Re-Elect Phil Barnhart, 2016

I will be running for re-election to the Oregon House of Representatives for District 11 in 2016. I filed for the office on September 10 and am moving ahead with plans for the campaign.

There are huge issues facing Oregon.

I ran originally to help restore school funding in Oregon. The huge property tax cuts brought about by initiative in the 1990s were supposed to leave our schools unaffected. Instead they lead to the hollowing out of our public k-12 system, reduced our capacity to fund early childhood education, and forced huge increases in tuition at our universities and community colleges. We have made some progress. My bills that became Measures 66 and 67 in 2010 have helped reduce the carnage. In the last several sessions of the Legislature it has been a Democratic priority to protect and grow school funding. Doing so has been very difficult but we have added back billions of dollars after the recession-forced cuts in 2009.

In 2016 we have a chance to restore those long-ago cuts in k-12 and hold the line on (perhaps even lower) tuition and fees at our universities and community colleges as well as improving school readiness for our youngest vulnerable children. The Legislature will not do this work. You will!

Because a Republican inspired constitutional amendment weakened the Legislature’s capacity to close tax loopholes that favor big business and the rich as well as adjust our tax system to increase fairness and rates on those who pay vastly less in Oregon than elsewhere, the Legislature cannot do the work. If you sign the petition, there will be a measure on the 2016 General Election ballot that will move Oregon’s taxes on very large corporations from dead last among the states to about 40th, tied with Alabama. Because these taxes will mostly involve huge out-of-state corporations most of the tax will be absorbed by reducing national profits a tiny amount or be spread out across the country. Because Oregon’s taxes on these businesses are so low now Oregonians effectively subsidize schools and other public services in other states with higher taxes. Big business has only a very small capacity to raise prices because it must compete with local small business that does not pay the proposed tax. You can be sure that big business already charges what it thinks you will pay!

I intend to support this initiative strongly during the 2016 campaign.

The other key issue facing Oregon and the world is the crisis of climate change. Human caused changes in the composition of our atmosphere beginning with the Industrial Revolution starting almost 200 years ago threatens our seas, land, crops, our future as a civilization. Carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase while the dangers are becoming daily clearer. You might think I am gloomy about the future. Not so. We can have a prosperous world with clean air and water and a halt to atmospheric and ocean change if we work very hard at it for the next several decades, but we must get going on the work NOW.

In 2015 I sponsored HB 3470, a bill to establish a cap and trade system patterned after the successful acid rain cap and trade system that has been very successful in reducing sulfur oxides. California enacted a similar law nearly a decade ago. In the last year California has reduced carbon emissions while the economy continued to improve. Many individuals, environmental groups, and businesses are working on this problem. All who are paying attention understand that it is the responsibility of all of us to do our part to reduce GHG emissions, and do what we can to mitigate the inevitable changes that existing atmospheric changes have already caused.

We must stop adding GHG to the atmosphere as fast as possible. That means ending the use of fossil fuels for heat, electric generation, transportation, and nearly everything else as fast as is possible. Failure means our grandchildren live badly in a very changed and inhospitable world. Success means clean air and water, cheap energy, and a high standard of living based on sustainability not mindless consumption.

Is HB 3470 a part of the solution? Yes, or something very like it. But the issue is pervasive. There is no silver bullet that will “solve” even Oregon’s very small part of the need to transition from a fossil fuel based economy to a long term sustainable one. I am constantly working on and supporting others work on the solutions. I am optimistic about our grandchildren’s future, but only if we seize it!

There are many other issues I am working on and others you will help me to see. Please email me at with your questions and concerns and contribute to the campaign as a volunteer or financial contributor. Go to for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

2015: A Successful Session

From my close of session Newsletter:

During the bustle of session (we sorted through 2,799 bills in 2015) there often isn’t time to properly acknowledge all the incredible work being done. The House passed 1,079 bills, and 921 of those also passed the Senate. Each one represents a tremendous amount of work. Sponsors of bills work hard to refine their concepts and recruit supporters. Each of us carefully scrutinizes the bills we’re voting on, and works hard to make sure we’re making the right decisions (we all live in fear of unintended consequences).

