April 11, 2013

News from Salem 
Just in - we were notified that we had over 900 comments from the Oregonian article on the Flag Bill! KTVL had 140 likes and 83 comments.  Associate Press stopped in for a quick interview this morning. The issue "has legs" - which is wonderful!! 
Access at the Capitol
Guests from the District
This last week Access from Medford came for a visit.  We barely got them all in the photo!!      We always enjoy having you here in the Capitol.  
We also were fortunate enough to have the Cort family from Rogue River visit this last week.  Chandler Cort, Senior at Rogue River High School, was here to testify regarding HB 3014 - the Flag Bill.     
The Cort Family   
Check out the photos on my website at www.salesquivel.us


Esquivel Appears on Fox News to Discuss 

Pledge of Allegiance Bill


Salem, OR-Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford) appeared on the Fox News program "Fox and Friends" this morning to talk about House Bill 3014. The bill, sponsored by Esquivel, requires school districts to display the United States flag in each classroom and provide extra time for students to salute it once daily during school hours. HB 3014 was inspired by Rogue River resident Chandler Cort. As a high school sophomore, Cort had difficulty obtaining permission to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before class.


"Today, they do the Pledge of Allegiance at least once a week," Esquivel said on "Fox and Friends."


Cort began circulating a petition in his community, which resulted in the pledge being recited once a week at his school. Esquivel said schools would not have a hard time obtaining American flags. Organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Daughters of the American Revolution will consider requests to provide flags free of charge.


"There's not a cost," he said.


HB 3014 is scheduled for a work session during the House Education Committee's Friday, April 12 meeting. Esquivel praised the efforts of committee chair Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) to bring the bill to passage.


To watch Esquivel's interview, go to  Link for Fox and Friends


  Chandler Cort


 Chandler testified on the Flag Bill in 2011 and again this year - we are all hoping he won't have to testify again in 2015!!  



 PERS Lite legislation passes Senate on partisan vote


Salem, OR -

Legislative Democrats forced a feeble Public Employee Retirement "reform" bill across the Senate floor today on a purely partisan vote. House Democrats have refused to work with Republicans on a bi-partisan, compromise proposal, forcing a vote on a bill that leaves schools underfunded and local governments bearing the brunt of a broken retirement system.


"Oregonians are expecting PERS reforms that will put more resources into classrooms and provide long-term fixes to the systematic flaws in PERS; SB 822 fails to accomplish that," said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). "Republicans stand ready with solutions and a desire to collaborate. When Democrats are ready to work together, we'll be waiting."


Senate Bill 822 has become known as the "PERS Lite" bill because of the weak set of reforms it implements and the minimal savings it achieves and passes on to the classroom. What's more, Senate Bill 822 employs a "skip-a-payment" scheme by moving more than $350 million of PERS payments from this budget cycle to the next, effectively borrowing money.  Republicans don't believe going into more debt helps fix a retirement system already underwater.


"My dad always told me it was a bad idea to use the 'skip-a-payment' offer from a credit card, and apparently this legislature could use some of his advice," said Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro). "In that sense, SB 822 is actually a step backwards. It increases the future costs to classrooms and ultimately costs taxpayers more money and services."


Using a series of parliamentary moves, Republicans offered their own menu of more comprehensive reform ideas, including a stair-stepped COLA limitation, eliminating money match for inactive PERS members, allowing employers to negotiate on the 6% pick-up, taking legislators out of PERS, and eliminating non-resident tax remedies. In total, their reforms save around $2 billion. The Republican proposals were all defeated on party-line votes.


"There are better solutions to this problem," said Senator Alan Olsen (R-Canby). "With bolder reform, kids can have a longer school year, smaller class sizes, and better learning environments."


A broad coalition of Oregon editorial boards and groups like Stand for Children, the Oregon School Boards Association, and the Oregon Business Plan are calling SB 822 an inadequate solution to the PERS problem. 

Another Difficult Task - continued
Driver's License for Illegals

Senate Bill 833 is being heard today as I write this.  


Just to show you how far some will go I was informed today that there is a one page list of what an illegal needs to sign up for a four year license - and there is a five page list of what a United States Citizen must have and/or cannot use to identify themselves for an Oregon Driver's License renewal!


This type of legislation makes it hard to maintain hope!!  


The organizations in favor of the driver's license legislation brought individuals by the busload into the Capitol on Thursday.  SB833 will be up for a work session on Monday, April 15, 3:00 p.m. 




What's Happening?
Or what's coming?  Fees and Taxes and Taxes and Fees will remain at the top of the list until session is over. 

In Agriculture and Natural Resources we have discussed Canola and the growing thereof in the Willamette Valley.  My 13 year old grandson and I had a very in depth conversation regarding Genetically Modified  crops.  It appears we may get a cougar bill through the House this session - perhaps nothing on bears - but... PERS remains at the top of the list and then of course, we have budget issues coming down the line.  

Have you checked out the new Oregon Legislature Information System? It is very user friendly.  Click below!
Stay in Touch

Please take just a moment and go to my new website www.salesquivel.us and use the contact tab.  Tell me what you are interested in so I can keep you up to date when things are happening here in Salem.  

Rep. Sal Esquivel 
900 Court St NE H483
Salem, OR 97301

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