Senator Boquist: Oregon Legislative Update 3/19

Excerpts from Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist Newsletter:


• They are coming after the Second Amendment on the federal level and in Oregon. Five gun bills are up for debate.

• Ever on the quest for more government control, Senate Democrats rammed through legislation that promises utopian health care coverage. The results of which would degrade the quality of care and take away health care choices for Oregonians.

• When the pandemic began, cannabis sales soared, but sales drops in the second half of 2020 prompting Oregon state economists for the first time in three years to reduce how much they think cannabis sales taxes will generate.

• When the word “equity” is used, it is about creating new power structures that benefit the chosen few. For example, Oregon legislators are looking at HB 3112, the Oregon Cannabis Equity Act. The bill, developed by a coalition of over 80 groups and individuals, calls for using cannabis tax revenues to provide for direct investment in the people and the communities most harmed by cannabis criminalization.” In case anyone forgot, cannabis has been legal in Oregon since 2015 and more recently, “small amounts” of hard drugs like heroin and meth are now legal.

SB 238, in Senate Education sounds a lot like removing school resource officers. HB 2504 looks like a poor replacement for school resource officers by adding further responsibilities to teachers by directing school districts to identify at least one school employee for every 250 students to act as disciplinary mediator. The tax dollars the super majority Democrats say will go to teachers never do. Taxpayer dollars go to PERS.

• Salem-Keizer School District has already gotten rid of school resource officers. In 2019 in Eugene, a parent was shot by a school resource officer after opening fire with a minor present. A child molester was sentenced to 20 years after a girl confided in her school resource officer.

• State Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, has introduced legislation that would change the amount of children that could attend a virtual public charter school. SB 657 would increase the maximum number of students that could attend virtual charter school without needing permission from school districts from three to five percent.

HB 2457-1 (-1 amendment) would raid Covid tax relief for small business passed by the bipartisan CARES Act last year. It does this by disconnecting a small portion of Oregon’s tax code from Federal rules which end up costing small businesses higher tax bills.  It also means millions of new tax revenue for politicians who are witnessing record breaking revenue already in the budget and record breaking Federal assistance