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March 19, 2014     The Sun Paper
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March 19, 2014
 

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2 The Sun, Wednesday, March 19, 2014 / In Other Words The 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly has now adj oumed- the second time our legislators have met for a regular "short session." So how did it go? That depends on whom you ask. The Democrats claim it went well while the Republications complain the legislative session was not used the way voters had in- tended when they approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2010 switching from bi-annual to annual sessions. Between the opening of the session at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 3 to its adjournment at 5 p.m. on March 7 somewhere around 262 measures (bills, resolutions, memorials) MaroueriteAlexander were introduced. Many of them never made it out of committee before adjourn- ment. Others passed one house but not the other. A total of 49 bills were enacted during the 2014 legislative session. When voters agreed to Ballot Measure 71 in November of 2010, they were told holding annual sessions would allow the legislature to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies and changes in the economy, protect consumers and promote economic fairness with swift action from the state's leaders as well as increasing transparency and accountability. (And be- sides, everyone else was doing it-well-45 other states.) Included in the bills passed were at least five on education, four on employment, four on insurance, four on health and two on housing. The budget was "re-balanced" (I think that means the state legislature agreed to spend more money.) Included in the long list of bills passed was new legislation on crabbing, school mascots, school food, the Oregon Ocean Science Trust and exotic animal permits. I didn't read through the bills, but I'm sure these must have been of great impor- tance to be squeezed into a month-long session established to facilitate the Legislature meeting fewer days overall with "greater accountability and more consistent budgeting." Measure 71 also limited the number of days the Legisla- ture can meet in regular session: 160 days in odd-numbered years and 35 in even-numbered years. (That is, without a vote to prolong the misery-I mean extend the session--by five days.) Times have changed since the 1800's, voters were told in 2010. Legislators no longer rode horses to the Capitol, and "the world moves faster" than it did back then. True, but then life was simpler. We didn't need state laws goveming medical marijuana dispensaries, failed health insur- ance websites, pre-paid cell phones, "mutual wagering" or the enrollment of non-resident students. I anticipate in a few years we will be pushed to extend the legislative limit of 195 days per biennium even further. After all, the world continues to change. Until 1929, legislative regular sessions lasted 50 days or less. All sessions after 1949 lasted more than 100 days, with one lasting 227 days in 2003. Then there have been the special sessions. The shortest lasting six hours in 2006 while in 2002 the legislature met for five special sessions totaling 52 days. I would venture to guess some of the many measures that never made it out of committee this year will become topics of interest in the future' addition to a whole slew of new concems. What makes us think things will become less complicated? I see a pattern developing. After all, more government and more rules and regulations are the keys to all of our problems, right? From the Capitol Contact your lawmakers U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, 223 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510-3703. Phone (202) 224-5244. Local office: 911 NE 11th Ave, Suite 630, Portland, OR 97232. Phone (503) 326-7525. Website: http://wyden.senate.gov/ U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, 313 Hart Senate Office Building Wash- ington, D.C., 20510; Phone (202) 224-3753. Salem Office: 495 State St., Suite 330 Salem, OR, 97301. Phone (503) 362-8102. Website: http://merkley.senate.gov/ U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, Oregon-5th Dist., 314 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone (202) 225-5711. Salem District Office, 544 Ferry Street, S.E. Suite 2, Salem, OR 97301. Phone (503) 588-9100. Website: http://schrader.house.gov/ U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon-lst Dist., 439 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515. Phone: (202) 225-0855. Fax: (202) 225-9497. Oregon Office: 12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton, OR 97005. Phone 503-469-6010. Website: http://bonamici.house.gov/ Sen. Bdan Boquist - Dist. 12; 900 Court St NE, S-305, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1712. E-mall: sen.BnanBoquist@state.or.us Sen. Arnold Roblan - Dist. 5; 900 Court St NE, S-417, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1705. E-mall: sen.ArnieRoblan@state.or.us Rep. David Goberg - Dist. 10; 900 Court St NE, H-371, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1410. Emall: rep.DavidGomberg@state.or.us Rep. Jim Thompson - Dist. 23; 900 Court St NE, H-388, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1423. Emall: rep.JimThompson@state.or.us Oregon Legislative Information and Citizen