November Legislative Update from Rep. David Gomberg

Source: November Legislative Update

David Gomberg

November Legislative Update

Hello Friends!

I want to begin by thanking the good people of our district for honoring me with the responsibility to represent them another two years in Salem. I take that responsibility very seriously.

You will continue to see me in our local schools, service organizations, business grand openings, and community events or fundraisers. I will continue to listen. Then, late in January, I return to the State Capitol for the six month legislative session. I will work very hard to bring your voice, your vision, and your priorities to the Capitol and ensure they hear our unique coastal and coastal range perspective.

With the November General Election behind us, I am once again sending regular email updates.


Legislative Priorities

Over the past two months, I’ve been working on the proposals I plan to present for legislative consideration. Here are three priorities:

1) Small Business Tax Cut. I am renewing efforts to reduce taxes for our smallest small businesses. In particular, I want to include firms that hire part time or seasonal workers. Those are the S Corporations, LLCs and Sole Proprietors that make up our fishing, farming, and tourism economy.

To see my floor speech on this issue last session, click here.

2) Senior Property Tax Deferral. Too many fixed-income retirees are at risk of losing their homes because of property tax expenses.  A state program will pay those taxes for you and be reimbursed when the home sells. But the program has limited funds and equally limited qualification requirements. I want people to stay in their family home as long and as securely as they choose. So I’ll be asking the legislature to expand this program and make it more widely available.

3) Preparing Kids for Natural Disasters. One day here at the coast, the ground will start shaking. How can we be better prepared? One answer is to enlist our schools to properly train young people.

Current law requires schools to conduct monthly drills. But there is more to getting ready than hiding under the desk. I want to use the same allocation of time to offer an age-appropriate curriculum that teaches students how to prepare and how to recover. That can include emergency planning, necessary supplies, first aid, CERT, and community volunteerism. It can consider earthquakes and tsunamis, but also fire, flood, snowfall, or even water contamination. My thinking is that learning is generational. Parents learn from their children. And if we begin to better prepare our students, all of us will be better prepared.

If you are interested in more details on any of these proposals, please email us for a one page summary.


Out and About in House District 10

What a treat to serve as “MC” for Dancing With the Coastal Stars. We raised money for Samaritan House, had good fun, and changed lives. Congratulations to all the local competitors who practiced for months to get ready for the show.

Dancing with the Coastal Stars

Dancing with the Coastal Stars


I attended the ribbon cutting for a new shooting and archery range at Boy Scout Camp Meriwether just north of Pacific City in Tillamook County. Taking a turn with the targets, I placed all ten rounds in the black center.

Camp Meriwether

Practicing marksmanship at Camp Meriwether


Earlier this month, I rode along for a shift with Lt. Cari Boyd of the Oregon State Police. I’ve done these visits before for a better understanding of traffic, crime, how budgets affect coverage, and the safety and concerns of those men and women who work to protect us all.

OSP

Rep. Gomberg (left) with Lt. Cari Boyd of the Oregon State Police


I joined US Congressman Kurt Schrader for a recent series of meetings in Lincoln County. We visited Depoe Bay to discuss harbor dredging and met with fisherman in Newport. A highlight of the day was opening the new Veterans Service Center. Programs there and in north Lincoln County have been expanded based on money appropriated by the budget committee I chair in Salem.

Celebrating a new veterans center with Congressman Schrader

Celebrating the opening of the new Veterans Service Center with Congressman Schrader


I spent an afternoon serving dinners at the annual Depoe Bay Salmon Bake. City volunteers have a real “machine” in place and I worked up a sweat scooping coleslaw.

Salmon Bake

Depoe Bay Salmon Bake


Odds and Ends from the Past Two Months

  • Spectrum Internet Assist, a new service from Charter Communications, offers high-speed internet for $14.99 per month for qualifying households. Click here to learn more and to see if you qualify.
  • The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership wants to hear how you view water in our region. Until November 30, click here to share your ideas and values about your water and our community’s water.
  • Workers’ compensation costs will drop in Oregon for the sixth straight year. For more info, click here.
  • The Oregon Department of Revenue has designed a new worksheet to help taxpayers avoid unforeseen financial burdens. Some Oregon taxpayers aren’t having enough withheld from their wages to cover their tax liability following the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Click here to learn more and access the worksheet.
  • The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will be holding a public hearing on Biosolid Site authorizations in the Siletz-Logsden Oregon area for the City of Toledo, the City of Siletz, and the Inn at Otter Crest on Thursday, Dec 13, 2018 at the Newport Visual Arts Center.  Written comments will also be accepted until 5 pm on Friday, Dec 21, 2018. More information about the hearing and these site authorizations is available here.
  • Small Business Scam: Don’t Pay for Annual Reports In response to a call from our office, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson issued an alert to all businesses in the state regarding sales of annual reports that are normally available for free. You can see it here.
  • No Drilling on the Oregon Coast! On October 24th, Governor Brown released an Executive Order: “It is the policy of the State of Oregon to oppose the exploration and production of oil or gas off the Oregon Coast, including on the OCS, and to prevent development of any infrastructure associated with offshore oil or gas drilling in order to protect coastal economies, marine fisheries, the environment, public health and safety, and cultural resources.” You can view my remonstrance on the House floor in Salem against offshore drilling here.

