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April 30,  2013


Dear Friends,

 There are always two sides to every story, and last week's tax vote in the Oregon House is no exception. The following is House Speaker Kotek's Statement about HB 2456 released April 24, 2013:


"Today the House of Representatives experienced a setback while trying to advance a bill to fund schools and other vital services by cutting tax breaks for large corporations and the wealthy. Partisan politics got in the way of moving a bill Oregonians were counting on for new funding for essential services. I am disappointed in my Republican colleagues.... It is time for Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate to work together so the wealthiest Oregonians and large corporations pay their fair share toward the services all Oregonians rely on."


Other Democrat legislators reported "House Republicans working with special interest groups attempted to block vital legislation ($275 million in new taxes).... House Republicans decided to protect wealthy campaign donors and big business."


However, House Republicans were not invited to participate in creating the bill. Also, since the state has $1.7 billion more revenue to increase K-12 funding and keep our streets safe and our safety nets intact; we do not need to increase taxes. We voted to protect middle class Oregonians who need their mortgage deductions, charity donations, and medical deductions. We want to focus on bipartisan discussions and solutions like we did in 2011 and seek ways grow our economy and find jobs for Oregonians.


(Here is my press release on HB 2456 A).



Gene Whisnant



House Higher Education Committee:

On Wednesday, the Department of Human Services staff provided a presentation on TANF (Job Opportunity and Basic Skills) Program and Workforce Development.

On Friday, the Committee received a presentation on the Secretary of State audit report on the Oregon University Systems. Audits Division Director Gary Blackmer summarized the report and then OUS representatives responded: Chancellor Melody Rose, Vice Chancellor Jay Kenton, State Board of Higher Education Chair Kirk Schueler, and Western Oregon University President Mark Weiss. (Kirk Schueler is from Bend). I stated that I did not believe the audit achieved its objective of identifying opportunities to control cost of attendance and improve outcomes at Oregon's public universities.

 House Education Committee and House Human Services & Housing Committee:

These committees did not meet because we had afternoon sessions.



On Monday, HB 3014 was carried on the floor by Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford) and passed with a vote of 42 Ayes and 16 Nays. The bill which I gladly sponsored requires school district boards and charter schools to acquire an American flag to be displayed in each classroom and allow students to salute the flag once during school hours.

On Tuesday and Thursday, we held morning and afternoon floor sessions.

On Wednesday, the votes on HB 2456 A and SB 822 were held. My report on HB 2456 was provided in a Press Release on April 24. SB 822 A passed on a party vote with one Democrat joining the NO Republican votes. I voted no on the Democrat "PERS light" bill which limits the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) on retired PERS citizens and ends the payment to out-of-state PERS retirements to pay their state income taxes which they do not pay.



On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) hosted a reception in the Capitol.   Small business owners discussed their legislative agenda issues with legislators and staff.

On Thursday, I welcomed the Oregon Asset Builders Conference attendees to the Capitol. Later, we met with the Central Oregon attendees from Neighbor Impact and Housing Works. They work to help Oregonians access financial education, homeownership, start small businesses and attend college through Individual Development Accounts.



More Fun Political Facts

7,383 Total State Legislators

1,781 Total Female State Legislators

90 Total Oregon State Legislators

26 Total Female Oregon State Legislators



In This Issue
Floor Session
Events & Items of Interest
Special Topic
Contact Info
Red Tie   
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school house rock 

 On Thursday, HB 3096 A passed the floor with a 60-0. I carried the bill as a priority bill for the River Meadows Homeowners Association to allow them as a water improvement district to operate existing sanitary sewer facilities within the district boundaries.

Neighbor Impact

Dan Heater

Rep. Whisnant and Dan Heater, Central Oregon Realtors


Jonathan Farmer, Bryce Wolford, and Victoria Redman  

Oregon Student Association


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


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     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.



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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