By State Senator Suzanne Weber
Hello Neighbors and Friends,
Another week, more committee hearings, floor sessions, and other events at the Capitol. The number of bills being worked on has more than doubled since the committees first met, and agendas for meetings are getting longer. With only 13 weeks remaining in the 82nd legislative session, we still have a lot of work to get done. Snow, rain, ice, and sunshine have all occurred in Oregon within the last week, keeping with the state’s tradition of unpredictable weather.
Oregon State University’s Statewide Day
I had the pleasure of meeting faculty and students from Oregon State University as well as members of FFA this week for their legislative day.
In addition to my assigned committees there are many other committees tackling bills. Most of these committee hearings are at the same time as my scheduled committee hearings. However, these bills are important to our district and my staff and I do our best to make sure I can get in to testify and make sure our rural northwest voice is recognized. You can watch the testimony on three such bills below.
Senate Committee on Housing and Development
SB 406 Requires certain cities in Tillamook County to allow middle housing on residentially zoned lands, to adopt housing production strategies and to accommodate estimated housing needs upon lands inventoried as buildable lands. My testimony on this bill can be found here.
Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue
SB 2 Creates Oregon personal income tax subtraction for amounts received for renting out room in taxpayer’s home. Applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2030. You can watch my testimony here.
House Committee on Education
HB 3584 Directs schools or school districts to provide electronic communication to parents and guardians of students attending, and to school district employees employed at, school at which safety threat action occurred. Prescribes requirements of communication. Watch my testimony here.
Representative Ricki Ruiz from House District 50 – Gresham and I testifying on HB 3584 in the House committee on Education.
Oregon Legislative Information System
As always, I encourage all of my constituents to follow their legislature and stay up to date on daily events. Both committee hearings and floor proceedings can be viewed online. You can follow bills and receive notifications when a hearing is scheduled. I suggest spending some time getting to know it by visiting https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/. Links to the instructional videos for each of the “How To” lines below are included in the attachments.
- How to find a committee agenda on OLIS
- How to sign up to testify on a bill
- How to submit written testimony on a bill
- How to join a Microsoft Teams meeting and functions within Microsoft Teams
North Coast Food Web
The North Coast Online Farmers Market is a year round, local food market that supports small farmers and food makers within 100 miles of Astoria, Oregon. They also provide local food entrepreneurs with access to a commercial kitchen that can be rented at deeply discounted rates, as well as specialized food business support services to help start-up and small food enterprises ramp up to financial sustainability. You can learn more about the North Coast Food Web here.
Local seafood good for the heart, mind and conscience
We love seafood out here on the coast, especially when it comes from our own backyard. But according to recent surveys, 90% of the seafood eaten on the Oregon Coast is not produced locally. Not only might this have significant effects on the seafood sectors in our state, but it raises questions about the quality and safety of the imported fish.
Just around 1% of the 17.6 million tons of seafood imported into the country is inspected by the FDA, and only 0.1 percent is checked for residues of illegal drugs. 95 percent of the imported seafood products the FDA reported for food safety violations between 2011 and 2018 were never tested.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most imported seafood is farm-raised. Farm-raised seafood isn’t the worst thing that might happen, but many other nations have weaker regulations for the health of their fish, and some of them employ substances that are illegal in the US. The majority of the seafood imported into the country, according to the Berkeley School of Public Health, is not under the control of the US Food and Drug Administration. As a result, seafood tainted with drugs and disease can elude detection by federal authorities, enter our kitchens, and eventually end up on our plates.
I highly recommend looking into the matter further. You can find more resources made available from the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) here.
OBRC 2022 Annual Report
The Oregon Bottle Bill is run by the nonprofit Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC). The OBRC’s recently released 2022 Annual Report is available here. In 2022, 164.8 million pounds of materials, or around 2 billion drinking containers, were recycled. With a preliminary figure of 88.5%, Oregon may have the highest redemption percentage in the nation.
Motorcycle Lane Filtering Law Passes Oregon Senate
Last week the Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 422 with strong bipartisan support. This measure would permit motorcyclists to filter between lanes of traffic on certain Oregon roads when traffic is moving slowly or stopped.
“Lane filtering is a safe and effective practice in other states and countries,” said Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Co-Chief Sponsor of Senate Bill 422. “By allowing this limited, common-sense practice in Oregon, we can improve traffic flow and reduce the risk to motorcyclists while keeping our roads safer for all.”
When and where lane filtering is allowed would be governed by SB 422‘s rules, which would include limiting it to highways with 50 mph speed limits and at least two lanes traveling in the same direction. On the road shoulder, the median dividing lanes of traffic traveling in opposing directions, and in highway work zones, lane filtering is still not permitted. There must be no traffic or it must be moving at 10 mph or less.
SB 422 is now on the way to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.
From the District
If you prefer, you can also listen to the audio on SoundCloud!
Don’t forget to follow me on my social media pages! That is one of the best ways to keep up with what I am up to. I post regular updates and commentary about local and statewide issues. Below you will find several links. Feel free to follow me on whichever platform you prefer.
We are here for YOU!
As per usual our floor schedule is beyond our control. But we will make time for you. Please email or call and my staff will get you on my calendar. My staff and I are here to help you! If you have a problem, question or comment, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do ask you to PLEASE include your phone number and your address. This allows me to call you to follow up or ask any questions I might have. Your address lets me know that you’re a constituent. I get thousands of emails every week, but I always make sure that constituents get top priority. If you’d prefer, you can also call us at 503.300.4493.
If you’d like to visit me in Salem, you’re always welcome to come by! If you drop by without an appointment, I’ll do my best to meet with you, but to ensure that I don’t have any other commitments, please call or email first for an appointment. That way I can make sure to give you my undivided attention.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to be your State Senator. It truly is the honor of my life, and I look forward to being your voice in the Senate for the next four years!
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716 District Phone: 503-300-4493
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-405, Salem, Oregon 97301