House GOP launches Back-to-Basics agenda

House Republicans Launch ‘Back to Basics’ Vision for Oregon’s Future
By Oregon House Republican Caucus,

SALEM, Ore. – As the 2024 short session begins, House Republicans launched Back to Basics, the caucus’ vision for the policy needed to lead Oregon into a brighter future. This plan focuses on the issues that matter most to Oregonians: Affordable housing; clean and safe streets; an end to the drug crisis; and a prosperous economy.


“Oregon today is almost unrecognizable from the Oregon I once knew because our state has become a Petri dish for extreme policies. We see the results on the streets with the drugs, crime, and homelessness. We feel it in our wallets as ever-rising prices put the American dream of home ownership further out of reach. The status quo is unsustainable.


“It is time to end this radical leftwing experiment and get back to the basics. We can find a bipartisan path forward if we can put polarizing politics aside and focus on the real issues that matter most. The time for talk and task forces is over. Now is the time to act,” said House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River).


Housing and Homelessness


It’s too expensive to build in Oregon. That’s due to over-regulation. As a result, people cannot afford to buy or build new homes. Rising rents and inflation make it even harder to save. In the worst cases, some end up homeless.


Policy rooted in pragmatism – not virtue signaling – can give Oregon more affordable options:


HB 4048 by Rep. Jeff Helfrich: This bill takes a common-sense approach to ease over-regulation and responsibly expand the urban growth boundary. This bill puts affordable roofs above the heads of Oregon families while maintaining what makes our state special.


HB 4134 by Rep. Lucetta Elmer: This bill requires the Department of Administrative Services to provide grants for infrastructure that directly benefit housing developments that will make at least 30 percent of its units affordable for working families.


Ending the Drug Crisis


Measure 110 opened the floodgates to access to deadly drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and meth. Now Oregon leads the nation in increases in opioid overdose deaths. There is nothing compassionate about enabling addiction. We must get the drugs off of the streets, the addicts into treatment care, and the dealers behind bars.


House Republicans have introduced the following bills aimed at ending the Oregon drug crisis:


HB 4036 by Rep. Rick Lewis: This is a comprehensive bill to overhaul Measure 110 by restoring criminal accountability, mandates treatment for addicts arrested for drug crimes, banning the public use of drugs, and reforming the system so that treatment dollars effectively reach county-level addiction recovery entities.


HB 4062 by Rep. Tracy Cramer: Restores criminal justice accountability for those who possess, deal and manufacture deadly drugs poisoning Oregonians.


HB 4150 by Rep. Mark Owens: Improves the ability for doctors and health agencies to share overdose information to save lives.


More Prosperous Economy


Over-regulation and taxes make it harder and more expensive to do business in Oregon. House Republicans want to open the door to opportunity so that working families can thrive.


HB 4050 by Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis – The bill removes an exception to the state law concerning pay equity requirements so that businesses can have the flexibility they need to acquire talent and pay high-performing employees what they’re worth.


HB 4055 by Rep. Christine Goodwin – This bill raises the exemption and filing thresholds for the Corporate Activity Tax so that small businesses can have the room they need to grow and hire more workers.


HB 4111 by Rep. Warner Reschke – The bill makes all farm machinery tax exempt so that rural Oregonians can better maintain their businesses and our food supply.


HB 4038 by Rep. Boomer Wright – The bill would give a credit against taxes to employers whose rate for 2025 is less than their rate for the year before.


Safety for Oregon Families


Oregonians deserve to feel safe where they live, work, shop, and play. While HB 4036 addresses Measure 110’s failures and the crimes that arose as a result, House Republicans are also focused on protecting vulnerable children from threats posed by the internet.


HB 4142 by Rep. Court Boice – The bill restricts pretrial release for persons who commit a new felony sex crime while on pretrial release for a felony sex crime.


HB 4156 by Rep. Kevin Mannix – The bill protects victims from electronic stalking.


HB 4073 by Rep. Emily McIntire – Gives more money to the Department of Justice to fund workers for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.