The truth is, the 2015 legislative session was hugely successful despite the disappointment on my top priority of major climate change reforms. The legislature worked well with Governor Kate Brown, and was able to form bipartisan consensus on the vast majority of votes. Additionally, we secured a handful of hard-fought victories on commonsense measures to protect working families that had been blocked by special interests in past sessions.

Now that the dust has settled, I wanted to put together a list of legislative accomplishments that might be of interest to you.


HB 2955–Funding Civics training for Oregon Teachers.

HB 3499–Allocated $12.5 million every two years from the State School Fund to English Language Learner programs to improve graduation rates for some of K-12 students, particularly Latino students.

HB 5016–Provides $15 million for Early Learning Hubs, $9.1 million for Kindergarten Readiness grants, an additional 8.8 million for Oregon Pre-Kindergarten. Provides $3 million to help close the achievement gap for African American students, and $1.5 million to improve education for Native American students.

HB 5017–Funded Oregon’s K-12 education system at $7.4 billion, about $500 million more than the Governor recommended at the end of 2014, not enough to meet the Quality Education Model we need but better than the last several biennia.

SB 612–Requires that school districts screen students for dyslexia and ensure staff members receive annual training on dyslexia.


HB 2407–All qualified students will receive a second year of the Oregon Opportunity Grant if they meet academic standards.

HB 2728–Sets up the Oregon Talent Council to fund innovative new programs to help Oregonians develop the science, technology, engineering, math, and other technical skills to get good jobs.

HB 2973–Establishes an Affordable Baccalaureate Degree Act, which requires public universities to offer two or more bachelor’s degrees at the cost of $10,000 dollars or less.

HB 3072–Invests $35 million in shop classes and vocation education to help people secure good jobs.

HB 3149 –Provides that a student who has not been enrolled in a school for 90 days may receive medical treatment from a registered nurse who is employed by a public or private school.

HB 5005–Invests $240 million for construction projects and upgrades to Oregon’s public universities.

SB 81–The Oregon Promise, offers community college tuition waivers for needier recent high school graduates, expected to help as many as 6,000 students in its first year.


HB 2734–Creates land bank to spur cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields, or sites where toxic substances are left over, such as old gas stations.

SB 324–Provided for cleaner air in Oregon and contributing to the global effort to address climate change by requiring fuel companies to develop cleaner fuels


HB 2007–Supports pay equity for women and minorities by ensuring employees may inquire about and disclose compensation information without risk of retaliation.

HB 2015–Keeps families from having day care subsidy cut off if their income rises slightly. Allows families one year of eligibility so they don’t lose their child care when they experience a change in income or work hours and allows working parents enrolled in college classes to qualify.

HB 2171–Reauthorized the Individual Development Account tax credit program that helps low income Oregonians develop financial management skills. Extended the Working Families and Dependent Care tax credit, helping Oregonians afford childcare. Prevents corporations from sidestepping their obligations to help support basic state services by requiring all corporations to at least pay the corporate minimum tax, and prohibiting the use of tax credits to bring corporate taxes to zero. Protects full-time military members from an Oregon Department of Revenue action that taxed their income even though they were nonresidents.

HB 2545–Expanding access to the free school lunch program. Requires that school districts provide lunch free of charge to students who are eligible for reduced price lunches, to ensure that students have access to food so they can focus on learning.

HB 2578– My bill to allow patients in hospice care to end their contracts with telecommunications and cell phone companies without being charged termination fees.

HB 278–Protects Oregonians from unlicensed predatory lenders.

HB 2893–Allows savings accounts that earn entries in prize raffles in lieu of interest, which can be more effective at motivating people to build their savings.

HB 2960–Groundbreaking legislation that helps address the growing problem of workers facing retirement without the resources to support themselves. Ensures all workers in Oregon are able to set aside part of each paycheck to save for retirement in appropriate investment accounts overseen by the Oregon State Treasury.

