SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Republicans in the Oregon Senate laid out their priorities in fixing problems from housing shortages to crime. And even though they remain in the minority, they believe their bills can win bipartisan support.
Senate Republicans support Gov. Tina Kotek’s goal to build 36,000 homes a year and support the Democrat’s bill to give a tax deduction to homeowners who rent a room in their primary residence to help reduce homelessness.
They also said they are willing to work with Democrats — but they also want support for some of their own proposals.
Some of the GOP proposals include freezing property taxes for homeowners age 67-and-up for their primary residence, and giving Oregonians a kicker check rather than the tax credit now in place for when the state collects more in taxes than expected.
GOP leaders also said they have no plans for a walkout to block bills — especially after voters approved a measure that essentially bans that. Minority Leader Tim Knopp said they are trying to work cooperatively with Democrats.
“We hope that the attitude of the majority party is, ‘You know what? We need to work with them more than we have in the past’ because it is a new day and Oregonians are expecting more and we’re having to deal with some pretty tough times if you listen to the economists,” he said.
Republicans also brought up bills they have to fund school resource officers, recriminalize possession of drugs like fentanyl and an independent audit of state funding of mental health services.
Knopp said he and Gov. Kotek have been meeting. Knopp, who knows the governor from her days as the House Speaker, said much of their discussions have been around solving homelessness and the housing crisis.