Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Whitsett at the Capitol
It is tough to escape the fact that Oregon faces a number of extremely difficult issues this session. The legislative process is designed to produce close consideration and intense deliberation of these issues, but we only have a finite amount of time and a host of very real problems.
This fact is what makes it is so infuriating for the Senate Judiciary Committee to waste an entire afternoon on a bill that is actually in search of a problem that does not exist. Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary committee heard more than two hours of testimony on Senate Bill 956, a bill that would grant local school districts authority to ban licensed gun owners from carrying on school property. In the end, the bill was defeated, and I could not be more pleased with that result.
The key fact with respect to Senate Bill 956 is that absolutely no problem exists for the bill to correct. Never has a licensed hand gun owner carried a gun onto school property and used it. Never has a licensed hand gun on school property been wrested from the owner and used for violence. This bill is not directed at an existing or imminent problem as all legislation should be. It is a direct attack on the idea of responsible gun ownership.
Furthermore, Senate Bill 956 creates the potential for more than 198 different hand gun laws, a state of affairs that would literally gut Oregon’s preemption statute of any meaning. The preemption statute vests full authority for the regulation of firearms in the legislative assembly. This bill is the first step toward the erosion of our preemption statute and toward greater restrictions on safe and responsible gun ownership.
In the aftermath of the bill’s defeat, it became clear that there were divisions over the issue even in the democratic caucus and that the bill was never likely to go anywhere. So why does a contentious and half-dead piece of legislation like Senate Bill 956 ever see the light of day? Simple really, in order to provide a political spectacle.
I want to thank each and every one of you that contacted my office regarding Senate Bill 956. Please continue to be active on the issues that are important to you—if we don’t stand up for rural Oregon, no one else will.
On The Record –Key bills to watch
House Joint Resolution 527
This Resolution simply commemorates the 100th Anniversary of Klamath Falls. Representative Garrard and I join in supporting this bill and will testify about the great people of Klamath Falls at the public hearing on Tuesday. The text of the legislation is found below:
Whereas in 1867 George Nurse established a trading store along the Link River between Upper
and Lower Klamath Lakes, an area first surveyed by Kit Carson and John C. Fremont in the 1840s,
and called the area Linkville; and
Whereas the town of Linkville became the county seat of Klamath County when the Legislative
Assembly created the county in 1882; and
Whereas in 1893 Linkville was renamed Klamath Falls in recognition of the cataracts then
present in the Link River; and
Whereas in 1902 Crater Lake National Park in Klamath County was established by President
Theodore Roosevelt; and
Whereas the town of Klamath Falls tripled in population between 1900 and 1905; and
Whereas the federal Bureau of Reclamation in 1905 began excavation of a canal system that
would eventually irrigate over 200,000 acres of productive farm land in Oregon and northern
Whereas in 1905 two paddle wheeler steamboats were launched, the Winema on Upper Klamath
Lake and the Klamath on Lower Klamath Lake; and
Whereas at the same time plans were finalized to lay a rail line connecting Klamath Falls with
San Francisco; and
Whereas the City of Klamath Falls received its official charter in 1905 and began a period of
unprecedented growth in its high mountain basin; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:
That we, the members of the Seventy-third Legislative Assembly, commemorate the 100th anniversary
of the charter of the City of Klamath Falls as the city celebrates the event in a series of
year-long activities, and we convey our warmest regards to its residents.
For Information on all the bills that Senator Whitsett is Sponsoring, visit his legislative Web site at:
Visits to the Capitol
I just wanted to thank all those who joined me at the Capitol this week for OIT day. It was a great success and I was pleased for the rest of the state to see the hard work and the great success that OIT has experienced. It is a model institution.
Oregon Home Builders Association Day
I also wanted to thank all the builders from the district who took time to come to the Capitol during the Oregon Home Builders Association lobby day. These are hard-working people who contribute a great deal to our economy and contribute even more by helping many Oregonians realize the dream of home-ownership.
Please Contact or Visit us in Salem
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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