Stabilizing Oregon’s Revenue system with a robust Rainy Day fund remains my top priority for the 2011 Session.
I am pleased to announce that Senate Joint Resolution 26, which would create a constitutional rainy day fund, has been scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, February 21st. It will be heard before the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee, which I chair.
I have cosponsored SJR 26 with my Republican colleague Senator Frank Morse and other legislators from both parties. SJR 26 will create a constitutional rainy day fund that can only be used during documented economic downturns, and only then with a 3/5 vote in both the House and Senate. In years where revenues paid by individual taxpayers exceed 2 percent of the forecast, half of the amount over the forecast would be diverted into the rainy day fund. The other half would be returned to taxpayers. SJR 26 also provides for regular deposits to the rainy day fund when the economy is doing well. A special emergency fund for higher education would be funded by the corporate tax kicker when corporate revenues exceed 2 percent of the forecasted amount.
The public hearing for SJR 26 will take place on the same day as a rally organized by a broad coalition of organizations including Stand for Children, the Oregon Business Association and the Oregon Education Association to show support for initiatives to protect Oregon’s future. The rally will take place on the Capitol steps from noon to 1 p.m. on February 21st. Additional information on the rally can be found here: https://www.stand.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=2828
Ever wonder how to become more engaged in the political process?
Here are a few pointers:
1) How to look up a bill:
The Oregon legislature has a user-friendly website that allows you to track bills. Go to http://www.leg.state.or.us/bills_laws/ and click on the link for the 2011 legislative session. This will direct you to a webpage that provides several search options. You can search for bills based on keyword or specific bill number.
2) How to track bills:
Make a note of the bill number. Go to http://www.leg.state.or.us/searchmeas.html and search for the bill. This will direct you to a page that will provide the status of the bill, sponsors, brief description of the bill, scheduled action (public hearing, work session etc), and a link to the language of the introduced bill.
3) Testify before a committee
If a bill you are interested in is scheduled for a public hearing, you have the option to participate in the process by testifying in front of a committee. If you have written testimony, you should bring 15 copies. You can view committee agendas here:
4) Accessing committee hearings and floor sessions online:
Committee hearings and floor sessions are also available online. To watch a specific committee hearing, go to http://www.leg.state.or.us/committees/ . Each committee webpage will have archived and live audio and video.
Go to http://www.leg.state.or.us/senate/ to find the link to the Senate floor session. Go to http://www.leg.state.or.us/house/ to watch the House floor session.
Please join me for a town hall that I am co-hosting with State Representative Margaret Doherty. It will be held on February 23rd at 7pm at the Tigard City Hall (13125 SW Hall Blvd., Tigard Oregon 97223).
Senate District 18