Rep. Mark Johnson explains no vote on HB 4054
In the 2013 legislative session, I was one of eight bipartisan co-sponsors of Senate Bill 833.
This bill made it possible for Oregon residents who do not have proper documentation to obtain drivers cards so that they could drive legally in Oregon.
I supported this bill because it represents the interests and needs of many of my constituents in House District 52.
Some of the citizens directly impacted by this bill have lived in Oregon for decades but cannot legally drive to their jobs, carry out daily activities or transport their families in vehicles with insurance coverage. Since the end of the 2013 session, SB 833 has been referred to the ballot for Oregonians to vote on in November.
Yesterday, on the House floor we considered House Bill 4054.
The bill rewrites the ballot title to more accurately reflect the language of SB 833 so that voters in November will have a better understanding of what they casting a vote on. While I continue to support the policy contained in SB 833,
I voted against HB 4054, which is designed to clarify the referendum title on the ballot form. I voted no because I am very disappointed in the process that House leadership has used to bring the issue before the Legislature.
Rather than allowing for an open, inclusive and public process that would provide an opportunity for all viewpoints to be heard, Democratic leadership opted for a "behind closed door" approach. This legislation has only come out of the shadows near the end of the session and was rushed to the floor for a vote. I think this approach is very disrespectful of the public participation in the legislative process and confirms the cynical attitude held by many today that government is out of touch with its citizens and doesn't want their input.