From the capitol
By BILL POST

I hope this article finds you and your loved ones having had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. In our house we enjoyed the fact that our son moved home from Missouri and we were thrilled to see him, making Christmas very special this year.

I look ahead to 2016 with a mix of apprehension and hope. I am apprehensive because Jan. 1 ushered in many of the laws that my colleagues passed during the session in 2015. Many were passed with the best of intentions, but I worry that the effect will not be what the proponents had hoped. Mandatory sick leave, forced retirement accounts, and near dictatorial powers for the Bureau of Labor and Industries will all, I fear, reduce our ability to create the jobs that will move our entire state forward.  “Motor Voter” also concerns me with its apparent lack of oversight on “non-citizens” being able to automatically register to vote when approved for an ID card.

With this backdrop, however, I also find myself feeling hopeful as 2016 comes around. This will be a pivotal year in Oregon and our nation. We have the opportunity to impact not only our lives, but the lives of our kids and grandkids for years to come. We have the power and ability to cast our vote.

Some may feel like their vote doesn’t matter. Having spent my first full year as an elected official, I am here to tell you that your vote does matter. And not only your vote, but your participation in the discussions that happen, not only at the local level, but all the way up the chain. If I could ask for one thing, it would be that as many of you as possible register to vote and also remind a friend or two—and then make sure you and they fill out those ballots. This is the only way we will see positive change in our state and nation.

I am also filled with anticipation because of the quality of the Oregonians I have had the privilege of meeting this past year. Last month I participated in a hearing on how we can prevent more tragic events like what happened at Umpqua Community College, and also how we can better respond to the events that do occur. All of the people who testified before our committee expressed amazement at how strong of a response Oregonians gave to UCC, in flocking to Roseburg, fundraising for victims and sharing the support of their prayers. It is this spirit that fills me with hope for 2016.  We Keizerites are truly blessed as well.

As always, I am here to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at any time.

From my family to your family I wish you a Happy New Year.

(Bill Post represents House District 25. He can be reached at 503-986-1425 or via email at rep.billpost@state.or.us.)