Sen. Boquist: Measure 113 update, more

By Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist
Highlights, excerpts from Sen. Boquist newsletter

— Last year marked the longest denial of quorum in Oregon history when some Senate Republicans and Independents halted the legislative process. The reason? HB 2002; a direct attack on parental rights and the family. As originally written, it allowed a child of any age, without parental knowledge, to receive an abortion and minors at just 15-years-old could have irreversible sex-changing treatments and procedures. It decriminalized the concealment of the death of a newborn child. The denial of quorum ultimately ended anticlimactically with the return of some senators, claiming to have “fixed” the bill, but only time will tell on that.


— A few days ago, the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the First Amendment doesn’t protect these senators from the consequences of denying quorum. This ruling impacts the entire judicial system. Who do they really work for? The people or the party who has been in control for decades? The answer seems to be the latter.


— As Senator Boquist said in May 2023, “Better to stand up for freedom and liberty as we count to ten, than be ashamed the rest of our short lives.”


— Quorum rules protect the minority from the rule of the majority. When a state like Oregon has been under the constant corrupt control of one party for decades, the minority party has the constitutional right to deny quorum or stop the legislature from convening due to not having enough people present, to prevent bad bills from passing. Denying quorum is one tool out of many that the minority parties have used to delay or stop bad bills in state history. In fact, Oregon Democrats have used this tool too. But it wasn’t a problem then…


—The walkout in 2023 was different than in previous years because of the passage of Ballot Measure 113, which “added language to the Oregon Constitution preventing any lawmaker from running for reelection if they have 10 or more unexcused absences in a single legislative session,” as reported by OPB.


— With Measure 113, it’s clear the Democrats’ intent was to scare minority legislators away from denying quorum – especially as the tactic has been successful in squashing or delaying their special interest bills in the past – by threatening their seats.


–The same OPB article continued, “Measure 113 places too much power in the hands of the Senate president and House speaker, the two legislative leaders — currently Democrats — who decide whether absences are marked excused or unexcused.”


— The excused vs unexcused absences based on the arbitrary feelings of the Senate President are played out in real time with direct attacks on religious liberty and medical exemptions largely ignored. Political beliefs are on a spectrum as the state saw with the vote to recriminalize hard drugs (more below), and while some Oregonians who align with the “blue” side may not see an issue with the totalitarian control of one party, their party, those who are “blue,” “red,” or anything else in between and are more “forward thinking” could see how one person dictating the rights of other legislators could spell trouble. And it turns out it did.

— There are now multiple Oregon Senators who cannot run for reelection anymore.


— Additionally, the legislature voted to recriminalize hard drugs once again. From OregonLive: “In a bipartisan vote, the Oregon Senate on Friday easily approved a bill making possession of small amounts of hard drugs a misdemeanor crime again, signaling the end of the state’s first-in-the-nation experiment with drug decriminalization. The bill passed the Senate 21-8, with five liberal Portland and Eugene Democrats, mostly lawmakers of color, and three conservative or libertarian members voting no.”


— There were a couple “no” votes on the measure from hard left legislators and some conservatives and libertarians. It’s interesting… at a certain point, sometimes the “extremes” come together and agree that something isn’t right! Remember, Measure 110 was bought and paid for by out of state money.


VIDEO: 5 years old now, but the Oregonian produced a video called, “How corporate cash corrupted one of the greenest states in America.”


— On Oregon wildfire fund allocation by Oregon Capital Chronicle: “The federal government has allocated $38 million in wildfire funding to three areas of high risk in Oregon. The money, drawn from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help pay for wildfire prevention projects in central Oregon, the Klamath River Basin and around Mount Hood. The three regions are among 21 “priority landscapes” across the West made up of a mix of tribal, state, federal and private land that the U.S. Forest Service considers faces a high risk for wildfires. The areas include vulnerable communities and critical infrastructure.”


— Anti-Israel protesters block airport traffic (again) as reported by Oregon Catalyst


— From Oregon Live: Medford hospital nurse allegedly replaced prescribed fentanyl with tap water, killing 5-year-old male patient, $11.5 million suit alleges.

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