Welcome Friends & Neighbors,
Thank you for visiting my legislative website.
I am honored to serve the residents of southern Jackson County for a second term in the Oregon Legislature. House District 5 includes Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, the southwest corner of Medford, Jacksonville and Ruch, and spans from the Applegate to the Green Springs. I'm convinced my district has the state's most passionate and involved constituents. I welcome your input and your partnership as we tackle the issues facing families and communities across the state.
The 2020 "short session" of the Legislature convenes from February 3 through March 8. I have been elected by my colleagues to serve on the House Democratic Leadership Team as Assistant House Majority Leader. I am also be serving the Joint Committee On Information Management and Technology; Joint Interim Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On General Government; House Interim Committee On Economic Development and Vice Chair of the House Interim Committee On Revenue.
During the short session, I will continue my work on these priority issues:
My highest priority is to pass meaningful and effective policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I am working with colleagues, statewide stakeholders and constituents on legislation to address emissions and help communities respond to climate impacts already on the ground, including wildfire and drought.
Wildfire mitigation, response and resilience are paramount in my District and many rural communities across the State. As a member of the Governor's Council on Wildfire Response, I am advocating for policies and funding that will help us mitigate risk and respond to the economic, health and environmental impacts of smoke and fire. In 2020 legislature will begin to address implementation of the Wildfire Council recommendations in the coming months. Specifically, the short session will see legislation that funds pilot projects on high risk forest landscapes. We will also look at strategies to develop a skilled workforce available for year-round mitigation and suppression work in Oregon's forests.
Over 400,000 Oregon residents lack internet, and at least 27 school districts have no or minimal service. I have proposed legislation, HB 4079, to develop an ongoing source of funding to support broadband in unserved and underserved communities. The Rural Telecom Investment Act will modernize the Oregon Universal Service Fund (OUSF), which is currently supported solely by landline users, to include cell phones and VOIP providers in the fund's surcharge. This expansion will stabilize the underlying fund, which supports rural telephone companies that provide basic service in high cost rural areas and provide additional funding specific to broadband expansion. More info here.
Internet Sales of Vaping Products
In 2017, the Oregon Legislature raised the tobacco and vaping purchase age to 21. Despite that law, youth can easily bypass the age restriction by purchasing vaping products online or over the phone without any verification process. I have proposed legislation, HB 4078, that will prohibit internet and telephonic sales of nicotine-based inhalant delivery systems, as defined by Oregon statute, by adding these products to the existing ban on remote sales of tobacco products. More info here.
In the short session, I am also Chief Sponsor on these proposed bills:
- HB 4105 - Prohibits state agencies from authorizing construction of new infrastructure for exploration, development or production of oil or gas on state-owned real property or for transportation of oil or gas across state-owned real property.
- HB 4159 - Modifies statewide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
- SB 1563 - Amends requirements for limited renewable energy technician license.
A thousand thanks for your support – I am so honored to be your voice for Southern Oregon. As always, please be in touch with your concerns, questions and feedback.
Representative Pam Marsh
Oregon House District 5