Speaking out against offshore drilling

Speaking out against offshore drilling on the Capitol steps in Salem


Thanks for taking the time to read these updates and stay informed. As always, please be in touch if I can ever be of assistance.

Warm Regards,

Representative David Gomberg
House District 10

Email: Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov

Phone: 503-986-1410
Capitol address: 900 Court St NE, H-471, Salem, OR 97301

District address: PO Box 113, Neotsu, OR 97364
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/gomberg

OSU — A Strong and Growing Presence on the Central Coast – Rep. David Gomberg

Greetings! 

Thank you so much for the many positive responses to my weekly reports from the 2018 legislative session.

I enjoy sending news and information throughout our district on a regular basis. However, legislative rules prohibit newsletters like this sent from our office within 60 days of a primary or general election. I think that is a good policy that makes it clear that public resources are not used or perceived to be used for campaign purposes. But it also means you will not be hearing from me again until May 15 except in response to emails or letters you send to me.

On Wednesday afternoon, I will be delighted to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Marine Studies Initiative in Newport.

Artists' Rendering of the OSU Hatfield Marine Sciences Initiative Building
Artists’ Rendering of the OSU Hatfield Marine Sciences Initiative Building

Oregon State University’s new marine studies building at the Hatfield Marine Science Center will not only increase the region’s marine science education and research capacity, it will use state-of-the-art architectural and engineering techniques to serve as one of the first “vertical evacuation” tsunami sites in the United States.

The facility aims to increase the region’s capacity for marine-related education, research and outreach, and engagement. OSU plans to have as many as 150 new staff and up to 500 students annually studying and doing research at the Hatfield campus by 2025. The new building will include classroom space and offices for faculty and graduate students.

“The amount of science here is mind boggling,” says Gil Sylvia, a marine resource economist and superintendent of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experimental Station. “It spans everything. Agencies here are studying where fish stocks are located in the ocean, how fish age and how that relates to their migration. We study oceanographic conditions and the relationship to fishery productivity. We are helping map the bottom of the ocean. We study underwater volcanoes and earthquakes.”

Looked at from a different perspective, the MSI will bring more living wage jobs, more customers for local business, and more potential employees from the student population.

In addition to housing Marine Studies Initiative programs, the new building will host the Marine Fisheries Genetics Program and provide headquarters for OSU’s nationally recognized Marine Mammal Institute and its marine genetics and genomics programs.

Speaking of the Marine Mammal Institute, we are now very, very close to selling 3000 vouchers for the new Oregon Coast Whale License Plate.

New "Coastal Playground" License Plates Will Benefit Marine Mammal Institute
New “Coastal Playground” License Plates Will Benefit Marine Mammal Institute

Every purchase supports the OSU Marine Mammal Institute, meaning the license plates are more than distinctive and stylish — they also help support whale research, graduate student education, and public outreach.

You can be one of the first to own the new plate by purchasing a voucher. As soon as 3,000 vouchers are sold, the plates will go into production, and you will be notified when your plate is available at the DMV. Purchase a voucher online for only $40, of which $35 will directly support the Marine Mammal Institute.

In a final piece of OSU news, a major win for the Coastal Caucus during the recent session was House Bill 5201 – an appropriation package that includes $3 million for the Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site.

Senator Roblan and I worked hard to fund this wave energy test site off the Oregon Coast. State funds are being leveraged to help secure an additional $35 million in federal monies for the project. The test facility is being designed and constructed by an OSU team, and is expected to be operational in 2021.

The research site has been approved by the fishing industry at a location where wave energy developers can test utility scale wave energy converters in the ocean, with a connection to the electric utility grid through a subsea cable. It will be operated by Oregon State University’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

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Whether it is new jobs, new and critical ocean research, the study of new energy sources, new architecture that demonstrates how we can prepare for future seismic events, or simply the pride of a new coastal license plate, these developments help strengthen the economy and the communities of the entire central coast and Coast Range.

