On Sept. 28, we legislators — Senator Duck included — began what might be called a preseason. The Oregon Legislature is scheduled to kick off Jan. 22, 2019.
Everything leading up to January is like a preseason. We are getting ready to compete. Sept. 28 was the deadline for submitting legislative concepts we want to introduce as bills in the 2019 legislative session. Each senator or representative can submit as many bills as they wish, if they meet this deadline. My staff and I have been working for months on my list of bills. We held town hall meetings, heard from constituents, worked with associations, met with other legislators, and listened, listened, listened. At the 5 p.m. deadline, we submitted forms for 48 bills. These 48 bills will be my initial playbook for the upcoming session.
A football team’s playbook will have specific plays with specific player responsibilities. Every player is unique with different players on the field for each play and alignment. The one position on the field usually remaining consistent is the quarterback. And in the Senator Duck’s play book, that would be me. I am the one who has the responsibility to help make the play successful or change it at the line of scrimmage.
I am pleased and excited about the plays we have. Here is a big picture breakdown without going into a lot of detail: 28 of the bills are what I call constituent bills. Ten of those came from town hall meetings attended by county and city leaders. The remainder are from citizens who asked for their issue to be part of the senator’s play book, and I am pleased to run with them.
One of the worst fires in Oregon, the Substation Fire, burned 80,000 acres in Wasco and Sherman counties this past summer. As a result of a meeting with farmers and fire districts, held in Sherman County in August, six bills are being introduced. Eighteen of the bills have an agriculture or natural resources focus, from elk damage to estate tax reform. Two of the bills are being submitted at the request of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
Will every bill we introduce be successful? Probably not, but we are going to try. We all know not every play produces a touchdown every time it is run. Some of our bills were unsuccessful in the previous session, but they were important and we are going to try to run with them again.
Part of the preseason is to get the right players ready to go. Figure out what opposition there might be and why, then adjust your play accordingly. Sometimes a pass play becomes a running play at the line of scrimmage because of the alignment of the opposition. And we will add plays as the season progresses.
But for now we have our playbook being drafted, and later it will be refined as we get ready for the season —I mean session — to begin.
I am grateful for the different members of the team, from throughout the district who helped craft the plays that are in our playbook. I believe we have a very good chance of crossing the goal line with the vast majority of them. I am looking forward to kickoff.
Sen. Bill Hansell is a 1967 graduate of the University of Oregon. He will root for the Beavers, but not when they play the Ducks.