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Year: 2015

Senators Spike Deal on Wildfire Spending, Forest Reforms

By Just a few days ago it appeared an agreement would be reached to fix the nation’s broken system of wildfire funding, while increasing the pace and scale of forest health projects on federal lands. Spurred by an unprecedented coalition of industry, conservation and outdoors groups, bipartisan members in both the House and Senate had agreed to include the negotiated package in the fiscal 2016 Omnibus bill, which Congress must pass before the holidays to keep the government running. Yet there will be nothing under the tree for our forests and rural communities this Christmas. According to multiple media...

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Rep. Bentz Self-Service Bill Becomes Law

SALEM, Ore —House Bill 3011, brought by Representative Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario), has passed the House, Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown yesterday. The bill allows Oregonians to “self-serve” gasoline at rural gas stations between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Rep. Bentz said: “This is a good day for those who find themselves low on gas in remote parts of Oregon late at night. No longer will they have to wait until the next day for a station to open. Instead, they will be able to serve themselves at those gas stations which...

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Oregon House Passes Marijuana Legislation

SALEM, Ore — The Oregon House of Representatives passed HB 3400 (medical marijuana & recreational marijuana) on June 24th, and HB 2041 (tax on recreational marijuana) on June 25th. Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) said: “Oregon’s decision to legalize marijuana will take effect July 1st, creating significant challenges for, and major changes to, our communities. Oregon legislators spent much of the 2015 Legislative Session making the provisions of Measure 91 fit, as best they could, into a state with widely divergent views on allowing recreational use of what is still a federally illegal drug. Included in this legislation is the...

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Senator Dough Whitsett: State Agency Rulemakers Ignore Their Own Rules

by Oregon State Senator Doug Whitsett In past newsletters, I have warned how the controversial Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) threatens to increase costs of energy for poor and working Oregonians, under the guise of protecting the environment. The LCFS was originally enacted by House Bill 2186 in 2009, but included a “sunset” provision that required the Legislature to reauthorize the law before the program could be implemented. The sunset was lifted by SB 324, passed during the 2015 regular session on largely party-line votes, with unanimous opposition from Republicans and a few Democrats. Its passage was contingent upon...

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Senator Doug Whitsett: A Choice Between Public Safety and Compassion

by Oregon State Senator Doug Whitsett It’s been almost a year and a half since the dangerous international terrorist organization, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), declared a global caliphate. Even before that proclamation, ISIL had already committed countless atrocities in multiple nations on several continents. Mass murders, myriad rapes, beheadings and religious persecutions have now become routine in areas that recently were holding elections and were on-track in establishing democratic governance. Caliphate is a form of Islamic government. It is led by a Caliph whose followers consider him to be the rightful leader of all Muslims...

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