As always, let me know if you have  any questions or concerns about your state government!

Warm regards,

Rep. David Gomberg

email: Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov
phone: 503-986-1410
address: 900 Court St NE, H-371, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/gomberg

2018 Session Conclusion – One Week Early! – Rep. David Gomberg

2018 Session Conclusion – One Week Early!

Greetings!

At the very end of each legislative session, it is tradition to open both the Senate and House chamber doors. From the dais at the front of the House, you can see across the open space under the Capitol dome, straight through the building, to the dais at the front of the Senate chamber. After making eye contact, the Senate President and the House Speaker bring down their gavels simultaneously to signal formal adjournment “sine die”.

Oregon lawmakers performed this ceremony and ended the 2018 session late Saturday afternoon, eight days before the constitutional deadline.  We also avoided much of the partisan disagreements that clouded the last short session two years ago. Most of the 260 bills introduced were noncontroversial and passed with little opposition.

Major measures we approved include: increased funding for affordable housing (HB 4007); prescription drug transparency (HB 4005); net neutrality protection (HB 4155); prohibiting firearms sales to convicted domestic abusers (HB 4145); stronger clean air standards (SB 1541); and disconnecting Oregon from the difficult new federal tax bill (SB 1528).

SCR 203, Declaring Adjournment Sine Die of the 2018 Legislative Session, Passes
SCR 203, Declaring Adjournment Sine Die of the 2018 Legislative Session, Passes

Most of my own measures also crossed the finish line, including: my bill to ease red tape for small business (HB 4052); the Equifax Breach Bill (SB 1551) which would prohibit fees for freezing your account if a credit monitoring company gets hacked; my PERS Reform bill (HB 4046) which would prevent “spiking” retirement benefits; a resolution to honor former State Rep. Paul Hanneman (SCR 211); and a measure I carried on the final day to create small business loan funds for expansion and operating costs (SB 1516). All passed by wide, bipartisan margins.

A high-profile plan to address climate change, cap greenhouse gas emissions and charge the state’s largest polluters was not able to garner enough support to move forward. Instead, a special committee has been appointed to consider viable alternatives for 2019.

A bill that would add Oregon to a growing number of states awarding Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote in presidential elections failed to move through the Senate despite consistent support from the House. Finally, my bill to help shelter dogs and cats (HB 4045) did not move forward in 2018. But I will be re-introducing it in 2019 and am hopeful the longer session will give it a better chance of passing.

Last year, the Legislative Assembly completed the state budget for the 2017-2019 biennium.  One of the most important reasons for short sessions in alternate years is to make needed adjustments to this budget. A final item completed during the 2018 session was an omnibus budget package that authorized $93 million for a wide variety of mid-biennium spending on projects statewide.

2018 legislative Session Sine Die Gavelling Out
Gavelling Out the 2018 Legislative Session

The largest single item in the appropriations bill was an additional $27.5 million to cover the costs of fighting wildfires in 2017. The bill also allocated an additional $15.7 million to the state’s child welfare program to hire more caseworkers and other staff to keep foster children safe and help families.

An additional $5.2 million will pay for emergency winter housing and shelter around the state.

Newport continues to emerge as a premiere center for ocean science research and teaching. In a big win for the Central Coast and for the legislative Coastal Caucus, OSU’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) received $3 million for a wave energy testing facility. These funds will be matched on an 8-1 basis with federal money to continue study of wave energy potential. Click here more funding details.

Overall, I would say that the session was productive, mild-mannered, and remarkably fast paced. One member described each day as a “lightening round.” There were certainly disappointments, but also much to celebrate.

House Chamber Displays 2018 Session Adjournment
House Chamber Displays 2018 Session Adjournment

Anyone who believes that short sessions should be quick, focused on budget adjustments, and an opportunity for small policy fixes should be pleased with our past months’ work.

I’m back in the district now and won’t be missing my icy morning commutes to Salem. I continue to attend as many local events as my calendar allows. On Friday at 8am on KCUP radio, I’ll do an hour-long legislative re-cap. On Tuesday the 6th, I’ll join the Pacific City Nestucca Valley Chamber of Commerce for lunch in Tillamook County, and on the 15th I’ll be speaking to the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce. On the 15th, I’ll also be very pleased to address the groundbreaking for the Marine Science Center in Newport. And on Saturday the 10th, I’ll be at the Spay-getti Beach Bark Benefit in Lincoln City.

