Rep. Lynn Findley meets with County Court members

Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, visits with members of the Malheur County Court on  about what he expects to see during the upcoming session for the Oregon Legislature in this Jan. 9 photo.

ONTARIO — The details have yet to be announced but Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will be in Ontario on March 1, according to John Briedenbach, president/CEO of the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce, who told of the plans at the first Legislative Hotline for the current legislative session this morning.

Originally scheduled to include state Sen. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario and Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, the conference call participants included Findley and Rep. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, from District 59, in central and north central Oregon. Bentz was not able to stay for the session.

Besides people in Malheur County, there were people in Baker, Grant and Harney counties participating.

During the early morning meeting, shortened to 20 minutes by technical difficulties in Salem, it was reported that bills extending open enrollment beyond this year are facing uphill battles.

Bonham said the Senate version to remove the original sunset on the law, that allows students to attend public schools of choice, outside their school district, is dead and the two house versions may not make it out of committee, mainly due to opposition of the chairwoman. The original law is set to expire at the end of this year. Other members of the House Education Committee are supportive of open enrollment.

People supporting open enrollment were advised to send emails of their positions to their lawmakers and the committee.

Ontario School Superintendent Nicole Albisu said Malheur County schools already allow inter-district transfer of students, which will continue despite open enrollment ending at the end of this year.

“We’re OK for the most part with it [open enrollment] sunsetting,” Albisu said.

As for passage of cap on rent prices and restrictions on tenant evictions in the Senate on Tuesday, Bonham said there are already a number of rental units being put up for sale because landlords don’t want to be under the proposed rules, or they are already raising rents ahead of time.


Larry Meyer is a reporter for the Argus Observer.

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