Access: Phone 1-800-332-2313. Yamhill County Commissioners: Kathy George, Mary Stern, Allan Springer, Yamhill County Courthouse, 535 NE Fifth Street, McMinnville, OR 97128. Phone 503-434-7501. Polk County Commissioners: Mike Ainsworth, Craig Pope, Jennifer Wheeler. Polk County Courthouse, 850 Main St., Dallas, OR 97338-3174. Phone 503-623-8173. City of Sheridan - City Council: Val Adamson (Mayor), Harry Cooley (Council President), Roxie Acuff, Larry McCandless, Chris- topher Ehry, Rene Quinones, Sue Cain. 120 SW Mill Street, Sheri- dan, OR 97378. Phone 503-843-2347. www.cityofsheridanor.com City of Willamina - City Council: Corey Adams (Mayor), Rita Bailer, Allan Bramall, Ila Skyberg, Laurie Toney, Gary Hill, Jeri St Onge. 411 N.E. C St., Willamina, OR 97396. Phone 503-876-2242. Sheridan School District Board of Directors: Larry Deibel, Harvey Hall, Judy Breeden, Terry Chrisan, Michael Griffith. 435 South Bridge St., Sheridan, OR 97378. Phone 971-261-6959. SheridanSD-48J@sheridan.k12.or.us Willamina School District Board of Directors: Daniel Heidt, Clinton Coblentz, Craig Johnson, Laurie Toney, Linda O'NeiL 324 SE Adams St., Willamina, OR 97396. Phone 503-876-4525. ___-==_- ~ Postal # - ozce& 493-940 Clinton Vining, PUBLISHER Marguerite Alexander, EDITOR POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly by The Sun, 136 E. Main Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Periodicals postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378. SUBSCRIPTION RATE (one year): $32 in Yamhill/Polk County. $50 out of area. Payment must be received by noon Friday for subscription to start with the following Wednesday's edition. DEADLINES: Letters to the editor, society and church news, press releases, general - Noon Friday. Legal notices, display - 5 p.m. Friday. Classified display - Noon Monday. Classified ads- 5 p.m. Monday. Phone: (503) 843-2312. Fax: (503) 843- 3830. E-mail: news@sheridansun.com POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sun, RO. Box 68, Sheridan, OR. 97378. House Democrats evaluate session successes "Our focus going into this ses- sion was: What do we need to do to keep our state moving forward, and what can we get done to help the people of Oregon?" House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D- Eugene) sai& "We delivered bet- ter results for our students, put more Oregonians back to work and pushed to make our state gov- emment work better." House Democrats led the way on many important issues, including: Prioritizing access to high- quality education: After pass- ing the largest K-12 budget in Oregon history and holding down tuition increases at Or- egon universities last year, House Democrats continued to prioritize education in 2014. New summer learning grants will provide over 5,000 students at high-poverty pub- lic schools with additional learning time, and a $2.2 mil- lion investment in Employment Related Day Care will help ex- pand support for parents who are returning to school. The legislature also ap- proved ideas to make higher education more accessible and affordable. The "Aspiration to College" bill will support low- income and first-generation community college students and the "Oregon Promise" will study whether it's realistic to allow Oregon high school graduates to attend community colleges for free. Creating jobs and encour- aging innovation: As Oregon's economy continues to improve, House Democrats focused on putting people back to work and expanding the economic recovery to all Oregonians. The legislature issued bonds for a state-of-the art cancer re- search center at Oregon Health and Science University and funded key construction projects across the state; ex- panded access to capital for small businesses looking to grow and create jobs; increased support for the Oregon Manu- facturing Extension Parmership to help Oregon businesses ex- pand production; boosted fund- ing in career and technical edu- cation programs that help graduates enter the workforce; and invested in retraining un- employed and underemployed bioscience engineers. Making government work better for Oregonians: House Democrats pushed to make government more efficient and effective in order to better serve Oregon's taxpayers and maxi- mize funding for services Or- egonians need. The re-balance of the state budget protected critical ser- vices and boosted investments in SNAP meal programs, emer- gency housing and homeless- ness assistance, and bonding for affordable housing. In ad- dition, House Democrats pushed to ensure taxpayers' hard-earned money is being spent wisely by increasing ac- countability and oversight on large, public IT projects. Lindsey O'Brien House Democratic Caucus Oregon House Speaker outlines accomplishments of.short session The 2014 Legislature deliv- ered for the people of Oregon. We worked together in a bipar- tisan way to take care of many of the most important issues facing Oregon. We re-balanced the budget, increasing our reserve funds while shoring up the most im- portant human services to sup- port seniors, mental health, and those most in need. We leveraged state funds for economic development and in- flastrucmre projects that will pay dividends for years to come. The legislature worked together to help secure funding for not only a state-of-the art cancer research institute, but efforts to improve prevention and treatment in communities state-wide while supporting lo- cal businesses