Hope to see you somewhere very soon!

Warm regards,

Rep. David Gomberg

email: Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov
phone: 503-986-1410
address: 900 Court St NE, H-371, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/gomberg

 

Mid-Session Update from Salem – Rep. David Gomberg

Mid-Session Update from Salem

Greetings!

With the half-way point of the “short” 2018 Session behind us, the pace has slowed in the House but accelerated in the Senate. The reason is mathematical. There are twice as many Representatives as Senators, and House Rules allow Representatives two bills each, while the Senate has limited itself to just one. That means the Senate has introduced only one-quarter as many bills as the House.

Measures on the move are now mostly in the Senate unless they need money to implement and have been referred to the Ways and Means budgeting committee. Ways and Means is a “joint” committee made up of both Senators and Representatives. More than 100 requests that have a fiscal impact have been sent to the Committee with the total “asks” far exceeding the funds available.

Reps. Fahey, Gomberg, Meek and Sollman Rally for Net Neutrality on the Capitol Steps
Reps. Fahey, Gomberg, Meek, and Sollman Rally for Net Neutrality on Capitol Steps

In the Senate last week, the major decision was a bill determining the Oregon tax rate for some small businesses with pass-through income. As currently written, SB 1528 would adjust Oregon tax policy in response to the recent federal tax changes.

Affected businesses include S corporations, LLCs, and some business partnerships — categories that include most smaller “mom and pop” businesses. “Pass-through” refers to the fact that profits for these types of businesses are passed to the owners and taxed as personal income. As personal income tax rates are generally higher than corporate rates, a small business usually pays a higher tax rate than larger corporations. I think that is poor public policy!

The problem is that nearly half of the new benefit goes to people making more than $455,000 annually. According to the non-partisan Legislative Revenue Office, if the new federal tax break remains in state law, Oregon stands to lose roughly $120 million in the current budget. But if lawmakers act to keep the federal deduction out of state law, the state budget would retain about $140 million in revenue. And significantly, Oregon already offers a tax break to pass-through entities.

Opponents argue that SB 1528 amounts to a 20 percent increase in taxes for small businesses. Supporters respond that businesses should not get two Oregon tax breaks, that businesses have yet to take advantage of this new provision, and that without it, the tax rate for these businesses will be the same as last year, so it can’t be considered a tax increase. Both positions have some merit.

This conversation is not over. The measure now comes to the House where we will be looking hard at how to protect smaller businesses, limit new tax breaks to the wealthiest Oregonians, while also safeguarding state revenues in the face of these complex changes from Washington, DC.

High profile votes in the House last week included:

• HJR 201–  a constitutional referral to Oregon voters that would make it easier for local jurisdictions to finance the costs of developing affordable housing.

• HB 4018– providing increased transparency and accountability for the coordinated care organizations (CCOs) that serve Oregon’s Medicaid population.

• HB 4113– allowing educators to discuss class size when negotiating their contracts.

• HB 4141– increasing transparency in the tuition-setting process and giving students a larger voice in the process through the creation of tuition advisory council.

Painting Currently On Display in Rep. Gomberg's Capitol Office
Painting “Remembering Dave” Currently On Display in Rep. Gomberg’s Office

Coastal Art and Coastal Artists

Each session, I invite artists from our district to display their work in my capitol office.

The collection being showcased this month is by Waldport resident Virginia L. Leonnig.

Capitol regulars have recognized an amusing irony in the newest display. Many of the colorful oil paintings feature sky lanterns – those light paper balloons heated by an open-flame fuel source and turned loose to float where the breezes take them. Two years ago, I authored and passed legislation prohibiting their use in Oregon as a fire hazard!

As an added irony, one painting (shown above) is titled “Remembering Dave” (no relation).

To be considered for a one month show during the 2019 legislative session, please send me an email.

Gomberg Bills on the Move

My measure to ease red tape for small business, HB 4052, has passed the House and will be voted on in the full Senate this week.

My Equifax Breach Bill, HB 4147, which would prohibit fees for freezing your account if a credit monitoring company gets hacked has stalled in the House. A similar bill, SB 1551, has been introduced and passed in the Senate and appears to be moving in the House. I have signed on as a sponsor of that measure as well.

My PERS Reform bill, HB 4046, which would prevent “spiking” PERS retirement benefits with outside income has passed the House and will be considered in the Senate this week.

My committee bill to help small business recover from disasters, HB 4025, has been approved by the Committee on Economic Development and Trade and has been sent to the Ways and Means Committee.

