Oregonians for Food and Shelter,

OFS is gearing up for an unpredictable short session! Next week, legislators return to Salem for a fast-paced 35-day session where they will take up controversial policies, including cap-and-trade, 2nd amendment issues, pesticides, and forest practices. The short session was originally billed to voters as an opportunity to improve government efficiency and responsiveness to budgetary needs, but it has become a free-for-all where any policy can be put forward, regardless of how complicated.

Farmers and foresters face numerous threats over the next five weeks. Representative Paul Holvey (D-Eugene) introduced HB 4109 with PCUN and Beyond Toxics, which would ban all uses of chlorpyrifos in Oregon by 2022. HB 4109 was referred to the House Committee on Health Care-seven of the 11 committee members are co-sponsors of the bill. This committee has no expertise in pesticide-related issues, but it will be in the position of making decisions about the tools and production practices available to growers to protect their crops. This referral is a clear attempt to circumvent the House Committee on Agriculture, which historically has dealt with pesticide-related bills.

Read more on this story at the Natural Resource Report