HB 3025–Reduces burden on taxpayers resulting from persistent unemployment of individuals convicted of crimes by requiring that potential employers wait until interviews before asking about criminal history.

HB 3172–My bill to curb overly aggressive collections tactics by Oregon Department of Revenue in pursuing payment of tax debts owed by low income Oregonians.

HB 3236–Protects workers from being forced by employers to comply with inappropriate and overly restrictive non-competition agreements.

HB 3380–Expands access to state-funded pre-school, providing access to preschool children in families up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

HB 5005–Invests $40 million in affordable housing construction, and 2.5 million to help preserve existing affordable housing.

SB 454–Protects public health and protects workers from being forced to work while sick by requiring that workers across Oregon get paid sick time.

HB 2015–Expands working parents’ access to child-care subsidy payments and provides subsidies over a longer period.


HB 2075–Provides needed resources for improvements at Oregon’s regional airports.

HB 2171–Extends the Film and Video Production tax credit that helps create jobs in Oregon’s acting, film, animation, and video gaming industries. Eugene’s growing gaming and general software businesses will benefit.

HB 5005–Provides $50 million to fund water projects that could bring additional Columbia River water to Oregon farmers and allow them to increase production.

HB 5030–Invests $10 million for upgrades to the Coos Bay Rail Line, a critical piece of infrastructure for Oregon’s economy.

HB 5030–Invests $45 million to upgrade rail, air, marine, and other transportation infrastructure.

HB 5040–Provides $10 million to continue Amtrak service in the Willamette Valley, a major initiative of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and the Lane County Legislative Delegation.

SB 5507–Grants $130,000 to the Department of Transportation to fund the Seniors and People with Disabilities Transportation Program to help counties, tribes and transit districts with transportation, particularly in rural areas.

SB 61–Reduces the ways multi-national corporations use subsidiaries in certain foreign countries to avoid paying their fair share of Oregon income and excise taxes.

SB 611–Removes barriers to technology companies creating jobs for Oregonians by reforming property tax assessment policies to encourage top technology brands to build facilities in Oregon.


HB 2171–Extended the Rural Medical Provider Tax Credit to make sure rural Oregonians have access to health care services.

HB 2546–Regulates retailers of electronic cigarettes, prohibits purchase by minors and places use under the restrictions of the Clean Air Act.

HB 2758–Protects women’s privacy by allowing patients to keep sensitive medical information private. Ensures that a person may have their Explanation of Benefits forms sent directly to themselves instead of the insurance policyholder. This ensures that victims of domestic abuse who are still dependent on their spouse aren’t forced to reveal private medical information.

HB 3343–Helps women avoid unintended pregnancy by making it more convenient for them to get birth control. Requires that birth control prescriptions may be dispensed in amounts that cover up to 12 months.

SB 1–Reforming and retooling governance of Oregon’s Health Insurance Exchange.

SB 478–Provides for monitoring potentially toxic chemicals present in children’s’ products such as toys and sippy cups, and creates process to ban using toxic chemicals in children’s products.

SB 5507–Provides $20 million for new housing dedicated to individuals living with mental illness or addictions.  Allocated $3 million in lottery bond money for Trillium Family Services to build a 16-bed facility for teenagers in the Secure Adolescent Inpatient Program, replacing an outdated treatment center in Corvallis.  Provides $10 million for grants to safety-net clinics for children, including school-based health centers, federally qualified health centers and rural health centers.  Extended and boosted funding for Farm to School and School Gardens programs by $3.3 million, helping school districts purchase local foods and offer food-based education programs run by school districts, non-profit partners, or commodity commissions.

SB 895–Makes sure parents are able to be informed about how many students at their children’s’ school could contribute to the spread of contagious preventable diseases because they have not received recommended immunizations.

SB 900–Helps inform Oregonians of the cost of medical procedures, requiring the Oregon Health Authority to publish the costs of in-patient and outpatient medical procedures performed at Oregon Hospitals.


