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Representative Bill Garrard
R-Klamath Falls, District 56

Phone: 503-986-1456    900 Court St. NE, H-480, Salem Oregon 97301
Email: rep.billgarrard@state.or.us     Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/garrard
E-Newsletter                              06/19/09


Today, House Democrats were unsuccessful in their attempt to thwart the will of Oregon voters by suspending the implementation of Measure 57, a law to hold chronic offenders accountable while providing treatment many of them need for drug addiction.  House Republicans defeated their plan to block Measure 57 and called on the Democrat Leadership to prioritize spending and fund the state’s critical public safety priorities.

House Bill 3508 would have phased in the implementation of Measure 57, delaying full implementation until January 2012.  Democrats hoped to use the $78 million, the cost of implementing Measure 57, to increase other state agency budgets.  To encourage House Republicans to vote for this bill, Democrats added an $8 million line item to the bill dedicated to the Oregon State Police.  If the Republicans voted no, Democrats threatened to cut critical public safety programs.  These cuts included:

  • Eliminating Oregon State Police Troopers from the Patrol Division, preventing the agency from providing 24/7 coverage throughout Oregon.
  • Eliminating Oregon State Police detectives, making it difficult for OSP to investigate major crimes such as identity theft or child abuse.
  • Reducing resources for victim compensation and other victim-related programs.
  • Reducing resources for country drug courts and efforts to reduce drug-related crimes.

“Budgets are a reflection of priorities,” said Rep. Garrard.  “There was enough money to pay for everything before Democrats raised taxes and fees.  Hopefully today’s vote will force Democrat Leadership to reprioritize their proposed budget.” 

At the conclusion of the vote on House Bill 3508, House Democrats served notice of possible reconsideration of the bill.  The bill will most likely be reconsidered on Monday, June 21st

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              Page Updated: Tuesday June 23, 2009 02:47 AM  Pacific

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