Sunday, April 21, 2024

News from the Oregon Legislature

The 2023 Oregon Legislative Session Has Started

Dick Anderson Senator

The Capitol is open, and session has begun! Bills are already flowing to committees. We will start our newsletters again during session to hopefully give you a view on what is happening here in Salem and how things are progressing.

I know another long legislative session has started when I am leaving the coast when it’s dark and returning when it’s darker!

A few initial reactions

It is nice to have the public back in the process. We missed a lot when they were locked out, and I hope legislators and the Governor remember that there is simply no substitute for human interaction when elected officials are in Salem doing the people’s work. They put a lot of trust in us, and we need to return the favor.

It is nice to once again see constituents, sightseers and advocates alike padding around the capitol hallways. Unfortunately, due to ongoing construction, that is about all they can see right now: hallways. Most of the visitor friendly activities and tours are still not available. I’ve included a map identifying public entrances for those interested in making the trek to Salem to see what we do firsthand.

Capitol building - public access map

Floor sessions are open to the public and testimony is once again an option– either in-person or remotely during public hearings. Also, the public testimony process has changed. If you want to testify on a bill, you now need to register online before doing so. Click here for a step by step guide on this new process.

Between the Senate and the House, over 1,800 bills have been referred to committees.

Here are my committee assignments this session:

Oregon Senate Republican
Priorities During the 2023 Session

Oregon Senate Republicans

The 2023 Senate Republican Caucus. Not pictured: Senator David Brock Smith

Saving Oregonians from rising inflation and increased cost of living–returning the Kicker to people, freezing senior property taxes, and championing a variety of other related bills to make life more affordable.

Human dignity in housing and homelessness–supporting housing development goals of 36,000 units per year, tax deductions & incentives, re-criminalizing hard drugs, and more.

Promoting freedom and prosperity for all Oregonians–returning power to the people by limiting overreach, protecting elections, etc.

Modernizing Oregon’s education system and empowering students and parents–increasing access to school choice, curriculum transparency, and more.

Reducing violent crime threatening our communities–supporting 2nd Amendment rights, funding school resource officers, and some important crime bills.

Protecting Oregon’s farms, fisheries, and forests–increased forest management funds, studying rate impacts of greenhouse gas bill, prioritizing Oregon-products to minimize carbon footprint, and much more.

Here are My Committee Assignments This Session

I’ve made no secret about my ongoing priorities: housing, childcare and increasing access to healthcare, especially mental/behavioral health services on the coast. I often refer to these as “the three legs of the stool” for getting us back on track after Covid. These issues are intimately tied to our economic growth, which will be further challenged by a tightening budget, rising costs, and less federal spending.

Given my priorities, being Vice-Chair of the Senate Housing and Development committee and having a position on the Senate Education committee, where all child care bills flow, is a perfect place to be. Anyone who has been in a meeting with me on housing in recent years will have surely heard me say, “If we are in a housing emergency, let’s start acting like it”, and I am encouraged to see an increased focus on housing production vs. just throwing money in that direction. Emphasizing supply is the only way we can make real progress on this issue. It is time to act.

While policy committees are very important, any bill in the capitol that has significant money attached to it passes through the Ways and Means process, as do all state agency budgets. So, I will be using my role on those budget committees to actively engage to ensure we are both being good stewards of people’s hard earned money, and supporting programs and agencies that can demonstrate a track record of efficiency. We should not do something the same way just because that is how it has always been done. And a new Governor along with many new legislators provide a good opportunity to assess what is working and what isn’t.

Ringing Alarm Bells on the Executive Orders Around Homelessness (The coast needs a voice too!)

Speaking of the new Governor, as you might have seen in recent news coverage, I worked with the Coastal Caucus to ring the alarm bells on one of her initial executive orders around homelessness. While applauding her efforts to be more aggressive on housing and homelessness, we were concerned to see the coast once again left out of the executive order in favor of urban population centers. We will be pushing to get more coastal communities at the table in this important conversation around resources and coordination.

Updated Senate District 5

Redistricting brought some new constituencies into my district and I have been working to reach out personally to many of the community leaders and voters to let them know they will have an open door policy and a forceful advocate in me.

Map of Oregon Senate District 5
Anderson at NW Natural ribbon cutting

Pleased to attend ribbon cutting for the new NW Natural Gas facility in Lincoln City!

Here are the Key Bills I’ve
Introduced or Sponsored for this Session

This year we have a wide range of bills I think will be beneficial to the voters and the communities I serve across Senate District 5. I have bills ranging from taxes, childcare, housing, and coastal issues. 

  • SJR 17 – Proposing amendment to Oregon Constitution relating to a property tax relief program for owner-occupied principal dwellings of certain seniors.
  • Senate Bill 127 – Increases the corporate tax reporting from $1 million to $5 million.
  • Senate Bill 533 – Creates a tax deduction for interest paid on boats, homes and ag real estate.
  • Senate Bill 599 – This will allow for rental homes to be used as family child care home.
  • House Bill 2980 – This bill I signed on to as Chief Sponsor to help create a revolving loan program for cities and counties to take part of. There is a similar bill HB 2981 for the business development department as well.
  • SJR 14 – I signed on to this bill to limit the executive powers of the Governor in regards to declaration of emergencies. It is important that we look at limiting the ability of the Governor to declare emergency and then staying in that emergency for way too long.

Stay tuned as it is proving to be a packed session!

All my best

Dick Anderson Signature

Senator Dick AndersonOregon District 5

Serving You. Let’s Connect.

To say things are busy is an understatement, but I am committed to continuing the great work that brought unprecedented funding to Senate District 5 in my first two sessions by always prioritizing the place we love to call home along the Oregon Coast.

But I can’t do it alone. I continue to value input from all of you and from my experienced staff. I have once again built a strong team to help us succeed.

Senator Dick Anderson

EMAIL ME:  [email protected]

GIVE ME A CALL:   503-986-1705

900 Court Street, S-303, Salem, 97301


Visit my Legislative Page
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News Release
This information was provided for dissemination to our readers via an outside agency.


  1. Standard and vague what’s it. Let’s have a better description of bill 533. Interest
    paid on boats? What boats? Interest paid on homes? Not short term rentals
    I hope. Ag real estate? Owned by Americans? No. this is all just standard
    fodder for the masses.
    Commercial fishing boats, agreed.
    Single family housing, agreed.
    Ag real estate, not if it’s owned by foreigners.


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