Gideon John Tucker was an American lawyer, newspaper editor, and politician. In 1866, he wrote, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session,” which has become his most famous quote.
You might have thought that Mark Twain said those words, but it turns out that this is one of the many “Twain” sayings that have been wrongly attributed to him over time. (Of course, Twain was good enough on his own that he doesn’t need to improve his reputation by taking other people’s words, even after he’s dead.)
In any case, you already know that the Oregon Legislature is in session, even though it might be too soon to fully assess the dangers that could come from the Capitol to life, liberty, and property.
Still, the session has some interesting storylines, and Eastern Oregon is especially interested in one of them: Will legislative leaders and Gov. Tina Kotek keep their promises to keep the needs of rural Oregonians in mind?
As budget predictions get worse, this question has become more critical. Legislative leaders have come up with a spending plan that calls for less money than Kotek’s budget asked for.
Discover the impact of recently passed bills in Oregon by clicking on the links below and staying informed about the state’s legislative priorities-
- Oregon Bill Aims to Provide Support for Talented and Gifted Students
- Senate Bill 320 Seeks to Reform Harsh Sentencing Guidelines in Oregon
At this point in the session, good bills are being sent to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, which has much power and will have much to say about which ones get money. Some of these bills may come short, but it was a good try. Thanks for the game. Maybe we’ll see you next time.
Because of this, we’re keeping a close eye on legislative measures that are important to Wallowa County, like a bill that could help with the county’s housing shortage and another that would help pay for connecting Oregon to a hotline that allows farmers, ranchers, and foresters who are stressed get immediate and confidential help.
In the Wednesday edition of the Chieftain, reporter Bill Bradshaw will write about another measure: giving money to ranchers who have lost livestock because of wolves.
Some of these projects directly relate to Kotek and lawmakers’ priorities for this session, such as housing and mental health. This is one of the most exciting things about this situation. The Wallowa County housing bill, House Bill 3317, would create a county board to work on housing and workforce development.
It calls for the state to invest $5 million, which might seem like a lot until you think about how a successful Wallowa County effort could help other rural counties solve their housing problems.
Senate Bill 955, which would help Oregon connect to the AgriStress Helpline, should be an easy choice for budget writers. At just $300,000, it’s a fantastic deal for improving mental health in rural Oregon counties.
The Chieftain will keep an eye on these legislative issues. This is part of our promise to cover Wallowa County news as well as we can.