State Representative Gene Whisnant Newsletter
 February 26, 2013
 

Dear Friends,

 The House passed our first controversial piece of legislation on Friday: 38 Ayes and 18 nays. The Bill was HB 2787, "the tuition equity" bill. The bill passed out of the committee with a 7-2 vote. I was one of the NO votes. In committee, the chair accepted some minority proposed amendments, but not all. Thus, a Minority Report A-Engrossed HB 2787 was prepared and failed on a party vote. I and 17 Republicans voted NO. The bill now moves to the Senate.

 

The minority report requested (1) a sunset to evaluate the impact, (2) that it only applied to undocumented students in Oregon when the bill passed, (3) that undocumented students will not receive any preferential treatment compared to Oregon students, and (4) undocumented students have been accepted into a federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

 

On Monday, we voted on HB 2800, the Columbia River Crossing bill or the I-5 Bridge Replacement.  I will discuss in next update.

 

Sincerely,

  

Gene Whisnant

State Representative

Committees

 

House Higher Education Committee: 

On Monday, February 18, the Chair agreed to accept another proposed amendment for HB 2787, "the tuition equity" bill. The "dash 11" added that the student must submit "an affidavit stating that the student has applied for a federal individual taxpayer identification number or other official federal identification document." This amendment passed unanimously. Then, the bill passed 7-2 with Rep. Vic Gilliam and I voting NO on the "dash 11" amended bill. A Press Release from Rep. Gilliam and Rep. Whisnant is available for those who would like additional information. Later, the committee held a public hearing on a HB 2621 to allow the elimination on the pesticide plan restrictions for community college use in scientific research and academic instructions. On Wednesday, the Committee had an informational presentation on GEDs in Support of the 40-40-20 Education Plan. Secretary of State Kate Brown briefed the committee on the recent "performance audit" of Oregon's GED program. This is an educational objective which needs more attention. The Committee also held a public hearing on a bill proposing achievement compact advisory committees at our community colleges and universities. On Friday, the committee passed two bills. President Joseph Robertson, Jr., MD, provided a presentation on OHSU. Also, we had public hearings   (HB 2339) about establishing PSU as a public corporation under control of Portland Metropolitan Universities Board of Directors and about institutional Boards for the universities.

 

House Education CommitteeOn Monday, the committee held an informational meeting concerning Credit for Proficiency Implementation. On Wednesday, the committee received presentation by the Department of Education on the "Response to Intervention Program " for students falling behind academically.

 

House Human Services and Housing Committee:   On Monday, the committee received a presentation on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. On Wednesday, the committee passed 3 bills to the floor without any "NO" votes. Also, the committee had presentations by DHS on Child Welfare.

Floor Session

 

On Monday, we held a floor session and passed five bills unanimously. On Wednesday, we passed 11 non-controversial bills including HB2252 designating August 9th Boring and Dull Day. On Friday, we passed HB2787 which was discussed above and five non-significant bills.

Bills

 

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 was the deadline for submitting drafted bills to the House Clerk. Members now have 5 priority bills remaining which they can submit for drafting. The House Republican Office advised that a "slew of Tax Increases were dropped before the deadline."

Items of Interest and Events

 

  As a Higher Education Committee Member, I have had the pleasure of meeting with Presidents of our universities. This week, I met with President Chris Maples and Vice President Lita Colligan from Oregon Institute of Technology. Also, I had the pleasure of meeting with COCC President Jim Middleton and Board Member Bruce Abernathy to discuss legislation and funding for community colleges. Last week, I had a meeting with Eastern Oregon President Robert O. Davies and discussed his issues.                  

Visitors

 

Oregon Nurses Association
Oregon Nurses Association
  members including ONA President Steve Rooney visit with Rep. Whisnant

 

 

Shelly Smith from Bend's KIDS Center visited us at the Capitol.

  Tracking Bills and Committee Agendas
  

The State has a new comprehensive system to help keep track of bills and committee agendas. That system is called OLIS, Oregon Legislative Information System.

Contact Information

 

Please monitor our work on your behalf by signing up to receive our "Legislative Updates" and press releases. Provide us your email address at rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us. Also, you may use that email address to contact us.

 

     You can also review our work on our official website: www.leg.state.or.us/whisnant.

 

     If you want to actually view legislative floor sessions and committee meetings; go to the link:  www.leg.state.or.us/listn.

 

SALEM CONTACT INFO

Office phone number: 503-986-1453

Vicki Olson, Legislative Assistant

Email: rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us

Website: www.leg.state.or.us/whisnant

Mailing address: 900 Court Street NE H-471, Salem, Oregon 97301

 


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In This Issue
Greetings
Committees
Floor Session
Bills
Items of Interest and Events
Visotors
Tracking Bills and Committee Agendas
Contact Information
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