What’s Up in Salem? How Can We Help?

As those who follow statewide political events will know, the work of our state legislature has been halted by Republicans who have refused for several weeks to attend the Senate chamber and do the job for which they were elected. As a result of last year’s Ballot Measure 113 penalizing legislators with ten or more unexcused absences, many of them will be unable to serve another term. Meanwhile, they are preventing hundreds of bills, including reasonable climate, transportation, social, and energy bills from achieving a vote.

In response to this anti-democratic behavior, the majority party has compiled important bills into packages. We have seen the Climate Package (House Bill 3409) and anticipate a Transportation Package and a Drought Package.

The legislature will either convene for a vote on the budget before its term ends or members will be called back for one or more Special Sessions to complete the necessary business that these Senators have thwarted (notably that budget). The Oregon Climate and Equity Network is encouraging concerned voters to contact Leadership and urge them to make sure that these packages, especially HB3409 are scheduled for a vote at such time as there is a quorum in the Senate.

To encourage this action, please contact House Speaker Rayfield, Senate President Wagner, and Governor Kotek urging them to ensure that this legislation is scheduled for a vote at such times as there is a quorum.

Speaker Rayfield:  Rep.DanRayfield@oregonlegislature.gov
900 Court St. NE, H-271, Salem, Oregon 97301; 541-740-7744

President Wagner: Sen.RobWagner@oregonlegislature.gov
900 Court St. NE, S-201, Salem, Oregon 97301; 503-986-1600

Governor Kotek: via website https://www.oregon.gov/gov/pages/contact-us.aspx
900 Court Street, Suite 254, Salem, OR 97301-4047; 503-378-3111

It is worth noting that, in the absence of legislation, Oregon will not have programs in place that make our state eligible to apply for billions of dollars of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act funds, many of which would be earmarked for rural Oregon.

Any questions, contact Alan (alan@socan.eco)

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