Oregon GOP priorities for 2008 Session

Press release from OR House Republicans 11-8-2007:


Priority: Provide 24-hour Oregon State Police Coverage

Action: Add troopers to provide 24-hour coverage on Oregon’s highways by appropriating additional funding to OSP’s Patrol Division.

Why now? Oregonians throughout our state deserve State Police protection, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sound familiar? In 2007 Republicans introduced HB 3535 to provide dedicated General Fund dollars to the Oregon State Police, at levels to secure 24/7 coverage. The Democrats did not pass our plan, and approved an OSP budget that failed to provide enough Troopers for 24/7 coverage.

Priority: Hold State Government Accountable for Spending and Waste

Action: Create a new office within the Legislature to audit the performance and fiscal responsibility of state government.

Why now? Oregonians deserve accountability for the record state spending passed in the 2007-09 budget, as well as state spending in the future.

Sound familiar? The nonpartisan Public Commission on the Legislature recommended creating an audit office to improve oversight. During the 2007 session Republicans introduced HB 2550 to implement this recommendation. Democrats wouldn’t give the bill a hearing.

Priority: Secure Oregon Driver’s Licenses and ID Documents

Action: Require valid documentation that an individual is in Oregon legally before issuing a drivers license. If the applicant is in the U.S. with a temporary permit, the license would expire when his/her legal documentation expires.

Why now? Oregon must take steps to secure our drivers licenses and comply with federal law.

Sound familiar? During the 2007 session, Republicans worked to pass legislation in both chambers to secure driver’s licenses and identification documents. Democrats failed to support this legislation, and recently tried to punt the problem to the Governor.

Priority: Protect Oregon Project Independence for Senior Citizens

Action: Restore General Fund dollars that was cut from the 2007-09 Governor’s Recommended Budget to OPI, which allows seniors to receive care in their own homes.

Why now? Without additional funding, the OPI Fund could be insolvent in 2009-11.

Sound familiar? Throughout 2007, Republicans fought to direct General Fund dollars to OPI. Democrats did not join us, and the current 2007-09 budget includes no General Fund dollars for this vital program.

Priority: Train Oregon’s Teachers for Excellence

Action: Create a statewide network to deliver effective professional development programs for educators and set quality standards.

Why now? Oregon’s kids deserve excellent teachers, and every second counts. 2009 is too long to wait.

Sound familiar? Republicans have consistently supported The Chalkboard Project’s legislation, including HB 2614 to improve teacher training. Despite bipartisan support, Democrat leadership killed the bill in the Ways and Means Committee.

Priority: Expand Water Resources for Eastern Oregon Agriculture

Action: Pass legislation to make more Columbia River water available for Eastern Oregon agriculture and groundwater replenishment.

Why now? Eastern Oregon’s economy needs help now. One estimate suggests that additional water would allow farmers to harvest 100,000 additional acres, creating as many as 7,300 new jobs and pumping $220 million into this struggling economy.

Sound familiar? Republicans supported bipartisan legislation to allow Eastern Oregon to get its lawful share of Columbia River water. HB 3525 passed the House, but died in the Senate after the Governor threatened a veto.

Priority: Reform Oregon’s Land Use Laws, Restore the “˜Big Look’

Action: Restore Democrat cuts to the bipartisan Land Use Task Force, also known as the “Big Look Commission.”

Why now? Recent elections have demonstrated that Oregonians are not happy with Oregon’s land use laws. We need to restore the Big Look commission to bring our outdated system into the 21st Century.

Sound familiar? Republicans have consistently called for the commission’s restoration. The Democrats shut down the commission on the irresponsible logic that it would divert attention from Measure 49.

Priority: Protect Oregonians From Predatory Scams

Action: Pass legislation to protect Oregonians from those who prey on homes facing foreclosure.

Why now? As foreclosures increase, and predatory companies are looking for victims, the Legislature should not wait until 2009 to pass this common sense protection.