Weekly Review
History in the Making

We've all heard about Governor Kitzhaber's resignation and while I don't want to focus on his departure, many of my constituents have asked my position on the situation.  As the Albany Democrat Herald article indicated, "I take no delight in seeing Governor Kitzhaber resign." To see the full article regarding my reaction, click here.

 

That being said, on Wednesday, February 18th, Kate Brown was sworn into office as Oregon's 38th
Governor. It has been a historical few days at the Capitol. My prayers are with Governor Brown as she steps into the new position. I am hopeful the Oregon State Legislature will stay focused and continue working to balance the budget before the constitutional Sine Die, July 11th. For the full story, click here.  
Revenue Forecast

Yesterday, the quarterly revenue forecast was released, indicating that Oregon's economy is prospering. The forecast predicts an additional $349 million in tax revenue which should trigger the voter approved kicker.

 

I want to see our state continue down this positive path, but looking into the future I'm worried legislation such as SB 324, the low carbon fuel standard bill will hurt Oregonians. This bill which was passed by the Senate could cost Oregonians as much as $285 million per year in increased fuel prices.  Mike McInally, Editor of the Democrat Herald, wrote a fantastic editorial on this subject, and I couldn't agree with him more. If you have yet to read this, please click here. 

 
HB 2177 - Motor Voter Bill

This measure requires the Department of Transportation (DMV) to provide the Secretary of State (SOS) with electronic records of Oregonians eligible to vote in order to automatically register them as Oregon voters. In other words, DMV would be required to send name, age, residence, and citizenship information of every qualified voter with a driver's license or ID card to the SOS, who would then automatically register them as a Non-Affiliated voter. If someone does not want to be registered to vote, they have to opt out by returning a post card to the Secretary of State's office. 

 

I have some grave concerns about this bill. Voting is a right and a privilege, not a mandate.  Presently, it is very easy to register to vote now (on-line, DMV, mail, etc.)  Oregonians personal information and their privacy must be protected.   This bill turns private DMV information into publicly searchable voter data.  Additionally, the integrity of our voting process could be compromised, while creating an expected cost of $1.5 million.

 

In my opinion, our state has other things to focus on and more important priorities when it comes to a balanced budget. 

 

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments and feedback, even if we don't see eye to eye on every issue. I'm here to work for you and appreciate being your legislator.

 

Until next week,

 

 

Andy Olson

 

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900 Court St. NE, H-478
Salem, OR 97301
503-986-1415

 
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