Creswell Coffee


The legislature is back in Salem for the 76th session. We have already voted on and passed our first bills. Thus far the Democrats and Republicans have been working together very well. The co-governance system in the House is going smoothly, members from both parties are finding it easy to communicate across party lines and accomplish the tasks at hand.

I am staying busy Co-Chairing the Revenue Committee. The committee convenes daily to have public hearings and work sessions on the many bills that have been referred to the committee. Stay updated on the latest agenda's for the Revenue Committee meetings, click here for information about the committee, links to the schedule, a live video stream and more.



Don't get Scammed:  Protect Yourself

The Attorney General's Office has created a Oregon Scam Alert Network to coordinate the Department’s regular scam alerts with the media, elected leaders, advocates for the elderly and disabled, and consumer watchdogs across the state to get important consumer information out to you. Click here to sign up.

Cabela's Brings Jobs

Cabela's Sporting Goods store has moved into Gateway Mall in Springfield and February 1st began hiring the 200 workers it will need to operate. This is the first Cabela's in Oregon, and is set to open in spring. Visit their website or call (308) 255-6970 for information about job opportunities.


Children Invited to Participate in "Reading is an Investment" Program

The State Treasury is holding its 5th annual "Reading is an Investment" program. Kids are invited to participate by reading and logging their hours online. Children who read a sufficient amount are put into a drawing where 50 winners will be selected to win $500.00 Oregon College Saving Plan Accounts. Students must complete the reading requirements by March 18, 2011 to qualify. For lesson plans and program details, please visit the Treasurer's website and click on the “Reading is an Investment” link, or call the Office of the State Treasurer at 503-378-4329.

State Investment means Jobs in Lane County

Energy Works Oregon is a non-profit collaborating with Energy Trust of Oregon, utilities, financial institutions, local communities and contractors to catalyze 1300 jobs by producing 6000 energy efficiency remodels of homes and small businesses across the state. They are using dollars that were allocated under HB 2626 (EEAST) in the last biennium. In Lane County this collaboration is expected to stimulate $1,200,000 in economic activity in 2011. 


Business Grants Available

USDA Rural Development (RD) is providing funds through their Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program to precisely-targeted technical assistance, training, feasibility studies, and other activities that support the development of specifically-identifiable, privately-owned, small business enterprises in rural areas.  Eligible applicants are nonprofits, public bodies, and tribes seeking between $25,000 and $10,000.  Everything you need to know about the RBEG program and to respond to this opportunity is available on RD-Oregon’s RBEG website .  The deadline for submitting your “Concept Paper” in March 4th 2011.


Flood Damage?

In response to the severe flooding and mud slides last month a “proration of tax” is available for eligible homeowners in Lane County, whose homes suffered a casualty loss because of a natural disaster. Applications may be downloaded from the County’s website under the “Forms” section. You can also call the Public Information Line at 541-682-4321.

Legislative Report

The 2011 Session has begun. We have five months to accomplish everything we need to do. My schedule is packed with meetings, committee hearings and floor sessions. I am in Salem now for the Session, but will hold town halls in the district mostly on Saturdays.

This Session is historic because it is the first time we have had an even split in the number of Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives. Every bill that passes will be bi-partisan. We have worked hard to develop a new system of co-governance. There are now two Speakers of the House (Arnie Roblan D – Coos Bay and Bruce Hanna R – Roseburg) and every House committee has two Co-Chairs and two Co-Vice Chairs.

I have been assigned to three House committees. I’m one of the Chairs of the Revenue Committee. The Revenue Committee will be extremely busy as always. I will also serving on the Rules and Tax Credits Committees. I have already submitted many bills of my own, most developed from ideas brought forward by constituents, with several more to come.

The legislature has so much to do this session. The state currently has a 3.5 billion dollar deficit, which equals approximately one-quarter of the overall budget. The legislature must take the next steps to cope with the deficit and continue essential programs in the state. We will pass the budget that will change the way we do business and will reduce basic programs our citizens need. I expect to vote for budget bills I greatly dislike because the alternatives are worse.

We need to work hard on economic development and job growth to promote business development. We also need to help Oregonians start businesses and expand small businesses to increase finance activity and jobs in Oregon. I am working on a plan to enable us to move the management of existing state funds to invest in new ventures and help promote the growth of local business and agriculture.

I am committed to having a state government that is responsive to the people and their needs. Making it easier for voters, taxpayers and citizens to gather information in government is an important step in making government more responsive, streamline regulatory functions and improve basic services. Stay tuned.

I am honored that you have entrusted me with your representation in the Oregon House of Representatives. I welcome your thoughts and concerns. Do you have an idea on how to improve our state or manage the deficit?  Let me know. Please call, email, or write. We can respond to emails more promptly than mailed letters. However you want to do it, get in touch! We try to respond to every constituent request. Let me hear from you soon.

Contact Rep. Phil Barnhart

Toll-Free Phone: (800) 332-2313
Salem Office Phone: (503) 986-1411
Mail: 900 Court St NE, H-383
         Salem, OR 97301

We will be back in our district office in July.

Coffee in Brownsville!

The Governor's Budget

Governor Kitzhaber released his 2011-2013 budget February 1st. “We have an opportunity – this year – to set Oregon on a course to a bright future,” said Governor Kitzhaber.  “The budget shortfall represents an opportunity to change and improve the way the state does business. My budget includes ideas that have been advocated by Democrats and ideas that have been advocated by Republicans.  Oregon's success depends on a willingness to develop new partnerships and coalitions, and move beyond the partisan divisions of the past.” His budget proposal outlines supporting proven job creation programs, merging early childhood programs and restructuring health care to lower costs and improve care.

For budget materials, visit: