House sends "Silver Alert" bill to Governor

Medicaid fraud also targeted

Salem, OR - The Oregon House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 1577 on Friday, leaving only the Governor's signature before Oregon can get started on new protocols for finding persons with Alzheimer's Dementia Diseases who have gone missing. Senate Bill 1577 is a priority of the Senate Republican Caucus.

"Missing loved ones can be found quickly, if law enforcement and the community are alerted and mobilized," said Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend), sponsor of the legislation. "I believe this bill will save lives, and give families a little peace of mind in stressful situations."

Senate Bill 1577 directs law enforcement agencies to develop policies for responding to instances of missing individuals with mental impairments. New protocols will include training for officers, processes for reporting a missing senior and mechanisms for alerting the public.

Currently there are about 80,000 Oregonians with Alzheimer's, a number that is expected to climb to 110,000 by 2025.

Sixty percent of people with Alzheimer's will wander from their home. Sixty percent of Alzheimer's patients who wander, if not found within 24 hours, will suffer severe injury or death. Eighty percent if not found within 72 hours will die. A person with Alzheimer's may not remember his or her name or address, and can become disoriented, even in familiar places.

Senate Bill 1577 also contains provisions for fighting Medicaid fraud. The bill requires the Oregon Health Authority to develop cutting edge solutions to prevent and identify fraudulent activity.

"In order to provide services and emergency resources for those who are struggling, we need to take aggressive action against individuals who would seek to abuse Oregon's Medicaid system," said Knopp.

CONTACT:
Michael Gay
(503) 986-1950
(503) 781-8559

Oregon Legislature Sends Bill to Governor Limiting Company Access to Social Media

By Paul Shukovsky

SEATTLE--The Oregon Legislature May 16 passed a bill (H.B. 2654) with overwhelming bipartisan support that would prohibit employers from demanding that employees or job applicants provide access to their social media accounts.

The measure, headed to the desk of Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), would limit an employer's ability to require access to the login credentials of the personal social media accounts of employees or applicants. It also would restrict a company's ability to compel an employee or applicant to add the employer or an employment agency as an online contact. Retaliation by the employer for a refusal to provide such access or to friend the employer or agency also is prohibited under the bill.

The measure contains an exception for workplace investigations into employee misconduct or to comply with applicable laws or regulatory requirements. Those investigations, however, still must not require the submission of login credentials.

The bill also does not prevent an employer from complying with the rules of a self-regulatory organization. The financial securities industry has sought similar exceptions in the many social media privacy bills being debated across the country, arguing that without them, companies could not satisfy Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules requiring securities firms to supervise, record, and maintain business-related communications (see related special report).

Banning 'Shoulder Surfing.’

The House approved the bill 56-3 on April 15, and the Senate voted 28-1 in favor on May 14. The state Senate inserted an amendment to prohibit what has been dubbed by lawmakers as “shoulder surfing,” which the House concurred in May 16.

Sen. Bruce Starr (R), one of the chief sponsors of the bill, told BNA May 14: “We don't want employers or prospective employers to look over your shoulder and view whatever is on your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or any other social media. Across party lines, both the House and Senate recognized that to have employers demand access to your Facebook and Twitter feed just didn't make any sense.”

Rep. Margaret Doherty (D), also a chief sponsor of the legislation, told BNA May 14 that she and her staff have been working on the bill for months “talking to members of the tech community, privacy advocates, unions, and law enforcement community members.”

Promoting Privacy.

Sen. Tim Knopp (R), the bill's other chief sponsor, told BNA May 14, “When an applicant applies for a job, the employer doesn't ask to look at their mail. So why would they look at their Facebook account?”

By Paul Shukovsky

Copyright 2013, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.

After tax defeat, Dems should become bipartisan on PERS

by Sen. Tim Knopp

The failure of the Oregon House to pass a tax increase package on Oregon’s small business owners creates real opportunity. Public services continue to teeter on the brink of insolvency with no workable solution from Salem while half of the session has expired. This crossroad isn’t the end of the path, it’s a moment of clarity with two unmistakable realities. First, the budget crisis facing Oregon cannot be solved without a substantive and bipartisan solution to PERS reform. Second, Republicans are at the table with substantive suggestions on PERS and revenue but Democrats had pursued a go it alone approach.

Make no mistake. Last week, an opportunity was born for the legislature, and today we start fresh.

If passing Senate Bill 822 is the only PERS reform offered by the 77th Legislative Assembly then more cuts an fewer teachers are the very real choices facing school districts. Parents and teachers are still reeling from out of control class sizes, shorter school years, and significant program cuts that are back on the table because some politicians in Salem seem paralyzed to act on real PERS reform. I believe there are courageous members of both parties and both chambers that are ready to do more. The time is now.

This indefensible math of PERS employer rates underscores the necessity of real reform — not just for balancing the state budget, but for shoring up Oregonian’s confidence that the state has put itself on a responsible, sustainable path that provides a fair retirement for Oregon’s valued public employees without sacrificing services to seniors, kids and public safety.

Cities, counties and school boards throughout the state are demanding a PERS reform package that restores teaching positions, reduces class sizes, put more cops on the streets and provides new investments within our community.

I continue to applaud the Governor for his interest in addressing PERS cost increases and look forward to his legislative action to protect scarce funds needed for education and other vital public services. But if lawmakers continue to punt on real PERS reform it will simply leave Oregon families holding the bag.

The passage of Senate Bill 822 represents an unwillingness to recognize the seriousness and scope of the problem schools and our police and fire departments face. Kicking the can down the road with empty rhetoric of a shared sacrifice is not an answer. Neither is the Democrat proposal’s alleged “savings” of $350 million based on simply skipping required payments — akin to ignoring a credit card bill for a couple years and racking up more interest.

The public employee retirement system is a titanic problem and is a sinking ship that needs to be rescued. Passing the bare minimum says to kids and their parents, seniors and Oregon’s most vulnerable that we don’t have room in the life boat for you.

Oregon deserves leaders willing to step up to plate and solve this crisis. With no work group, no collaboration, no negotiations, SB 822 represents a backroom political deal that shifts the PERS debt burden onto Oregon families and small businesses. Democrats continue to ask as part of their plan that you make up the difference of their failure to solve the PERS problem by raising taxes while limiting home mortgage deductions. Last Week, we tried that path and came to a dead end.

In the end, the passage of SB 822 does little to stop local PERS obligations from swamping local services in a sea of red ink and debt. Please demand the legislature pass a real PERS reform plan like those that the Oregon School Boards Association and many Republicans have proposed. Oregon’s future depends on swift bipartisan action.

“Great moments… are born from great opportunity,” declared Miracle on Ice Coach Herb Brooks. “And that’s what you have here.” Today represents an opportunity to do great things. Last week’s vote represents a simple truth, no bipartisan consensus on our state budgetary woes equals no reform. Today, we begin again.

Sen. Knopp was previously in the Legislature from 1999 to 2005 for three terms, including one as Oregon House Majority Leader, where he led the PERS Reforms of 2003 that saved taxpayers billions. He was elected to his first term in the Oregon State Senate in November 2012. Senate District 27 encompasses the Central Oregon communities of Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, and Tumalo.

What we must do to improve Oregon’s future

By Tim Knopp

As the weather begins to warm, Bachelor begins to thaw and signs of spring are all around us, it’s hard for me to believe that this legislative session is already half over.

We have reached the midpoint in the legislative session, and a great deal remains to be accomplished.

If we’re going to move this state forward, then we need to address all of our challenges. We need to make sure everyone who wants a job has an opportunity to get a good job, we must hold government accountable and we must fully fund education so that our youngest generation has an opportunity at their American dream.

Few parts of Oregon have been hit worse by this recession than Central Oregon. With nearly one in 10 of our neighbors still unable to find a job, the status quo is unacceptable. Consistent high unemployment deserves more effort from legislative leadership. Many legislators have proposed bills to allow Salem to step back and let small businesses thrive and to do what they do best, create jobs. I am concerned that the Senate leadership doesn’t appear to want to take any action on these job-creating bills that unemployed Oregonians are desperate for. I won’t give up until my jobs bills and others like this are passed.

Central Oregonians deserve no more politics as usual, no more politics of division, no more class warfare. They want a government that works with them, not against them. Since before the start of the 2013 legislative session, the reform of PERS has been a priority for many schools and local municipalities. Even with increases to their overall budgets, the price tag on PERS has forced them to make significant cuts in education, health and public safety. I want to solve the crisis with real reforms and help with job creation. We must do better for our children, seniors, police and firefighters. PERS is a titanic problem. It is a sinking ship that needs to be rescued. Passing only Senate Bill 822 says to kids and their parents, seniors and Oregon’s most vulnerable that we don’t have room in the lifeboat for you. This is unacceptable. We must pass real, meaningful PERS reform.

On a brighter note, my legislation to combat those who would game and cheat the state of Oregon’s Medicaid program has passed the Senate and is now awaiting action in the House. Senate Bill 753 brings the latest in fraud-fighting technology to the state’s Medicaid program through mathematic algorithms and presents a serious effort to combat the nearly $18 billion that is lost nationally to Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse.

We can’t be content just resolving the issues of today. We must make sure that we leave even greater opportunities for the next generation, and that starts with fully funding education. Tough budget conditions and a crushing PERS obligation have decimated school districts throughout the state. In their wake, shorter school years and larger class sizes remain. We must do better.

It’s halftime in Salem, and our biggest policy battles still remain unsettled, but opportunities still exist for us in the second half. Our work is not done. Not by a long shot. Republicans have been at the table of bipartisanship all session, and if the Democrat leadership agrees to join us, the session could be one of Oregon’s finest. As John Wayne said, “It’s time for us to saddle up."

— State Sen. Tim Knopp represents the Central Oregon communities of Bend, Redmond, Sunriver and Tumalo.

Reprinted from Bend Bulletin. Copyrights to them. http://www.bendbulletin.com/article/20130430/FREE/304300320/

Gun Control Bills Move to the Senate Floor

The Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee Chair held hearings and work sessions on four “gun control” bills last week. I have received emails and phone calls from thousands of Oregonians with about 95% opposing the bills. I’ve seen many citizens testify in opposition to the bills as well. Thursday, on a partisan vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the four bills with amendments and sent them to the Senate Floor. The vote will likely occur this week. The Oregonian summarized the four bills and what they do, read below:

  • Senate Bill 347, which would allow school districts to prohibit concealed handgun licensees from carrying their firearms on school grounds.

  • Senate Bill 699,which would require that firearms carried into public buildings by licensees be concealed from public view.

  • Senate Bill 700 would require a background check for all private sales and transfers, except for those among family members.

  • Senate Bill 796, which would require that applicants for concealed permits take a course taught by a live instructor.

I thank you for standing with me against these bills. They solve no problem and they don’t make anyone safer. In fact they will make criminals out of law abiding citizens and have the very real potential to create more victims.

In freedom,

Senator Tim Knopp

Defending Pregnancy Resource Centers

Pregnancy Resource Centers have been a tremendous boost to our communities. Women who would not have anywhere else to go now have a community-supported center where they can receive help.

SB 490 unfairly targets Pregnancy Resource Centers across Oregon. It infringes upon free speech rights by compelling pregnancy centers to say something they would not otherwise, thereby regulating their right to free speech. Pregnancy Resource Centers will be unable to continue to exist in their current form if this piece of legislation is allowed to pass.

SB 490 has been scheduled for a work session on Tuesday, April 9th at 3 pm. I'm solidly opposed to the bill, but the rest of the committee members need to hear from you if we are to defeat this bill. Below I have listed the members on the Senate Health Care and Human Services committee, along with information on how to contact them. I urge you to contact all of them. Let them know you oppose this bill, and tell them what your local pregnancy resource center means to you.

Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, Chair: (503) 986-1725 - Sen.LaurieMonnesAnderson@state.or.us Senator Chip Shields: (503) 986-1722 - Sen.ChipShields@state.or.us Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward: (503) 986-1717 -Sen.ElizabethSteinerHayward@state.or.us Senator Jeff Kruse: (503) 986-1701- sen.jeffkruse@state.or.us

I will do everything I can to defeat this piece of legislation. I believe it's important for Pregnancy Resource Centers to continue to lend a helping hand in our communities to women, and families in crisis.

Senator Tim Knopp

Medicaid Fraud Bill Testimony - SB 753

Senator Tim Knopp Aims to Reduce Medicaid Fraud

Introduces Bill to Utilize Latest Technology to Combat Fraud

Salem, OR – Senator Tim Knopp is set to push reforms to Oregon’s programs and methodology to improve Medicaid payment integrity. If passed, Senate Bill 753 could potentially save the State of Oregon millions of dollars each year with minimal costs to implement this element to the program. SB 753 extends the latest in technology fraud fighting to preventing fraud before it happens, by reducing both improper payments, cost, and time involved with traditional “pay and chase” recovery.

“With Medicaid fraud becoming increasingly more complex, it is critical that Oregon updates and improves its policies to remain vigilant,” Knopp said. “SB 753 adds the technologies necessary to assure the long term solvency of Medicaid by ensuring that these critical programs will be available for those that are truly in need of help.”

SB 753 is set to have its first hearing, Monday March 18th at 3:00pm in the Senate Committee On Health Care and Human Services. Along with Senator Knopp, SB 753 has the bi-partisan support of Senate Health Care Committee Vice-Chair Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg) and Doctor Alan Bates (D-Ashland).

“My goal is to enact strong preventive controls that can help defend against improper payments, increasing public confidence and avoiding the difficult “pay and chase” aspects of recovering improper payments,” Knopp continues. “Annually, the federal government estimates that state Medicaid programs forfeits around $18 billion dollars that is attributed to fraud, waste and abuse – taxpayer money that could be used for its intended purposes.”

Sen. Knopp was previously in the Legislature from 1999 to 2005 for three terms, including one as Oregon House Majority Leader, where he led the PERS Reforms of 2003 that saved taxpayers billions. He was appointed to the Education and Workforce Development and Health Care and Human Services committees for the 2013 Legislative Session. Tim was elected to his first term in the Oregon State Senate in November 2012. Senate District 27 encompasses the Central Oregon communities of Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, and Tumalo.

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2nd Amendment Rights

I oppose, and will continue to oppose attempts to restrict fundamental second amendment rights and freedoms.

My Grandfather, William Gaylord and I share a rich American heritage and history as I’m sure many of your families do. Our Gaylord ancestors came to America around 1630 and helped layout the city of Boston, MA as well as founding a town on the East Coast before they moved west. They arrived on this continent long before America’s founding and took our American heritage and our Constitutional freedom seriously. That mantle has been passed to me and I will defend our Constitutional freedom regardless of the cost, it’s that important!

My Grandfather was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting. Nothing made him happier than awakening in the wee hours on a crisp morning in October or November at a campsite in Eastern Oregon to go out and hunt deer and elk. And there's something about the seriousness and care he embodied that still rings in my ears. These days, in particular, I remember him saying “Never touch the guns in the gun cabinet unless I help you” and “Treat every weapon as if it’s loaded.” And yes, he was a proud member of the NRA.

Make no mistake, firearms are to be treated with respect. In the wrong hands, firearms are not only dangerous but deadly.

However hunting isn’t the reason that Constitutional protections exist relating to gun ownership. These Constitutional guarantees exist for self-defense and the preservation of freedom of all our rights from the tyranny of our own government and to repel an attack of a foreign power.

Ownership of a firearm is a great responsibility and should never be taken lightly. It’s a right that I value and carry on with my children today. As a family, I’ve taught my children to appreciate the freedom to protect oneself as expressed in the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states in part…”the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”, as well as Article I, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution says, “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.” These are clearly enumerated rights of the people.

