaluate programs. Senate Bill 1035

BETC: implement new limits on the Business Energy Tax Credit program.