HB 2002–Bans racial profiling by prohibiting police from targeting suspects based on age, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, language, gender, sex, political affiliation, or religion.

HB 2317–Helps deter rape and crimes of sexual violence, and helps victims pursue justice by doubling the statute of limitations for first degree sex crimes from six to twelve years.

HB 2628–Helps protect stalking victims by disallowing court fees in protective stalking actions.

HB 2931–Creates a radon-testing program for all of Oregon’s schools to make sure students are safe from this substance, which kills approximately 21,000 Americans each year.

HB 3035–Encourages safety in school zones by allowing greater use of flashing lights in certain school zones.

HB 3225–Protects Oregonians by improving the state’s capacity to respond to accidents involving trains carrying hazardous materials.

HB 3468–Protects victims of domestic abuse by making it a crime to manipulate a person by threatening harm to their pets.

HB 3549–Increases accountability for aerial pesticide applicators to protect neighbors from harmful chemicals.

HB 5005–Sets aside $300 million to pay for earthquake readiness improvements at Oregon’s K12 schools.

HB 5030–Invests $35 million to improve safety at some of Oregon’s deadliest intersections and roadways.

SB 525–Protects families from gun violence by prohibiting domestic abusers from owning guns or ammunition.

SB 941–Ensures criminals, the mentally ill, and others who cannot legally own a gun are not able to sidestep background checks by buying guns through classified ads, websites, or other private transactions. The bill makes sure all gun buyers go through a background check.


HB 2375–Increases public accountability and transparency in Oregon’s contracts with businesses for the procurement of goods and services.

HB 2566–Streamlining the permitting process for out-of-state businesses who come to help Oregonians after a disaster or emergency.

HB 3479–Creates position of Oregon Women Veterans Coordinator in Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

SB 515–My bill to improve usability and add content to the Oregon Government Transparency Website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

2015 Regular Session Organizing Days starts January 12

Your Legislature, the 78th, will organize tomorrow. That means Swearing In the Members, Electing a Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore and for the first time in decades a new Clerk of the House. We will adopt rules for the next two years and witness the swearing in of Governor Kitzhaber for his fourth term.

In the afternoon, the assistant the the Clerk will read the titles of the bills, resolutions, and memorials that have been submitted so far, a couple thousand at least for “First Reading”, the constitutionally required public notice to get bills into the process.

After speeches and celebrations, the Legislature will adjourn until February 2. This period is not a holiday. Members and staff will be in the Capitol for required instruction on all manner of things including some policy issues like the Transportation funding issue that will take some of our time during session. After that the Speaker will assign all those bills to committee, committee chairs will plan their first few weeks of hearings and notice of hearings will be posted. All manner of work groups and lobbying (by citizen and professional lobbyists alike) will begin.

If you would like to keep up with session activity, check in at and ask to be added to our enewsletter list. We send out one every two weeks or so, sometimes sooner if something big is happening.

Beginning now and continuing until the session adjourns sometime in June or July I will not be accepting campaign contributions. If you send one, I will be required by House Rules to send it back to you. Thanks, but please wait until after session is over.

The beginning of Session is always exciting and full of promise. Tune in to our internet broadcasts at to watch the festivities. Click on the video icon on the top right and then click on the item you would like to watch. That will also be the way to watch committee meeting and floor after February 2.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Eugene Weekly Gets It!

I almost never agree with all the recommendations of a newspaper, but the EW got their endorsements exactly right this time:

Eugene Weekly Endorsements 2014 General Election.

Oh, they endorsed Phil Barnhart for State Representative, too!Check it out!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Register Guard endorses Phil Barnhart for Re-Election

Return Barnhart to House | Opinion | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon

Incumbent has experience vital to tax reform efforts



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Election 2014

I filed for reelection to the Oregon House of Representatives yesterday and qualified today. Here is the announcement:

“News Release

For Immediate Release

December 30, 2013

Representative Phil Barnhart Files for Re-Election

EUGENE – Phil Barnhart (D- Eugene/House District 11) filed paperwork with the Secretary of State to establish his 2014 candidacy for the Oregon House of Representatives today.