As an Oregon State Senator, I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, and of the state of Oregon and I will honor that oath

The legislature needs to focus on criminals using guns and caring for people with mental health issues. None of the current anti-gun bills accomplish these two key points. In fact they will make Oregonians less safe and create more victims while making criminals out of law abiding gun owners.

Quite frankly I don’t trust a government that doesn’t trust its own citizens with their Constitutional rights.

Please join me in doing everything you can to defeat these bills so we can focus our efforts on policies that will make people safer. Please talk with your friends and encourage them to email their Senators and Representatives in opposition to these bills. We are at a critical time in our history and we must not fail in our duty to protect the citizens of our state and Country.

In freedom,

Senator Tim Knopp

Legislators Knopp & Conger Introducing Bill On PERS

**Senator Tim Knopp

Representative Jason Conger**

Oregon State Capitol 900 Court Street NE, S-309 Salem, Oregon 97301

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jake Pelroy February 14, 2013 503.986.1727

Legislators Knopp & Conger Introducing Bill On PERS Keep Promise To Take Legislators Out Of PERS

Salem, OR – Senator Tim Knopp along with Representative Jason Conger are set to provide fiscal relief to communities struggling with spiraling Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) expenses. Oregon agencies have to cut their service because of staggering increases in retirement expenses. The bill will remove legislators from being members of PERS.

“For many communities, the price tag of PERS has forced them to make significant cuts in education, health, and public safety.” states Sen. Knopp. “Because of our budget crisis, we have a unique opportunity in Oregon to obtain real meaningful PERS reforms. Already this session, the Governor and Legislators have proposed changes in PERS. With this bill we are leading by example by fixing state legislators conflict of interest.”

Originally legislators weren’t allowed to join PERS. However during the 1975 legislative session there was a bill to reverse that rule. Many who study PERS, point to this specific waypoint where the retirement system became compromised.

“I have heard from many citizens who are concerned that the Legislature is biased when it considers PERS reforms because many legislators are also PERS members” Representative Conger reported. “Whether that is true or not, the public’s confidence and trust in our elected representatives is critical to a strong republic. By keeping legislators out of PERS, this bill will simply take a significant step to remove even the perception of conflict.”

Sen. Knopp was previously in the Legislature from 1999 to 2005 for three terms, including one as Oregon House Majority Leader, where he led the PERS Reforms of 2003 that saved taxpayers billions. He was appointed to the Education and Workforce Development and Health Care and Human Services committees for the 2013 Legislative Session. Knopp was elected to his first term in the Oregon State Senate in November 2012. Senate District 27 encompasses the Central Oregon Communities of Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, and Tumalo.

Rep. Conger currently serves on the Health Care, Revenue, and Tax Credits Committees. He was first elected to the Legislature, November 2, 2010. He has taken a leadership role in Oregon’s landmark education and healthcare reforms. Conger represents House District 54, which encompasses most of Bend.

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Senators introduce Social Networking Privacy Protection Act

Senator Bruce Starr Senator Betsy Close Senator Tim Knopp

Oregon State Capitol 900 Court Street NE Salem, Oregon 97301 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Michael Gay February 7, 2013 503.986.1950

Senators introduce Social Networking Privacy Protection Act

Salem, OR — Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro), Senator Betsy Close (R-Albany/Corvallis) and Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) have introduced legislation to safeguard the privacy of individuals on social networking sites.

“Social networking has blurred the lines of personal privacy,” said Starr. “This bill will hopefully set some boundaries, and continue to protect an individual’s right to a personal life.”

Some employers have required job applicants to provide user names and passwords for their social networking accounts like Facebook. Even if access is not required, often times it is strongly suggested, leaving applicants feeling coerced into surrendering access.

Senate Bill 499, the Social Networking Privacy Protection Act, prohibits employers and universities, both public and private, from requiring applicants to turn over passwords to their social networking or email accounts. Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, and California have passed similar legislation.

“An employer or university wouldn’t ask for access to someone’s home or personal diary,” said Close. “Demanding login information for social networking sites is just as invasive, if not more so. An individual’s right to privacy should extend to their life on the internet.”

