Rep. Cameron on budget, immigration reform and pregnant pigs.


Below is a press release from Rep. Cameron:

Let’s compare additional funding to other proposed budgets on an estimated per citizen breakdown (population of approximately 3.5 million).

The Department of State Police
—– Total: $93.43 per citizen
—– Patrol Division: $31.8 per citizen
—– Additional 39 Troopers: $1.17 per citizen
Corrections: $384.50 per citizen
Dept. of Education K-12: $2,571.40 per citizen
Dept. Health & Human Services: $2,857.71 per citizen
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Oregon State Police Budget
This week the House debated and passed the budget for the Department of State Police. There are many aspects to this budget

I heard this budget in the Public Safety Ways and Means committee and supported it with the caveat that if additional revenues became available that we would expand the trooper division to achieve the 139 troopers that has been deemed necessary in order to reach 24/7 coverage on our state highways. I think that this past Memorial Day week-end being labeled Oregon’s most deadly in twenty years shows the clear need for adequate coverage on our state highways, not to mention the meth and drugs being imported into our state in an increasing capacity. With the increased revenue forecast of $180.3 million above the March forecast, I wrote a letter to the Co-Chairs urging them to approve the amendment to this budget which would provide $4,137.625 to hire 39 additional troopers. With over $2.5 billion in new revenue for the 2007-09 budget, the additional troopers would represent less than 3/100ths of a percent of the overall budget. Rep. Hanna proposed an amendment to add the additional troopers in the full Committee on Ways and Means, and was rejected on a party line vote.

Let’s compare additional funding to other proposed budgets on an estimated per citizen breakdown (population of approximately 3.5 million).

The Department of State Police
Total: $93.43 per citizen
Patrol Division: $31.8 per citizen
Additional 39 Troopers: $1.17 per citizen
Corrections: $384.50 per citizen
Department of Education K-12: $2,571.40 per citizen
Department of Health and Human Services: $2,857.71 per citizen

It is clear to me that public safety is not a priority reflected in this budget.

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Other Important Issues Debated
“The Pig Bill”

I had the opportunity to spend over an hour last week listening to testimony for the humane treatment of pregnant pigs. We heard testimony from a variety of experts about a type of pig farming that is particularly harmful. I’m all for the humane treatment of animals. I asked the question, “Where in Oregon is this taking place?” The answer I received was that it is not taking place in this state. Which begs the question – Are we creating a solution looking for a problem? Interesting.

We are in the final stages of legislative session and things are moving quickly. Many good bills die for lack of time to be heard in committee. Why we spent such a large amount of time listening to testimony on a problem that doesn’t exist in this state is confusing at best. Especially in light of the fact that later that same hearing we spent less than ten minutes discussing internet predators.

I guess I’m still too practical for this process.

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Common Sense Immigration Reform Stalled…Then Moves

House Republicans attempted to bring some key immigration reform bills to the House Floor for a vote earlier this week. The motion failed on party lines. HB 3553 and HB 3554 would have done the following;

– Require proof of citizenship for voter registration.
– Require proof of legal presence for Oregon driver’s licenses, permits, and ID cards, and require ODOT to report those who attempt to obtain these documents through fraudulent means.
– Require proof of legal presence for state benefits, and allow state agency employees to report those who can’t provide valid proof of legal presence to federal immigration authorities.
– Directs ODOT to issue temporary drivers licenses to those who are legally present on a temporary basis.
– Prohibit state agencies and businesses under state contracts from hiring illegal immigrants.
– Establish tough sentencing laws for human trafficking activities
– Allow Oregon district attorneys to transfer illegal immigrants convicted of additional crimes to federal immigration authorities.

Apparently, this attempt did bring attention to immigration issues. Two days later, the majority party made a motion to withdraw HB 2827 from the Committee on Ways and Means for a floor vote. HB 2827 implements the Real ID Act to secure the validity of Oregon driver’s licenses with a provision which enables ODOT to file for an extension in order to comply with the federal ID Act. While it’s unusual for the majority party to use such tactics, since they are, after all, in the majority, good policy may be the result that benefits all Oregonians. The bill passed 44-16 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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  • anonymous

    Didn’t I see Diane Rosenbaum quoted in the Oregonian a while back saying that the English Language bill wouldn’t get a hearing because they didn’t have time to waste on a solution looking for a problem?