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Rep. Hanna: Republicans Ready to Lead in February
From the Statesman Journal, January 8, 2008

The 2008 supplemental session isn't just a "test" for implementing annual sessions in the Oregon Legislature. It's a test of leadership in the House and Senate. The Legislature will work within a very limited window of time. The agenda must be narrow in scope, and our time at the Capitol must be well-organized.

Republicans are prepared to come back to Salem and tackle the state's most pressing issues. These are issues the Legislature failed to pass in 2007 and issues that simply can't wait until the 2009 session. To that end, House and Senate Republicans have joined together to advance several critical issues facing our state.
No Excuses: Oregon Needs More Troopers for 24/7 State Police Coverage
In a press conference Monday, House Majority Leader Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone) said Democrats wouldn't fund more State Police Troopers because the agency is incapable of achieving 24/7 coverage this biennium. Deputy Republican Leader Andy Olson (R-Albany) rejected the excuse and said the Legislature must fund 39 additional State Troopers in February.

"The time is now for the Legislature to fund 39 new Troopers to reach 24/7 coverage," said Rep. Olson, a retired State Police member. "Democrat leadership opposed funding 24/7 OSP coverage throughout the 2007 session, and now seem satisfied with the insufficient gains made in new Trooper hires."

In a response to a reporter's question about Democrats' ambiguity on 24/7 coverage, Rep. Hunt said OSP Superintendent Timothy McLain "specifically told us, and has consistently told us, that he can only hire, train and deploy so many Troopers."

In a Jan. 9 letter from McLain to Rep. Olson, the Superintendent writes that "should the Oregon Legislature authorize us to hire 39 addition (sic) troopers this February 2008 Session we would be able to meet that goal."

"Seven in 10 Oregonians want 24-hour State Police coverage to ensure their safety," Rep. Olson said. "Oregonians don't want excuses. It's time for the Legislature to provide the dollars and enable the State Police to hire 39 more Troopers."

Democrats Keep Oregonians Waiting Until Election Year
As Democrats unveiled their policy ideas for the 2008 February Session, House Majority Leader Dave Hunt suggested during a press conference that these were "new issues." With the February session less than one month away, one must ask: Why are Democrats just now addressing them?

In 2007, Republican legislators came up with a plan to fully fund the Oregon State Police - giving Oregonians 24/7 coverage - but Democrats insisted on a tax increase; this week Democrats announced their plans to move the State Police toward 24/7 coverage.

In 2007, the Democrat budget-writers cut General Fund dollars for Oregon Project Independence from the Governor's Recommended Budget; this week they announced it needs to be funded.

In 2007, the Democrats suspending the bipartisan Big Look Commission to update our land use system, suggesting it would confuse voters over Measure 49; this week they suggested they want to take another look at reforms.

In 2007, Republican legislators introduced legislation to increase water storage in Eastern Oregon, a bill that was killed on a party line vote; this week Democrats finally agreed that water supplies in rural Oregon is a priority.

In 2007, Republican legislators introduced the Legislative Audits Office to monitor the performance and spending of state government, and despite record revenues and a 20 percent growth in state spending, the bill was killed; this week the Democrats finally announced that accountability is a priority.

"So why now," asked House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg). "Why address these issues in 2008, when Democrats could have joined with Republicans in addressing these issues during the 2007 regular session?"

In Case You Missed It: Oregon Schools Continue to Lack Teacher Development Tools
"School districts need more support from the state and each other to improve the state of professional development in Oregon, according to a study released Tuesday by the nonprofit Chalkboard Project." ("Study Says State Needs to Improve School Aid," The Oregonian, 1/9/08) "Republicans propose creating a statewide network to deliver effective professional development programs for educators. Oregon's kids deserve excellent teachers, and 2009 is simply too long to wait." (House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna, "Republicans are Ready to Address Oregon's Priorities," Salem Statesman Journal,1/8/08)

"A proposal to make sure mandatory professional development courses actually improve student achievement died in the Ways and Means Committee." (School Reform a Slow Process, Medford Mail Tribune, 6/29/07)

During the 2007 session, Democrats failed to pass HB 2614 to coordinate a statewide system for research-based, sustainable, high-quality professional development of teachers.

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