From the Capitol
By Rep. Bill Post

The past three weeks in the Oregon legislature have been fascinating. In my second term as your state representative, I should never be surprised by some proposed bills, but I still am.  For instance, in recent days there have been bills to: make marionberry pie the official pie of Oregon; change the words of our state song, Oregon, My Oregon; a tax on coffee and a tax on cars over 20 years old;  an official dog of Oregon;  a ‘no dogs on lap while driving’ bill and many others.

Both parties are guilty of some pretty “frivolous” bills. Just because a legislator can write a bill doesn’t mean they have to.  The cost to the taxpayers is enormous for each one and that’s why I’ve said from day one “I’m not going to do that.” I have introduced seven good ideas that either reduce or remove bad laws or bring about more freedom for Oregonians.  You can see all of them at my legislative website: oregonlegislature.gov/post. 

There has been some misinformation about some of the bills, though.  For example, House Bill 2365 calls for a task force to study the transfer of federal lands to Oregon. I am a chief sponsor of that bill because I believe a task force is a good idea.  Let’s study this issue since so many in Oregon on either side of the fence, are interested in it.  I am not calling for the transfer of lands, just a study.

Meanwhile the serious work that needs to be done in the Capitol is finding a way to balance a budget while not raising taxes or cutting education, health care or public safety.  I am very interested in what will come in the next few weeks and months.

At this time there are at least 30 or more tax bills that I know of.  Oregonians spoke loud and clear (they voted 59 percent-41 percent against Measure 97), yet the son of Measure 97 is one of the bills introduced. It must be noted that Oregon’s revenue has increased by over 30 percent in the past three biennium (2011-2017), yet we are told there is a “shortfall” in the budget. I am fully aware that inflation is a reality but state government must learn to live within its means.  We cannot continue to spend at the same rates as we have been doing for the last several years.

Lastly, I continue to fight the dreaded “emergency clause” that is on so many bills (meaning the bill would not allow for a ballot measure). It’s still a big problem as well as is the fairly new tactic of introducing “committee bills” with no name attached. I am in favor of open and transparent government and have called on my fellow legislators to think along those lines.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you in the Oregon legislature.  Please stop by and say “hello” some time.

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