Phil Barnhart has been a leader in Oregon’s Legislature for over a decade, delivering for working families. Barnhart is committed to continue his fight to close unfair tax loopholes and end huge corporate giveaways so that we can put more resources in Oregon’s real priorities: education, health care, public safety, and the services that Oregonians rely on.

“We’ve made great strides in recent years to pull Oregon out of the recession, but we still have serious work to do to stabilize our schools, stimulate our local economy, and create more opportunities for working families,” Barnhart said. “It has been my honor to represent the people of Central Lane and Linn Counties, and I will continue working tirelessly to make sure that Oregonians are always put before the interests of big, out-of-state corporations.”

Barnhart is the Chair of the House Revenue Committee and serves on the House Rules Committee. If elected in 2014, the following term will be his eighth. For more information, visit


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Come and be Heard!


Grab a cup of coffee (no host) and share your thoughts and questions on issues facing Oregon and the February 2014 Legislative Session. If you can, please RSVP to us (not the location) at 541-607-9207 or by email at so we can make sure the space will hold the number of interested participants.

Monday, January 6th: Brownsville
7:30am to 9:00am
Randy’s Main Street Coffee
250 N. Main Street, Brownsville

Tuesday, January 7th: Coburg
7:30am to 9:00am
Nana’s Caffe (inside the Coburg Pizza Company)
90999 S Willamette Street, Coburg

Thursday, January 9th: Walterville
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Aunt Dings Restaurant
39297 McKenzie Highway, Springfield

Monday, January 13th: Eugene
12:00pm to 1:30pm
Lane Community College
Specific Location: TBA
4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene

Tuesday, January 14th: Harrisburg
7:30am to 9:00am
Grub Steak Café
290 N 3rd St, Harrisburg

Monday, January 27th: Halsey
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Halsey Community Center
100 W Halsey Street, Halsey

Tuesday, January 28th: Creswell
7:30am to 9:00am
Creswell Coffee Company
116 Melton Rd, Creswell

Tuesday, January 28th: Springfield
Including Rep. John Lively
6:00pm to 7:30pm
Springfield City Council Chambers
225 Fifth Street, Springfield

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Election day is just 17 days away! Ballots are out!


The election is now just 17 days away. Ballots have already begun arriving, and the choices you make this fall will determine the future of the state of Oregon, as well as the future of our country.  

Oregonians need good living-wage jobs to support our families.  Oregon needs to improve basic infrastructure, educate our young people, promote good export oriented businesses. All these help put Oregonians back to work and our economy back on track.

We must restore education funding in order to prepare the students of today to become the workforce of tomorrow.  We must bring down tuition at our public universities and community colleges while preserving quality. We must ensure adequate funding for our pre-K-12 programs, and  restore vocational education programs that have suffered from dramatic budget cuts in the last two decades.  Only then can we can move towards the economy we hope to build for the future of the middle class here in Oregon.

In order to create the vision we share for Oregon’s future, we must elect candidates that best reflect our values this fall,  those who want to continue fighting for a stronger economy, better public education, and a tax system that doesn’t favor the wealthy.  By voting for them, we can help move Oregon forward.  Please, support these fantastic public servants:

-Pres. Barack Obama

- Rep. Peter Defazio

Secretary of State
-Kate Brown

State Treasurer
-Ted Wheeler

Attorney General
-Ellen Rosenblum

Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries
-Brad Avakian

State Representative, HD 11
-Phil Barnhart

Measure 79 NO. Unnecessary. Freezes current law by putting it in the State Constitution.