and workers across Oregon. We built on our work from 2013, making targeted invest- ments in education, expanding access to colleges and univer- sities, and continuing our in- vestment in campus construc- tion projects, the physical nexus of education and eco- nomic growth. The legislature worked across party lines to make our govem- ment work better and make state agencies more accountable and transparent to the public. I'm grateful for the work of my colleagues-both those re- turning, and those whose ser- vice in the house will end this year. I look forward to regroup- ing in 2015 to keep working on the challenges we still face, and making the tough choices in order to deliver on the things that matter most. Tma Kotek Oregon House Speaker Short session falls short of promises to Oregon voters Oregon's 35-day session ended with a whimper on Fri-. day afternoon [March 7], fail- ing to have the promised focus and restraint needed in a short session. Democrats, who con- trol both branches of the legis- lature, the Governor's office, and all statewide offices, used the five weeks of session to push a largely partisan and po- larizing agenda. "Democrats, especially in the House, missed an opportunity to continue in the same path of bi- partisan, consensus basedpolicy making that made 2013 such a success for Oregon," said Sen- ate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). "Voters approved annual sessions be- came they thought it would be targeted, non-controversial and lead by people who value con- sensus. Instead of focusing on areas where we could agree and find common ground, House Democrats chose to run their own polarizing agenda." Short sessions were billed to voters as a way to carefully ad- just the budget, deal with emer- gencies and make consensus changes to policy. Unfortu- nately for lawmakers and the public, Democrats did not pub- licly reveal their 75 pages of budget bills until late Thursday night, just minutes before the Ways and Means Committee hearing and a day before ses- sion adjourned. Democrats spent much of the session at- tempting to garner support for divisive legislation such as gun regulations, major re-writes to Oregon's class action lawsuit statutes, marijuana legalization, and providing political cover for the Cover Oregon debacle. "The fear was a session filled with partisan posturing and rushed decisions on complicated policies," said Ferrioli. "Those fears were largely realized." While Democrats focused on their political agenda, Re- publicans were working to build bipartisan agreement and pass legislation that will serve Oregon seniors, small busi- nesses and students. Republi- cans enacted a "Silver Alert" program to help find vulnerable seniors when they go missing. They also championed tougher penalties for "patent trolls" that target small businesses, and created a way for students to earn college credit for high school classes. Additional Republican ac- complishments include: Protecting attempts to roll- back the small business tax cut adop in the Grand Ba ,ain Defending the Oregon initiative system from political tampering Supporting $200 million to fund a state of the art cancer research center at OHSU Local control over mari- juana dispensaries Balancing the budget Michael Gay, Oregon Senate Republican Office Annie Laurie Scott Dec. 3, 1951 -March 13, 2014 Annie Laurie Scott died Thursday, March 13, at the age of 62 at her home in Mc- Mirmville. Annie was born to Art and Norma Hebert in McMinn- viUe on Dec. 3, 1951. She was the third of seven children. She was raised in Sheridan and graduated from Sheridan High School in 1970. After high school, Annie moved to an A-flame cabin out in the woods of Willamina and met and married Andy Scott. In 1980, they were blessed with a fat baby boy named Duncan. Annie quit her job and became a full time mum. The family moved to Mc- Minnville in 1987. Annie went back to school and be- came a bookkeeper. She worked for a Portland lawyer, a garbage company, a school, and a winery. She was also the bookkeeper for her husband's construction company. She retired in 2013. Annie loved to entertain. She became a fabulous cook and was most happy sharing her latest creation with her many friends. She also loved to travel and spent time in Japan, China, Scotland, France, Hon- duras, New Zealand, Mexico, and Canada, as well as travel- ing extensively through the USA. She was outgoing and loved to hear about other folks experiences. She was caring and thoughtful and dearly loved Duncan and grandchildren Elizabeth and Claire. Late in her life she was finding over- whelming challenges which took a toll on her health. She was meeting those and was beginning to see a positive fu- ture. Her presence will be dearly missed and we hope that she has found everlasting happiness in the outdoors she always loved. Annie is survived by her husband; son Duncan; grand- children Elizabeth and Claire; and siblings John, Susan, Emie, Lucy and Josie. She was pre- ceded in death by her parents and younger brother Joe. There will be a remem- brance at'a later date. For more information email annieremmemberance @onlmenw.com. Beverly A. Fetch May 24, 1940 - March 17, 2014 Beverly A. Fetch, resident of Willamina and wife of Run Fetch, died March 17 in Mc- Minnville. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 24 at Adamson's Sheridan Funeral Home. Vault Interment will be at Green Crest Memorial Park.