Finally, my bill to help shelter dogs and cats, HB 4045, is unlikely to move forward in 2018 but will be re-introduced in 2019. [www.statesmanjournal.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/02/15/legislature-should-have-advanced-puppy-mill-bill/342373002/]An editorial in the Statesman Journal was very supportive of the bill and critical of the decision to let it languish.

To review any of these bills in detail, click here.

Housing and Economic Development

Those of you interested in the issue of housing and how the shortage of workforce housing relates to and affects local and rural economies will be interested in a hearing I organized in my Committee on Economic Development and Trade last Wednesday. That session looked at how the statewide housing shortage translates into trouble finding workers, lost productivity or business closings, and more automation of service work. Click here to watch the hearing in full.

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Thanks again for your interest in your legislature and our remarkable district! If I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to send me a note.

Warm regards,

Rep. David Gomberg 

email: Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov
phone: 503-986-1410
address: 900 Court St NE, H-371, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/gomberg

 

Mass Shooting at South Florida High School

Please write your legislators (Sen.ArnieRoblan@oregonlegislature.gov and Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov ) in support of HB 4145 (removes the “boyfriend loophole”), and urging them to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, etc.


 

The bloody massacre in a Florida high school today has left us devastated and angry. It’s difficult to put into words our outrage and grief.

Tonight we mourn and try to comprehend the complete lack of human decency shown by gun lobby-funded legislators both in Salem and Washington, D.C.

Tomorrow, we will share our plan of action.

In the meantime, hug your family. Call someone you miss. And, for the love of our kids, make a commitment to call your legislator to demand strong, effective gun laws.

If you live in Oregon, tell your legislators you support HB 4145 and they should as well.

And wherever you live, call your legislators. Tell them to:

  • ban assault rifles,
  • high capacity magazines, and
  • ban products like bump stocks that effectively turn an semi-automatic gun. (Bump stocks were used in the Las Vegas shooting.)

You can find your legislator here.

It doesn’t take long to make the calls but they can help enact legislation that will last a lifetime.

Our deepest sympathies to the families and community.

Penny Okamoto
Ceasefire Oregon

Make a difference today

Your support enables Ceasefire Oregon to continue working toward a stronger, safer Oregon for all of us.

Donate
Ceasefire Oregon
PO Box 91155, Portland, Oregon 97291 
(503) 451-3630

Clean Energy Jobs Bill

Note: Rep. Gomberg is supportive but Sen. Roblan needs encouragement.  This could make Oregon a leader in sustainable energy.


Great news! The Clean Energy Jobs bill, both the House and Senate versions, just passed out of their original committees today. They’re bound for the Rules Committee, which means they’re alive for the rest of session! Many other bills weren’t so lucky.

More than 500 of us filled the halls of the capitol building Monday. Lawmakers couldn’t believe their eyes, moving through crowds of Clean Energy Jobs supporters everywhere they went. What a huge impact. It was the largest lobby day for climate in state HISTORY! 

We showed true statewide support for climate action. A person from each and every House and Senate district in the state attended. 

Some meetings went better than others, as I’m sure you know. We have our work cut out for us. All of our volunteers … were amazing — cheering lawmakers who are champions and urging lawmakers who still need to make up their minds.

Clean_Energy_Bill_group.jpg

What do we do now?

  1. Don’t go silent. It’s in a new committee, we need to push with renewed urgency! Only about 3 weeks left to get over the finish line. Share this and/or this graphic.
  2. Email and call your Senator and Representative. If they’re already supportive, urge them to be a champion and talk to their colleagues about supporting the bill right now.
  3. Call a friend, sibling, parent, niece, uncle, grandparent… whoever you know in these places — Boring, Canby, Carlton, Coos Bay, Corvallis, Creswell, Dallas, Enterprise, Eugene, Florence, Grants Pass, Independence, Le Grande, Lincoln City, McMinnville, Monmouth, Oregon City, Portland, Powell Butte, Prineville, Salem, Springfield, Tigard, Tillamook, and Yamhill.

House and Senate Rules Committee members represent these places. Tell people you know to call and write. Forward them this email.

Let’s keep giving it our all!

Sonny Mehta
Field Director

Homeless in Newport – A Newport News-Times Documentary

Lincoln County Public Health is proud to participate alongside other community agencies in Project Homeless Connect, Lincoln County’s annual homeless outreach event, that took place on Friday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Newport Church of the Nazarene.

Source: Newport News Times | Homeless in Newport

New Year, New Laws, New Budget – Rep. David Gomberg