Oregon legislature

State Team Scores Client Victories in 2017 Session

Public transit agencies such as Salem-Keizer Transit will be able to expand service as a result of dedicated funding contained in a legislatively approved transportation package.

Public transit agencies such as Salem-Keizer Transit will be able to expand service as a result of dedicated funding contained in a legislatively approved transportation package.

Dedicated funding for public transit. New revenue to sustain the Oregon Health Plan. Public records reforms. Clarity on amending local comprehensive land-use plans. Developed work rules that meshed with demands with wineries. Advocated for creation of a new Cyber Security Center.

Those were just some of the client achievements for the CFM State Affairs team during the 2017 Oregon legislative session.

“This was a session full of challenges,” said CFM’s Dale Penn II. “Our job was to find ways to get past challenges to realize client objectives. In the main, we were successful.”

CFM’s State Affairs team represented 20 clients during the 2017 session on issues ranging from a mandate for physical education in K-12 schools to investing in Oregon’s transportation infrastructure.

“We didn’t have very many idle moments during the session,” recalled CFM’s Tess Milio. “Our client work took us to every hearing room in the Capitol. We were busy.” And the team wouldn’t have it any other way.

Passage of a major transportation package was in doubt until the end of session. “We never gave up hope. We never stopped lobbying or developing new and proactive strategies,” Penn explained. “This was our shot at securing Oregon's first dedicated funding source for transit services while also dealing with bottlenecks that snarl traffic. Our perseverance and advocacy efforts paid off.” CFM’s efforts ensured package contained dedicated funding for public transportation and funding for the Newberg-Dundee Bypass.

A significant part of Oregon’s projected $1.6 billion budget hole was the result of increasing state obligations to pay for Medicaid. Plugging that hole involved careful negotiations and intense lobbying. “This was not a foregone conclusion,” Penn said. “We needed to find creative, politically viable ways to raise the money to sustain health insurance coverage for thousands of Oregonians in an incredibly controversial subject area. We succeeded.”

Access to public records may seem esoteric, but it can be critical to keeping government honest, says CFM’s Zack Reeves. “We represent broadcasters and pushed responsibility for reasonable access to information the public needs to know. Three of the bills we advocated were passed."Public records may seem esoteric, but it can be critical to keeping government honest, says CFM’s Zack Reeves. “We represent broadcasters and pushed responsibility for reasonable access to information the public needs to know. Three of the bills we advocated were passed."

CFM State Affair's Clients

Catholic Community Services
City of Salem
City of Tigard
Columbia River Pilots
Coos/Yaquina Bay Pilot Association
DXC
Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
JE Dunn Construction
Oregon Association of Broadcasters
Oregon Land Title Association
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association
Oregon Winegrowers’ Association
Portland Arena Management –Trail Blazers
Providence Health & Services
Recology
Salem-Keizer Transit
Securus
TransCanada
Youth Villages Oregon

Oregon’s land-use laws can seem ponderous, which is why the City of Salem initiated legislation to allow planning commissions to review and approve land-use amendments. “Planning commissions are where the review occurs, the hearings are held and key decisions are made,” Milio said. “It also should be where final action is made.” That view, despite opposition, prevailed.

Contract lobbyists such as CFM work for multiple clients on a wide array of issues – from solid waste to behavioral health to residential energy tax credits.

“Our skill is to match the expertise of our clients with our ability to fold into policy and legislation that can pass,” according to Penn. “We help clients understand what is possible and then make it reality,” adds Milio.

Always with professionalism and integrity.

Dale Penn II 

Dale Penn II 

Tess Milio 

Tess Milio 

Zack Reeves

Zack Reeves

A Little Bragging about a Successful Session

CFM has always been a lobby firm dedicated to achieving client results. There is no better example of our work than the recently completed 2016 Oregon legislative session.

Our team of five lobbyists, led by CFM Partner Dan Jarman, worked on challenging legislative projects ranging from funding major sporting events to health care to low-income housing. Their work mirrored CFM’s intentionally diversified client portfolio that takes our lobby team to every corner of the state Capitol in Salem.

Success doesn’t happen by accident. “In a short session, there is a lot to do and not very much time to do it,” Jarman says. “You have to conceive a good plan, maintain the discipline to execute it and have the stamina to withstand all the turmoil to succeed. Our team did.”

Success doesn’t always occur in a single session, particularly a short one. And just because you succeed doesn’t mean that success is permanent.  “It takes vigilance to notch a client victory,” Jarman adds. “It takes just as much or more vigilance to preserve that victory.”

The CFM team in Salem consists of Dale Penn II, Ellen Miller and Tess Milio. Case studies highlighting some of their successes during the 2016 session are featured on CFM's homepage.

Michael Skipper, the fifth member of CFM's state team, joined the firm's federal affairs team in Washington, D.C., after the session. He has become the latest member of the CFM staff to work as a lobbyist in both D.C. and Salem.

There has been little time for the state team to rest. After writing their 2016 session reports for clients, they are already at work on legislation for the 2017 session as well as initiatives that voters will decide in the November general election.

“The cycle never stops,” Jarman said. “We can’t either."

Quick Action Saves School Access

Medically fragile school-age children will be able to continue in Portland Public Schools this fall because of legislation passed in the Oregon legislature as a result of advocacy by CFM's state affairs team.

The issue cropped up relatively late in the 2013 session, but CFM's Jessica Adamson, Ellen Miller and Tess Milio jumped into action, worked with legislative champion Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, and got an amendment added to House Bill 2747, which is now on its way to the governor's desk.

It all started in May when Portland Public Schools declared it wasn't legally obligated to educate 26 children housed in the Providence Child Center because their parents lived outside the district's boundary.

The amendment in HB 2747 ensures the children can attend school in Portland for the next school year while lawmakers and others ponder a longer term solution that takes into account financial responsibility for the children's education for consideration in the 2014 session.

"There may be a credible discussion to have about who is responsible," Gelser said to the Oregonian about the passage of the bill, "but that should be invisible to the kids and their families."

Parents of children at the Providence Child Center expressed relief about final approval of the bill. They said their children have difficulty adjusting to change. PPS officials also voiced support for the plan that provides continuity of education for the children.

The Providence Child Center, which has operated for 60 years and is located in NE Portland within the PPS boundary, is the only facility of its kind in the Pacific Northwest that provides full-time residential care for medically fragile children.

"I'm proud of our team for taking on a tough issue late in the session and finding a workable solution that benefits children and their parents," says CFM Partner Dan Jarman. "This is the kind of advocacy work that makes all the hard work worth it."