Senator Jeff Kruse Point of view on whats going on in Salem

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by U201491, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    APRIL 24, 2015


    Last Tuesday was, in theory, the last day to pass bills out of the committees in the Chamber of Origin. There was, however, a significant number of bills in both Chambers that were referred to either the Rules Committees or the Joint Committee on Ways and Means which don’t have deadlines. There are some legitimate reasons for such moves. For example, in the Education Committee we had some bills we have had workgroups working on for a couple of months and the amendments still are not quite right. Sending these bills to the Rules Committee will allow us to finish our work and get the structure right before we send them out for a vote. Other bills are sent there for a variety of reasons, including the potential of them being bargaining chips during the end game of the Session. The bills sent to Ways and Means fall into two categories. The majority of them are sent for legitimate reasons as they have money attached which makes them part of the budget process. Others are sent there with the full intent of making additional policy decisions, which is a violation of our legislative process. But, as usual, the majority party will ignore the rules that get in the way of their objectives.

    The majority party made a point this week about how bi-partisan the process has been this Session. They pointed out the fact that the majority of the bills that have been passed have had unanimous or nearly unanimous votes. This is a true statement and has always been the case no matter which party was in control. Most of the work we do tends to be of a technical nature and is not controversial. But I would suggest there is a significant difference between a bill to add a physician assistant to the medical board and a bill to increase the minimum wage. Early in the Session I received a list of bills from the Roseburg Chamber of Commerce, some they supported and some they opposed. At the deadline all of the bills they supported were dead and all of the bills they opposed were still alive. So much for the Legislature being focused on jobs and the economy.

    I do occasionally try to step back and keep things in perspective. To that end I want to give you a quote from Thomas Jefferson, but first a quote from President Kennedy on Jefferson. President Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

    Our Founding Fathers were an amazing group brought together at just the right time to create a form of government that has changed the world. I wish our schools spent as much time teaching this part of our history as was taught when I was in school, but that is a subject for a different time. Of all the brilliant minds from that time, probably the greatest was Jefferson. I have a long list of quotes from him that I think we all should remember, but for now I want to give you just two. Jefferson said: “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the Labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Jefferson also said: “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

    Simply stated, for every little bit of security the government offers you; you give up a little bit of freedom. During the entirety of the Obama administration there has not been a budget passed. Everything he has done has been done on the budget side by either continuing resolutions or executive orders (it should be noted Obama has issued three times as many executive orders as any other president). The reality in Obamacare is the bill that will come due for Oregon in three years will be over $2 billion, and we continue to ignore the financial cliff we are headed towards. I know I have mentioned this before, but it is very serious and needs to be repeated.

    I wish I had some positive things to talk about relative to what is going on in Salem, but at this point it is hard to be optimistic. Elections have results and we are reaping what we have sown. My hope is that Oregonians will wake up before it is too late. We are losing our freedoms an inch at a time and it is time to start to turn things around.


    Senator Jeff Kruse
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  2. ROC


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    His email from the 17th is a winner too. Watch the video.

    APRIL 17, 2015


    Next Tuesday, April 21st, is the deadline for bills to move out of committees in the Chamber of Origin. What that means is Senate committees will be done with Senate bills and House committees will be done with House bills. The exceptions in both Chambers are the Revenue and Rules committees. Additionally the Ways and Means Committee, because it is a joint committee does not have deadlines nor does the Joint Committee on Measure 91. One of the interesting dynamics will be to see how many bills are transferred from standing committees to the Rules committee to keep them alive. Another development will be to see how many policy bills are sent to Ways and Means with the intent of making policy changes; with the full understanding that the budget committees are not supposed to do policy (but they do anyway).

    The big gun background check bill passed in the Senate this week with all Republicans and only one Democrat (Senator Betsy Johnson) voting no. Additionally the vaccine mandate bill, which was killed on the Health Care Committee, has reappeared in another form in the Education Committee. This combined violation of the Second Amendment and invasion of personal freedom is something I find to be very frustrating. While I think it is clear there will be a significant number of bills coming out of committees this next week that will be of great concern, this might be a good time to reflect on some core principles we see continuously coming under attack.

    This country was founded under the principles of freedom and personal responsibility. The Constitutions of both the United States and the State of Oregon were designed to specifically limit the scope of government. On the federal level government was significantly limited, with more duties assigned to the states than were assigned to the federal level. But in both documents the protection of personal freedoms and liberties are clearly defined and enumerated. We have moved far away, in many areas, from the original intent. Just on example was the creation of the federal Department of Education under President Carter. This clearly was a violation of states’ rights and, to a degree, the creation of the state Department of Education steps on the issue of local control. While the passage of Measure 5 and the resulting change in how schools are funded was a major factor in what has transpired, I do think it is safe to say our education product was at a higher standard with more local control.

    We now live in an era where a lot of politicians both at the state and federal level seem to have little faith or confidence in the people they are elected to serve. There truly are people here in Salem who think you will be better off if you let the government make your decisions for you. As the size of the population who are dependent on government for many of their needs continues to grow, the problem continues to get worse. An example are the people in the welfare system. The way it has been set up, it makes almost impossible for them to escape the system, because any attempt they make to improve their lives will be met by a reduction in the government benefits they are receiving which will be greater than any advancement they might be achieving on their own. This is a very well designed system with the purpose of creating a permanent underclass dependent on government and supporting its continued expansion.

    I keep coming back to the concepts of liberty and personal responsibility. In reality, the less government is involved in your life, the greater is your chance to fulfill your dreams. It should also be understood that freedom includes the freedom to fail. If we look, we will find that a significant number of successful people have probably failed more than once before their success. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness guarantees only one thing, and that is the ability to try. These are the principles that have made America great, and I hope we remember that before it is too late.

    I am including a short video on our national anthem and I hope you will take the time to watch it. We all know the story, but I personally thought it to be inspiring.


    Senator Jeff Kruse

    If you are interested in reading my past newsletters please click on my webpage link below:
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  3. BDA.45

    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Awesome video.....

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