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April 23,  2013


Dear Friends,

On Thursday, April 18; many bills died. Sadly, in my opinion, too many are still alive. In accordance with House Rules, all policy bills had to pass out of the committee of the chamber where the bill originated by Thursday. Bills that are currently in Ways and Means and the Rules Committees did not die on Thursday. In a previous newsletter, we explained the legislative process which is controlled by the Speaker of House Tina Kotek and the committee chairs.  


The following are some of our bills which I introduced that did not have a hearing or pass out of committee on Thursday and thus, have died:

HB 2784: Eliminates PERS pay for employees convicted of a felony related to job or position

HB 2785: Eliminates vacant positions in state agencies (Oregonian reported this saves millions)

HB 3107: Eliminates ethanol requirement

HB 3190: Prevents school districts from issuing bonds to cover pension liability


The following are some of the bills on which I am a chief sponsor and are still alive:

HB 3000: Requires children entering school system to have an eye exam or visual screening

HB 3096: Related to water improvement companies for River Meadows Owners Association

HB 3109: Requires report on forest wildfires impact on public health, wildlife, & aquatic system

HB 3315: Helps prevent abuses of H2B visa program to protect Oregon jobs

HB 3472: Ask for a report considering other states programs to reduce/freeze college tuition


There are other bills on which I am a chief sponsor or a sponsor which are still alive. We'll keep you informed on their legislative journey.



Gene Whisnant


Vicki, Benny, and Josie
Vicki Olson (Legislative Assistant), Benny Beaver, and Josie Whisnant


House Higher Education Committee:

On Monday, the committee passed four bills (HB 2152, HB 2995, HB 3149, and HB 3472). I voted yes on all but HB 3149 which establishes a Task Force on Community College Child Care Services. I believe the individual colleges should address this issue which I realize is important. HB 3472 is a priority bill on which I am a co-chief sponsor. This bill directs the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to study different programs which are addressing tuition costs. One is the Western Oregon University tuition freeze for four years.

On Wednesday, we passed HB 2149, HB 2986, HB 3079, HB 3120, HB 3115, HB 3341, HB 3245, and HB 3488. I and all or most Republicans on the committee voted NO on HB 2986, HB 3120, HB 3115, and HB 3341.

House Education Committee:

On Monday, we passed HB 2640, HB 2665, and HB 2789 and I voted yes on all three. HB 2789 directs schools to provide drills and instruction on safety threats. I had hoped for more school safety legislation and believe that drills and instructions on safety threats are already occurring.

On Wednesday, we passed six bills (HB 3231, HB 3234, HB 2666,HB 3232, HB 3233, and HB 2664) to Ways and Means and Rules. Four bills passed to the floor (HB 2749, HB 3034, HB 3045, and HB 3264.

House Human Services & Housing Committee:

On Monday, the committee passed HB 2890; however, later the bill was rescinded by the House leadership. The vote was a party vote. Also, HB 2671 and HB 3112 were passed but referred to Ways and Means.

On Wednesday, HB 2890 and HB 3007, died. I opposed both bills and will work with Rep. Nancy Nathanson on an interim work group to seek a better proposal. HB 3131 (I voted no), HB 3377, HB 3482, HB 3445, and HB 2392 passed. I headed a work group on HB 2392 related to the new Youth Development Council. We reached an agreement with the -6 amendment which passed 8-1. HB 2013 related to the new Early Learning Council which passed on a party vote. I expressed my concerns to the Speaker of the House that I am not convinced that there is an acceptable transition plan to prevent gaps in services to our at-risk children and families.




Ways and Means Committee meeting in Bend on Friday: I received some emails from constituents that were disappointed in the meeting's agenda and testimony. The agenda was set by the Co-Chairs and limited by the number of people who signed up to speak. You may submit written testimony which will be entered into the record. Please send your inputs to Gina Rumbaugh, Committee Manager at rumbaug@leg.state.or.us

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school house rock 


On Tuesday, I testified with Senate President Courtney and Rep. Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene) on HB 3296 A in the Senate Education Committee public hearing. This bill protects young athletes from possible loss of scholarships and athletic eligibility due to acts by agents.

On Wednesday, HB 3315passed out of the House Business Committee. This is the bill which Rep. Brad Witt (Clatskanie, OR) and myself are chief sponsors and helps prevent abuses of the H2B visa program. Abuses have resulted in the loss of significant jobs in Central Oregon.


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.

                                          OSU DAY
OSU Students
Verenice Alvarez, Daniel Shaw, Rep. Whisnant, Felipe Delatorre, Meg Johnston, and other.


Mike Jensen 

  Rep. Whisnant and photographer Mike Jensen


Fun Political Information: US Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787 by 39 delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Oldest signer was Ben Franklin, 81 and the youngest was Jonathan Dayton, 26. Less than 100 working days were required to draft the constitution.

Contact Information


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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


Michael C. Jensen  Photography
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