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The fate of Oregon water measurement bill by Senator Whitsett's office

May 17, 2007 by Gail Hildreth Whitsett

Dear Friends,

 The water measurement bill came to the House for a floor vote on Wednesday afternoon. When the bill's sponsor did a prefloor session, pre -vote count, and saw that it would be defeated, it was pulled off the floor before the vote was taken.

It was referred to the Ways and Means Committee to assess the financial impact to the state budget .  When the bill was "pushed" through the committee originally, the sponsor said there would be no financial impact, in order to get it to a vote. Suddenly when it became apparent the bill would not pass in its amended form, the Democrat leadership and the bill's sponsor kept the bill alive by sending it to Ways and Means.  If it had been voted on as scheduled it would be dead for this session. As it stands, the bill is not dead, but temporarily "out of play" until the sponsor can try and convince the Ways and Means committee to send it back to the floor of the House when she has enough votes pre-counted to pass it.

 This sort of behavior is the norm here in Salem with the Democrats in control of both the House, Senate and Governor's office.  One bill was brought to the floor of the Senate 11 times and then pulled back at the last minute when enough pre-votes determined that the bill would not pass, until finally on the 12th try the Democratic majority had convinced enough legislators to vote for it, and it passed. There appears to be no end to the strange way business is done in the capitol building.

I thank everyone for their calls, e-mails and letters regarding HB 2564, and hope they can help again when this bill resurfaces after its trip to the Ways and Means Committee and is brought forth for a vote again in the House.

Special thanks to the hard work of  the members and lobbyists of

Water for Life and Richard Cosesan ;

Farm Bureau and Katie Fast;

Oregon Cattleman's Association, Kay Teisel and Jim Welsh;

Oregon Ground Water Association and Jerry Schmidt;

 Oregonians In Action and Dave Hunnicutt,  

Oregonians for Food and Shelter and Paulette Pyle, 

Oregon Wheat Growers League Tamee Dennee,

 Oregon Sheep Growers, 

Oregon Bankers Association,

Oregon Realtors and Harlan Levy,

Oregon Pulp and Paper Industry and Kathryn Van Atta,

Oregon Women in Agriculture,

 and members of several Oregon timber industry groups.  It was a concerted effort, along with the many  citizens of Oregon to stop this bill.

A very special thanks from everyone to Jacqui Krizo and the KBC website; Barb Hall and the Bucket Brigade Website and Julie Smithson from the

Property Rights Research website for bringing this water measurement bill to the attention of tens of thousands of citizens across the state and

nation, who then contacted the Oregon legislators.  We will ask for your help again when this bill returns, along with House Bill 2566 (the water

exemption bill) later this session.

Thank you again and best wishes,

 Gail Hildreth Whitsett

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