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Bills already circling capitol

Every few months, all the legislators and lobbyists come back to the Capitol and participate in what is called Legislative Days.We have committee hearings which mostly are informational—we hear from agencies on how they are doing on implementing bills, and sometimes discuss ideas for bills to introduce in the next session.

This week the Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee met. We heard from the state forester on how the department did during the recent fire season. The information was incredible to hear and I am so proud of our forestry department. They did a tremendous job fighting the hundreds of fires scattered across our state. From the report, it looks like the fires were managed well on state and private lands, but the ones on the federal lands were the ones that went crazy.

Some of the other issues being heard in the building this week are:

Carbon cap and trade; the Equifax data breach; moving election dates;  and, gubernatorial appointees.

Oregon is unique in many ways and one important thing we do that not every state does, is allow for citizens to repeal laws that the legislature has already passed, or put in place laws that the legislature refused to deal with. I think it’s indicative of the disconnect of this particular group of legislators that there are already 32 different petitions being circulated this fall. If you would like to see a full list, you can Google the Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project.

A couple of the petitions garnering the most news coverage and speculation are the petition to repeal SB719 (sometimes called the extreme risk protection order), the petition to repeal a recently instituted tax on hospitals and a petition to prevent a sales tax on groceries. There are multiple petitions around vaccinations, getting big money out of elections and school access. If you have a few minutes, it’s fascinating to read about the issues that could be on our ballots in November, 2018.

Switching gears, I don’t know about you, but I am excited every time I drive by the Waremart by Winco building that’s under construction. I can’t wait to have more grocery shopping options in our community. I was honored to host a town hall on the lack of options and had conversations with the Winco team as well as Mayor Cathy Clark—and to the best of my knowledge it may open before the end of the year.

I always enjoy hearing from you, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line (900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97310).

(Bill Post represents House Dis- trict 25. He can be reached at 503- 986-1425 or via email at [email protected])