From the Capitol
By BILL POST
I often use this space to bring to you information about the legislature and the process that goes on in that body. What is not spoken of very often in Oregon is what legislators do when we are not in legislative session. Considering we only meet for approximately six months in the odd numbered years and 35 days or so in the even numbered years, we truly are a “part time” legislature with “citizen” legislators.
Many legislators are retired professionals; others are doctors, police officers, teachers and many are attorneys who can return to their practices during the interim period. For those of us who work another job, it’s a time to go back to our places of employment. I’ve met many people in House District 25 that actually didn’t know this about our legislature. In my case, I am a lifelong radio/TV broadcaster and I have returned to that in a limited fashion. I do voiceover work, write commercials and other broadcasting related tasks. Still, even though we each go back to our regular jobs, retirement, law practices, we are legislators.
Though we are part time legislators, most of us treat it as a full time job. Summer is the one time when many legislators take a break and enjoy time with family and friends and try to stay out of the political arena and take a breather. And I think that’s a good thing for Oregonians. We do answer phone messages, emails and letters to our offices and for those of us in the House, this interim is devoted to campaigns (the senators are elected to four-year terms, the representatives to two-year terms). As for what I do during the interim, as stated, I do a lot of media related jobs and campaign for reelection, help others in their campaigns yet still find time to write potential legislation for the next full session which comes in January 2019.
I meet constituents both in district and in my office at the Capitol. I go on many tours around the state to see what issues are important to Oregon and more specifically, House District 25. I utilize our Legislative Counsel, who are the attorneys who work for the legislature, by asking them for opinions on various topics. Just recently in Keizer, we had the issue of the shooting range across the river in Polk County that is affecting residents on the Keizer side of the river. I attended a meeting in Polk County as well as wrote letters to the owners of the property, the Polk and Marion County Commissioners and the Polk and Marion County Sheriffs. I used opinions from Legislative Counsel to help me with that. During the interim I also spent time studying the pressing issues of Oregon and in my case, the issues that affect this district the most: agriculture. I intend to again submit legislation to assist and protect our valuable farms and dairies in District 25. I will have more news on those as we move toward January.
All in all, though it’s a part time job being a legislator, as you can see the job never ends when the gavel falls. As always, I am honored and privileged to serve you as your State Representative in Keizer, St. Paul and Newberg and thank you for the opportunity.
(Bill Post represents House Dis- trict 25. He can be reached at 503- 986-1425 or via email at rep. bil- [email protected] oregonlegislature.gov.)