Governor Signing Rep. Barnhart's Bi-Partisan Transparency Bill

Rep. Barnhart with Other Chief Co-Sponsor Rep. Thatcher (R- District 25)


Recent bills we passed to help grow Oregon's economy and jobs:

HB 3247 "One Stop Shop for Oregon Business" Internet Portal

The Secretary of State business internet portal will have all the information and applications businesses need in one place, cutting back on red tape. The portal will make doing business in Oregon much easier.

HB 2960 Cool Schools

HB 2960 will allow older schools to be repaired and retrofitted to be more efficient. The bill will create jobs, protect the environment and keep our kids safe. Cool Schools will provide a more healthy and productive environment for Oregon's children.

HB 3000 "Buy Oregon First"

Another pro-Oregon-business bill sets a standard for state agencies to give preference with local Oregon business, if the bid from the Oregon business is not more than 10% greater that the bids from out-of-state corporations the locals get the contract.

We are not done yet. Stay tuned.



Redistricting Plan Passed!

The Legislature passed the bi-partisan redistricting plan on June 10th and it was promptly signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber on Monday the 13th. This redistricting plan adds four cities to House District 11; Halsey, Shedd, Peoria, and Harrisburg. View the map here.

Scam Alert:
Fake FBI Emails

The Attorney General has issued an alert to make Oregonians aware of the fake emails being sent out claiming to be from the FBI. The email requests a $350 payment to obtain a "Clearance Certificate" and threatens to send an agent to the house if the payment is not received. Find out more details.

Memorial Highway Named in Honor of Officer Kilcullen

Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen was killed on the job during a routine traffic stop on April 22nd, 2011. The legislature approved SB 987 to designate parts of State Highway 126 as the "Officer Chris Kilcullen Memorial Highway."The bill will go into effect after it gets signed by the Governor.

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Rep. Barnhart with
U of O President Richard Lariviere and Puddles the Duck

Legislative Report

Health care spending is at an all time high in the United States.  We spend about double what other developed nations pay per person. Oregon is a little better, but not much.
    We don’t often talk about the larger economic drag our healthcare “system” causes on our economy, jobs, and our ability to compete in the world. American exports are more expensive than those from other countries because of the way and the amount we pay for healthcare. Americans and Oregonians are much more likely than Europeans to stick with a job when their skills and inclinations suggest a change because change means losing health coverage. While it is not clear exactly how big a drag on the economy that is, it reduces our competitiveness in the world and over time the effects are huge.
Oregon is ahead of most states in dealing with health care costs, but we have a long way to go and many battles to fight. During the 2009 Session, the Legislature set up the Oregon Health Authority to begin the process of managing the cost of health care, the next step in this process is to set up the health exchange.
    A big win for jobs and the economy, Senate Bill 99, establishes the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange, an online, one-stop-shop for health insurance for individuals, families, and small business. The exchange will pick a range of the best policies to make it easy for anyone to compare the plans and simple to sign up. If you leave your job you can take your insurance with you and there will be some Federal subsidies to help pay for coverage for small businesses and those of modest means. Perhaps most important, Oregon will control its own future and be able to tailor health coverage to local conditions. States that do not set up exchanges will be subject to the tender mercies of a federal exchange.
    The battle for SB 99 pitted the Association of Oregon Industries (AOI), the largest business association in the state, against the insurance industry. Both large and small businesses alike have figured out that their survival depends on getting healthcare costs down.
    When the cost of anything exceeds the capacity of families’ and businesses’ ability to pay it will eventually fail. A clear example is the bursting of the housing bubble and its years-long deflation. The health industry could go the same way with catastrophic results for all of us especially anyone who is sick during the crisis. Alternatively, we can plan and work our way out of the bubble.
    There are many more battles yet to come. Real costs and prices are not well aligned. Those who have become rich thanks to providing insurance, care, or administration will resist the reforms mightily. We have no choice but to go ahead. Primary care and prevention must improve. Incentives for preventative care and positive health outcomes must be in place for both individuals and health care providers. Price must be more aligned with real costs to bring down exorbitant hospital profits and those of some medical specialists. The cost of health administration must be cut and cut again. Multi-Billion Dollar (yes, with a B) salaries for health insurance CEOs must become a thing of the past.
    For the sake of our families, jobs, and America’s ability to complete in the world we must continue the fight. SB 99 is an important win along the way.

For the rest, stay tuned.

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