“Employers would still be allowed to review the public portion of a potential hire’s profile or conduct a traditional background check,” said Knopp. “But to make access to someone’s personal online information a condition of employment just isn’t fair.”

Gun Control and Preventing Tragedies Like Sandy Hook

I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of local articles published yesterday. They include some of my thoughts on gun control, and how we can prevent more tragidies like the Sandy Hook shooting.


KTVZ has an article and an acompanying video on some of my thoughts on Gun Control, and what we can do to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting from happening again.

Knopp and returning state Rep. Jason Conger told the group they will fight to uphold the tenets of the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, and will fight efforts to use a tragedy to take away the rights of gun owners, the vast majority of whom have done nothing wrong.

They said they plan to try to make other lawmakers realize that to stop such tragic acts from happening, it's not a matter of limiting guns or ammunition, but rather of better gun knowledge and safety, and more help for the mentally ill.

There was also an article in yesterday's edition of The Bulletin*.

Conger and Knopp both told the audience the focus should not be on guns, but on mental health care, with Knopp calling the mental health aspect of the mass shooting phenomenon the “most important question."

*Viewing The Bulletin article requires a Bulletin E-Edition subscriptions, or purchase of a one day pass.

Thank you!

Thank you to all the volunteers and voters who made my election to the Oregon State Senate possible. Because of you, we won handily Tuesday night and now I have the honor to serve the citizens of Central Oregon once again. As I've said before, I think the voters clearly wanted no more politics as usual, no more politics of division, no more class-warfare. The people want their state back, and they want more private sector jobs. We should not stop until everyone who wants a job has an opportunity to get a good job, and that is what I intend to do.

Please Stay in Touch

In the next couple of months I'll be preparing to hit the ground running during the 2013 Legislative Session. Moving forward, I want to continue to hear from my constituents first and most often. I look forward to hearing your ideas about how to get Oregon back to work.

You can always send me an email or give me a call at 541-389-7008. You'll also find updates here on my website and on Facebook.

I'm looking forward to serving you.

All my best,

signature_blue

Tim Knopp Your State Senator

Telephone Town Hall Was a Success!

Thank you to everyone who joined our live telephone town hall!  The event was sponsored by the Oregon Health Care Association and focused on issues specifically important to seniors.  We were able to talk with 3,000 people and took many good questions from listeners.

Click here if you'd like to listen to a recording of the telephone town hall.

We asked a survey question of our listeners on the call.  The results are below!

The Bulletin Editorial: Knopp for state Senate

The Bulletin Oregon’s lawmakers will have more than enough to keep them busy next year. They must balance the state’s budget and work to relieve government of the terrible and growing burden imposed by the state’s public employees retirement plan. And, topping this region’s list of critical issues is the bonding authority necessary to allow OSU-Cascades to expand to a four-year college.

Tim Knopp, the Republican candidate for state Senate District 27, has hands-on experience with all those problems. His opponent, Geri Hauser, does not.

Knopp was the state representative who crafted much of the last serious round of Public Employees Retirement System reforms back in 2003. Some of what was approved then was later overturned by the courts, but his knowledge of the system will be invaluable next year. Moreover, he has concrete suggestions for reform that will, he believes, pass judicial muster.

Hauser has neither.

Knopp also knows the challenge that comes with balancing the state’s budget during tough economic times. The 2003 PERS reforms were prompted in part by a sluggish economy, and balancing the state’s budget in the 2001-03 biennium required five special sessions. It also required across-the-aisle cooperation, of which Knopp was a part.

Hauser has never worked on a state budget.

Finally, Knopp was an early and forceful advocate for what became the OSU-Cascades branch campus, joining the late Ben Westlund’s effort to assure that economic uncertainty did not bring an end to what was, at the time, an experiment in something new. Between them, they bought the campus time to establish itself as a vital part of Oregon higher education.

Hauser supports the campus, though she has no experience in getting the finances it needs to thrive.

Knopp is the only candidate in the Senate District 27 race with the experience to accomplish what must be accomplished next year. That’s a sound reason to send him to Salem.

10-12-12 Editorial Small (website)