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									                                    Senator David Nelson...

                                    CAPITOL UPDATE
May 27, 2005

In This Issue:                      ENJOY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
                                    Safe travel…
 •    Budgets                       Remember family & friends…
 •    Technology Development
                                    Salute our Military Troops…and thank their
 •    Medical Malpractice
 •    Federal Forest $ for
     Oregon Schools
 •    Bill Watch

                                                 The legislature’s House and Senate Special Committees on
                                           Budget are still working with three budget proposals: the Senate,
                                       House and Governor’s adjusted budget proposals. All are still on the
                                       table and all have some areas of agreement.

Committees:                             Negotiations by leaders with input from Governor Kulongoski
                                    continued this week and limited progress is seen. The two budget
Full Ways & Means                   committees continue independently to pass budgets out and each Chamber
 • Education Sub-committee          has begun passing these budgets to the other. At this time, it appears the
                                    budgets will be assigned to the budget committees in the other Chamber for
 • Natural Resources Sub-
                                    consideration and likely will be amended. In this scenario, the budget when
                                    passed would return to its origin for concurrence. If concurrence is denied,
                                    a Conference Committee would be appointed to work out the differences.
Let us know what you think!!!
                                    In the mean time, if an agreement is reached through negotiations of
                                    leadership, the budgets would be amended to reflect the agreement and sent
Please do not hesitate to contact
us with your concerns, question,    to each Chamber for approval. The process can take unusual turns and
or opinions!                        paths, it is different in each biennial session, political prospective changes
                                    from session to session – as well as legislators who come and go, but what
                                    remains constant is democracy. Oregon
                                    has a wonderful open process with input
                                    from citizens, as well as experts and
in the following ways:
                                    special interest groups.
Phone: 503-986-1729;
FAX: 503-986-1983;
                                 Oregon Legislators listen to their
                                 constituents and weigh their ideas and
Web page:                        concerns when making decisions.
                                               NELSON TECHNOLOGY PROPOSALS
BILL WATCH:                                                  Clear House committee

SB 689 which passed out of         In the past three Legislative Sessions, Senator Nelson has worked tirelessly
the Senate as a bill that would    to build technology infrastructure statewide. He has been successful each
ban the use of remote-             session in passing value added measures to build on the use and
controlled weapons to shoot        development of the infrastructure, opportunities for Oregonians and growth
wildlife via the Internet has      of the state’s economic base. His focus has been on increasing
been amended in a House            opportunities in rural areas, though always with an eye on statewide
committee. The bill now            benefits.
allows each county to decide
whether to control bear and        Last session, his emphasis was on addressing the nursing crisis, education
cougar populations through         for other health field technologists and providers and unification of the
hunting. It has passed out of      health and education networks for delivery of education and health care.
the committee and is headed        Work in these areas has been productive. The number of nursing students
to the House floor.                in every program in Oregon has increased. Opportunities in other fields are
                                   coming on line, networks are being updated to carry bigger files, education
SB 5549, the Senate K-12           of nurses, first responders and others is being provided by distance learning
Budget sits on the Speaker’s       and the use of simulation laboratories. Resources are being shared
desk awaiting referral to          statewide.
                                   This session, the workforce development and education efforts continue
HB 5092, the House K-12            through SB 822 and SB 15. Both are well on their way through the process.
Budget sits on the President       SB 882 is scheduled on the House floor for a vote and SB 15 passed out of
of the Senate’s desk awaiting      the House Business Committee on May 24. The first bill requires the
referral to committee.             Employment Department to perform a needs assessment statewide for
                                   healthcare workforce. The assessment will be used by Community
HB 3162 abolishes the CIM          Colleges and Universities to address educational needs in communities
(Certificate of Initial Mastery)   throughout Oregon. Again, resources including faculty and distance
and CAM (Certificate of            learning availability will be shared.
Advanced Mastery)
requirements for school            The second bill extends the sunset on the Oregon Telecommunications
districts effective on July 1,     Coordinating Council and requires them to report back to the legislature on
2007. The bill passed the          their progress in completing the network agreements/connections needed to
House and has been assigned        upgrade and implement the rapidly growing educational needs for
to the Senate Rules                continued development of a qualified health care workforce. This
Committee.                         grassroots statewide group has been successfully facilitating public and
                                   private organizations working together to promote the use of
HB 2458 authorizes                 telecommunications infrastructure and new technologies.
commercial development in
buildings of any size and type     A third bill, SB 17 creates a taskforce on Telecommunications Law
on certain lands outside the       Revision. Both the industry and the regulators (Public Utility Commission)
Willamette Valley and outside      have expressed a need for policy makers to review and revise Oregon law to
the urban growth boundaries        reflect changing technologies, pending federal law, and the scope of current
of cities. The bill was heard in   authority to regulate telecommunications.
the Senate Environment and
Land Use Committee on                                  MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Thursday, 5-26. Among those                                    The debate continues
testifying in favor of the bill
were David Hadley, Steve           The medical malpractice debate has changed its course, but is still
Watkinds, and Art Kegler.
Letters of support were            simmering in the Capitol today. Senator Alan Bates, M.D and Senator
submitted by Umatilla County       Charlie Ringo, a trial lawyer, have agreed to disagree on this issue, though
and Greater HWY 395                they have worked together during the session along with other doctors and
Development Association.           attorneys to find a compromise. SB 884 sponsored by Bates and Ringo is
                                   emerging with both sides saying it is not the answer. It may be, however,
SB 736 expands the                 the best they can do this session.
exemption from state site
certifications currently           The bill is a plan to limit court damages to medical negligence victims. It
extended to ethanol                seeks to cut costs and insurance rates through a pretrial committee
production facilities to include   screening process.
biodiesel production facilities.
It expands allowable               It proposes the startup of a nonprofit insurance fund similar to one currently
feedstocks to include oil          in place for Oregon’s lawyers. By spreading the risk equally among all
seeds, waste oil and cellulosic    doctors, the fund could cover malpractice damages without leaving
biomass, such as grass straw.      specialists to cope with skyrocketing premiums. Awards would not be
This bill may be important to      limited since voters have voted twice against caps on pain and suffering
development of a plant in          awards. The bill remains in committee.
Umatilla County.

                                   Federal Payments to Rural Roads and Schools Set to Expire
                                   For nearly 100 years communities surrounded by federal timber received
                                   cash support from the sales on those lands. But when harvest levels were
                                   drastically reduced, those payments stopped. So Congress passed the Secure
                                   Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act to assist the rural
                                   communities affected by the loss in revenue.

                                   Last year more than $84million was distributed to rural Oregon road and
                                   school funds. But the act is set to expire in 2006. In response, the Oregon
                                   Legislature passed House Joint Memorial 1, which urges Congress and the
                                   President to extend the sunset on the act through 2016. Last week, the
                                   Congressional House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, chaired
                                   by Congressman Greg Walden, held a hearing on a bill that would extend
                                   the act to 2013.

                                   “Oregon’s economy has always been natural resource based,” says Senator
                                   Nelson. “So long as the federal government has almost 60 percent of our
                                   forestland out of production, the payments received under the Secure Rural
                                   Schools Act are necessary. Perhaps it is time for the state to have more
                                   control over the federal forests within its borders.”

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