Immigration rights, campaign finance reform advocates to speak at April 4 Linn Dems meeting
ALBANY – Juan Navarro, an immigration rights activist, and Patrick Starnes, a campaign finance reform advocate, will be the guest speakers at the Linn County Democrats’ monthly general meeting Thursday, April 4, at Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. S.E. A social time with light refreshments begins at 6 p.m. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Navarro, a local, statewide, national organizer for immigration rights. is a graduate student in the College Student Services Administration Masters Program at Oregon State University. He is from Guadalajara, Mexico, and grew up in the Salem area. Navarro received a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) deferment. Navarro was 3 when he was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents, who were desperate to find help after a doctor told them he would never walk. A Shriner’s hospital was willing to take him as a research case. After 12 years of physical therapy and six surgeries, he was able to walk. At OSU, he has joined forces with a student organization called Here To Stay at Oregon State University that’s pushing for a Dreamers Resource Center at the university. Starnes was the Independent Party nominee for governor in 2018. Knowing he would not win, Starnes withdrew from the race the week before Election Day and endorsed Kate Brown after getting a commitment from her to pass a constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform. Since the election, Starnes has worked with the governor to have the Legislature refer the issue to voters in 2020. Starnes served more than 10 years on different school boards in Oregon. He is a graduate of Umpqua Community College and the University of Oregon, where he earned a degree in history. He and his wife are restoring a vintage house in Brownsville.
We’re approaching the halfway point in the 2019 legislative session. If a bill isn’t currently set for a work session in the policy committees before April 9, it’s dead for the session. The rules allow for some exceptions, particularly for spending bills, revenue bills, and those assigned to the Rules Committee. Here’s a list of some of the bills I’ve been a chief sponsor on and where they are now.
Bills moving forward –
Accountability for animal abuse - HB 2500 – This bill ensures that veterinarians can collect their costs from people who abuse animals. It passed the House and is moving to the Senate.
University of Oregon Sustainable City Year – HB 2594 – This program allows students and faculty at UO to assist smaller cities in Oregon to build sustainable practices and reduce costs. It passed the Education Committee and is now in Ways & Means.
Keeping schools safe from preventable disease – HB 3063 – The bill requires children who can safely be vaccinated to receive them before enrolling in school. The bill passed the Health Care Committee and is now in Ways & Means.
Allowing military members to wear their uniforms at high school graduation – HB 2892– The bill passed the House floor and is now in the Senate.
Bills set for a hearing before the deadline –
Allowing Oak Hill School to build a theater building – HB 3384 – This is a technical fix on a land use regulation and would help Oak Hill meet their students’ needs.
Extending the ‘French Fry’ tax credit for biodiesel – HB 3062 – This bill benefits biodiesel suppliers who recycle used fryer oil into fuel.
Ensuring veterans receive housing benefits – HB 2530 – Veterans often have access to benefits that would help them avoid eviction or foreclosure. This bill requires notice of these benefits in notices in these proceedings.
Preventing veterans from being cheated out of educational benefits – HB 2976 – The bill prevents diploma mills from preying on veterans and providing useless credentials.
Building electric vehicle infrastructure – HB 3141 – As we move toward reducing carbon pollution by using more electric vehicles, this bill provides a statewide standard for building the infrastructure to support them.
Plant-based meals - HB 3342 – You shouldn’t have to give up your vegan diet just because you move into assisted living.
Bills not going forward this session –
Human trafficking – HB 2828 - With the administration deporting crime victims at record rates, this bill would have allowed a hearsay exception to allow their testimony to still be used against human traffickers.
Space in schools for mental health providers - HB 3043 – Schools need to provide space for counselors and social workers in schools to ensure that kids receive mental health services that are paid for by insurance, not through tax dollars.
School equity plans - HB 3126 – Too often, we see larger school districts cramming poor and minority students into certain schools.
Same day voter registration - SJR 20 – The voters should have a chance to vote on same-day voter registration.
Not subject to the deadline –
Pending at the Legislative Counsel – I’m having legislation drafted to that would restore the high-income earner tax rates under Measure 67 to fund higher education. It would generate about $350 million per biennium, half of which would go to universities and community colleges that agree to cap their tuition increase and half of which would go to Oregon Opportunity Grants, our large scholarship fund, to reduce student debt. Over the past 19 years, college attendance has risen by over 30%, but state funding for college has dropped over 50%, the second-highest drop of any state.
Pending budget request – I have a request in for $700,000 to help Central Linn School District with a middle school building.
With 90 legislators, we have a huge number of bills. Of the over 2,000 bills out there, more than half are effectively dead. We have a busy week ahead to beat the deadline on those that are pending work sessions. After April 9, our work will turn to considering bills the Senate has passed and the budget. – State Rep. Marty Wilde