Clem, discharge petitions and the BPA ban

T.A. Barnhart

Rep Brian Clem got more than a few progressives around Oregon riled up last week when he did not sign the discharge petition to bring SB 695 to floor of the House. However, he had another trick up his sleeve, one that let him sidestep the issue of the petition, a tactic he does not like.

SB 695 is now HB 3689: same bill, new life. And this time, it’s got two Republican co-sponsors — and one of them, Vicki Berger, sits on the House Rules Committee, where the bill will be headed. Will that be enough to move the BPA ban forward? If Clem’s right on the votes, there are 32 members of the House (Schaufler is probably a No vote) who support the ban.

And as Co-speaker Bruce Hanna told a town hall in Hillsboro last week, that’s a bipartisan majority. Which means if the bill gets stuffed in Rules by Co-chair Andy Olson (and a refusal of any GOP members to join Berger in pushing for a vote), the BPA bill will die for partisan political reasons.

Something to remind voters of next year.

T.A. Barnhart has been writing at Blue Oregon for nearly 6 years, and has currently launched The Action TAB, video reports from the 2011 Legislature; a project made possible by supporters at You can follow these reports throughout the session on Facebook.

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    Despite considerable fears raised by activist groups and the press, the science does not warrant regulations on BPA. Instead, it shows that human exposure is too low to have any measurable impact even for infants and children. As a result, regulatory measures to ban BPA could have unintended, adverse health and safety consequences.

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    China bans BPA from plastic baby bottles, but not Oregon.


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