SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

August 12, 2003                                                                                                      Hearing Room B

1:30 P.M.                                                                                                                             Tape 115

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Roger Beyer, Co-chair, Presiding

Sen. Kate Brown, Co-chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson, Vice-chair

Sen. Ginny Burdick, Vice-chair

Sen. Tony Corcoran

Sen. Bill Fisher

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Jim Stembridge, Committee Administrator

Jeana Harrington, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES HEARD:                       Public Hearing – Executive Appointments

                                                    Public Utility Commission

                                                           Ray Baum

                                                           John Savage

                                                Executive Appointments

                                                    Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

                                                            Daniel Heagerty

                                                             Jane O’Keeffe

                                                     Board of Commissioners of the Port of Portland

                                                             Thomas Imeson

                                                            Steve Corey

                                                            Jay Waldron

HB 3442B – Public Hearing

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 115, A

003

Co-chair Beyer

Calls meeting to order at 1:34 PM. Opens public hearing on Executive Appointments – Public Utility Commission (PUC) (EXHIBIT A).

Executive Appointments - Public Utility Commission

010

Sen. Fisher

Remarks.

011

Ray Baum

Governor’s appointee to the PUC. States his intentions for the commission. Notes he is from Eastern Oregon. Explains the interests of the PUC.

035

John Savage

Governor’s appointee to the PUC. Provides career history in the energy policy field. States that energy services are vital. Voices desire in providing cost and energy efficient services to consumers.

058

Sen. Brown

Requests Mr. Savage to speak on the purpose of the three percent public purposes program and the energy trust created by SB 1149.

059

Savage

Responds it is to ensure energy costs are kept down. Provides opinion on investments in conservation renewable resources.

068

Sen. Corcoran

Asks for position of deregulation as it affects rural consumers.

078

Baum

Responds that government regulation of utilities is necessary in rural Oregon. Voices interest in considering the interests of rural consumers when deciding on competition among utilities.

087

Savage

Submits that the charge of the PUC is to ensure opportunities are provided for business customers while retaining safeguards for rate payers.

095

Sen. Brown

Asks Mr. Baum for his vision of the PUC’s role in regulating monopoly utilities and inquires how customers should be best protected.

099

Baum

Replies that staff should be adequately audited so rate payers can be protected. Submits a challenge of the PUC is to keep business going while keeping rates down.

112

Sen. Corcoran

Notes that over the past ten years there has been increasing concern as to PUC ability to protect consumers. Asks for insight as to where the perception developed and for suggestions on how to change it.

115

Savage

Responds with concerns of stakeholders not being heard in decisions. Speaks further on the perception.

130

Co-chair Beyer

Recalls a bill involving the PUC and asked if it passed. Asks how the PUC plans to administer funds.

140

Savage

Affirms the bill passed. Answers that the PUC has already implemented rules. Thinks the framework is good for implementing the law.

149

Co-chair Beyer

Closes public hearing on Executive Appointments – PUC. Opens work session on Executive Appointments.

WORK SESSION

151

Sen. Brown

MOTION:  Moves that the appearances be waived and that the committee recommend the following appointments and reappointments be confirmed in the Senate, with multiple appointments made to a single board or commission to be considered en bloc:

OREGON WATERSHED ENHANCEMENT BOARD – APPOINTMENT OF DANIEL HEAGERTY AND REAPPOINTMENT OF JANE O’KEEFFE (EXHIBIT B)

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE PORT OF PORTLAND – APPOINTMENT OF STEVE COREY AND THOMAS IMESON AND REAPPOINTMENT OF JAY WALDRON (EXHIBIT C)

162

Sen. Fisher

Asks what governs who appears and who is waived.

168

Co-chair Beyer

Replies the Co-chairs decide.

171

Co-chair Brown

Explains criteria considered on whether to waive appearances.

177

Sen. Fisher

Asks if the opinion of the previous appointee has any bearing.

180

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Speaks on the appointed and reappointed individuals.

184

Sen. Brown

Recalls the other service of the appointees.

193

 

VOTE:  6-0

 

Co-chair Beyer

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. ATKINSON will lead discussion on the floor.

199

Co-chair Beyer

Closes work session on Executive Appointments. Opens public hearing on HB 3442B. Notes there are conflicts on the bill and that it will have a public hearing only.

HB 3442B – PUBLIC HEARING

206

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Summarizes HB 3442B, which creates Oregon Wine Board as semi-independent state agency. Believes conflicts deal with other bill involving semi-independent state agencies.

212

Gary Conkling

Oregon Wine Growers. Testifies in support of HB 3442B. Provides measure history. Notes no opposition.

235

Jim Bernau

President, Oregon Wine Growers. Testifies in support of HB 3442B. Urges passage as soon as possible. Informs on the restructuring of the wine industry and the decision to become a semi-independent state agency. Speaks on the growth of the wine industry. Explains the problem is with well-organized competitors both nationally and internationally.

292

Sen. Atkinson

Reads a list of wineries in his district. Asks if those wineries have been contacted on the idea. Asks if there is regional support.

298

Bernau

Affirms but notes Bob Caravan of Ridgeview Vineyards did not sign onto the bill.

300

Sen. Atkinson

Inquires why Mr. Caravan did not.

304

Bernau

Responds he has spoken at length to Mr. Caravan, and relays his wishes to decrease his cost of business. Explains Mr. Caravan does not support the measure because he opposes the extra fees and taxes.

316

Sen. Fisher

Poses question regarding the beer and wine tax.

323

Bernau

Discusses the misconception of taxes and explains it is paid by producers whose small businesses and could be devastating to the industry in Oregon.

340

Sen. Burdick

Assumes that Mr. Bernau would then support the tax being passed on to the consumer.

350

Bernau

Offers that small business owners appreciate the legislators’ attempts at finding alternatives to funding.

358

Conkling

Notes the beer and wine industry has testifies on different occasions that if a sales tax were applied to beer and wine sales it would not be opposed.

367

Sen. Fisher

Poses question regarding cash “per barrelhead” on wine.

379

Bernau

Explains the process of distribution of wine and taxation.

390

Co-chair Beyer

Clarifies the reason behind the conflict.

394

Stembridge

Speculates conflicts were due to the recent passage of semi-independent agency legislation.

399

Sen. Corcoran

Recalls the Governor had voiced concern.

403

Co-chair Beyer

Requests confirmation of the conflict.

405

Stembridge

Avows he will obtain a report on the conflict.

410

Co-chair Beyer

Closes public hearing on HB 3442B. Adjourns meeting at 2:03 PM.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – Public Utility Commission, Executive Appointments, Staff and Governor’s Office, 11 pp.

B – Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Executive Appointment, Staff and Governor’s  

       Office, 15 pp.

C – Board of Commissioners of the Port of Portland, Executive Appointment, Staff and

       Governor’s Office, 11 pp.