Oregon State Legislature Legislation Pertinent to Eastern Oregon

The immortal words of an American politician, lawyer, and newspaper publisher Gideon John Tucker from 1866, will forever be remembered: “No man’s life, liberty, or property are secure while the Legislature is in session.”

You may have believed Mark Twain said that, but it’s only one of many aphorisms wrongly ascribed to him over the years. (Of course, Twain was already great on his own and did not need to enhance his fame by appropriating, even in death, the words of others.)

But the Oregon Legislature is now in session. Although it may be too soon to properly analyze any dangers to life, liberty, and property from the Capitol, you should know that it is in session. Still, the session provides several fascinating stories, one of which is relevant to Eastern Oregon: Can legislative leaders and Governor Tina Kotek follow through on prior pledges to keep the interests of rural Oregonians in mind?

Oregon State Legislature Legislation Pertinent to Eastern Oregon

This subject is increasingly pressing in light of the more pessimistic budget projections. The expenditure plan provided by legislative leaders is lower than what Kotek requested in her budget. At this stage in the session, the best legislation is being sent to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, which has considerable sway over how much money each item receives. Good attempt, but some of those dollars could come up empty. Thanks for taking part. Maybe we’ll meet again soon.

That’s why we’re keeping an eye on legislation that could have a direct impact on Wallowa County, such as a bill that would help alleviate the county’s housing shortage and another that would cover the costs of linking the state of Oregon to a hotline that provides 24/7, anonymous support to farmers, ranchers, and foresters experiencing emotional distress.

William Bradshaw, writing for the Wednesday(March 29, 2023) issue of the Chieftain, will discuss another provision, compensation for ranchers who have lost animals due to wolf depredation. One of the most remarkable aspects is how some of the efforts directly relate to housing and mental health, two of the top goals that Kotek and legislators have set for this session.

Read the following headlines to stay current on happenings around you the news:

A county board dedicated to housing and workforce development would be established under House Bill 3317 in Wallowa County. The bill requests a $5 million state investment, which may seem excessive until one considers that a successful Wallowa County effort could serve as a model for other rural counties grappling with their housing issues.

The price tag of $300,000 for Senate Bill 955, which would enable Oregon to connect to the AgriStress Hotline, is an incredible value in the battle to promote mental health in Oregon’s rural counties. The Chieftain will focus on these legislative matters as part of our mission to provide comprehensive news coverage in Wallowa County.

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