Measure 84 NO. Cuts taxes for the top 2 percent and leaves the middle class holding the bag.    
Get involved: Republicans have lots of big business money.  We need volunteers to help us make phone calls, knock on doors, and talk to voters about their choices.  Don’t wait!  Join us today! For more information, contact

Vote: Don’t forget! Your ballot will be arriving any day.  Please make sure to fill it out and sign the envelope, and either drop it off at your nearest drop-box location, turn it in to your county elections office, or mail it.  The stakes have never been higher than they have for this election, and it is vital that all citizens make their voices heard and have their votes counted.

Together, we can make a difference.

Thanks again,

Phil Barnhart 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

From Sodaville to south of Eugene


Our children, our future, return to school this week. The rhythms of autumn begin even though it is still summer. Our public schools are what made America strong, and their future is the future of our country and ourselves. Much of that future depends on our willingness to provide a great education to all of our kids.

At the end of August the State Economist told the Revenue Committees that his estimate of our revenues is up about $80 million for this biennium. It looks like we may have finally turned the corner on state revenues. This is the first projection of an increase in state revenues since the Great Recession began in the summer of 2008. Our people will continue to struggle in a very slowly growing economy for some time. If we can mobilize our innate talent, energy and innovative spirit, the longer term future will be bright.


This was a busy summer!  Over the last few months I hosted eight coffee and town hall meetings and spoke with hundreds of citizens across the district. Providing opportunities for citizens to voice concerns, give feedback and get information about their government is a key duty of a State Legislator.  But I recognize that your schedules are busy too, and the summer is no exception.  In case you were interested, but unable to attend, this update includes highlights from this summer’s meetings and links to further information.


My most recent informational town hall meeting focused on partnerships in education.  The speakers panel included many talented and committed individuals who work tirelessly to provide unique learning opportunities to students.  Apprenticeships, career shadowing, and other business and online partnerships have kept students in school and enriched their experience.  At the meeting, a retired school teacher offered to create a math mentoring program.  It is this kind of community support and commitment that we need at every level to ensure the success of upcoming generations.


I also hosted many small informal coffees with citizen driven discussion.  Although no topic was specified for these gatherings, the most frequently raised issues were jobs, education, and health care.  At the Sodaville coffee I presented the mayor and attending city councilors with a new Oregon flag-theirs had been stolen.

My Get To Know Your Government Town Hall meeting included a speaker from the Department of Consumer and Business Services, who specializes in identity theft protection.  She provided us with several useful websites that warranted sharing: Tools for Consumers and Businesses, Creating Strong Passwords, and the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Many of my best legislative concepts come from constituent concerns, so your participation at these events or contact through email does make a difference.  Let me know what you think by sending an email to

Yours Truly,

Phil Barnhart

PS – Phil Barnhart for State Representative lawn signs have begun sprouting up in yards all over District 11.  If you would like to show your support and have one put up in your yard (along with instructions for proper care and feeding), email us your name, address and telephone number at

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Moving Oregon Forward

Dear Friends,

After several  difficult years, Oregon is finally starting to see signs of recovery.  We have come a long way, but we still face major challenges while moving our state forward, restoring economic stability, and protecting our community’s most vulnerable members.  If we continue to work together in order to find creative solutions to the problems we currently face, we can help build a better future for all Oregonians.

Our legislature has been hard at work getting Oregon back on track. As your Representative, I have been working to ensure that we restore the services and institutions that reflect the values of America.  Historically, we have been a nation that prides itself on its strong public education system, its innovative and industrious workforce, and its ability to create a brighter future for the next generation.  Even in the face of the greatest budget shortfall in our state’s history, it is critically important that we preserve these institutions and prevent them from further budget cuts.  We must invest all that we can in our future to make sure that the next generation of Oregonians has access to a quality public education, opportunities for affordable higher education, and the necessary skills to find living-wage jobs.

The road ahead is long, but together we can guide Oregon and America through these tumultuous times.  By investing in our future, and in the futures of our children, we can help make our communities and our economy stronger and more vibrant.

Most importantly, I want to make sure that your views are heard.  If you have any issues you would like to hear addressed, send an email to

Together we can make a difference.

Sincerely yours,

Phil Barnhart

Posted in Economy, Education, Environment, Jobs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off