SALEM, OR -- Oregon Senate Republicans laid out an optimistic list of priorities for this legislative session at a Tuesday press conference.
The GOP wants to address rising inflation by sending this year’s record-breaking kicker directly to Oregonians, instead of waiting for a tax refund in 2024. "According to the Oregon Legislative office, $5200 per household, on average; which is very significant," said Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend), "And we would actually like to deliver that to them this year, in the form of a check." Sen. Knopp also supports freezing property tax payments for senior homeowners and urging Congress to balance the federal budget.
Sen. Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) says the GOP wants to modernize education and empower teachers and parents, "Republican priorities will include access to educational opportunities, whether it be a pilot program for the homeless student population, expanding virtual public charters or open access in school choice considerations; we’re going to focus on pathways to technical education and, again, something that’s been very important to us is transparency in curriculum."
Also on the list of Republican priorities: re-criminalizing some drug offenses, restoring school resource officers, increasing penalties for violent threats against schools and revoking the wildfire risk map.
Overall, Sen. Knopp says he wants increased bipartisanship in the process, "What we want is all voices to be heard, listened to and included and we challenge our colleagues to do the same because if we’re going to be one state and not have an urban rural divide, then we have to include everyone." Knopp says he had a good conversation with the Governor Tuesday morning and hopes that positive relationship will continue.