SALEM, OR -- Representative Cheri Helt (R-Bend) and others in Oregon’s House are forced to watch their bills sit, and potentially die in the Senate, due to the Republican walkout. The Bend Republican says she’s trying to stay positive, despite the lack of Senate action on her mixed-use housing bill that passed the House nearly unanimously, last week. "I’m just kind of in a wait and see approach. I try to be optimistic so I always believe that we can always come together and find what unites us instead of what divides us, and hopefully the Senate can find something that unites them in a compromise for this legislation." At a recent town hall in Bend, she refused to say whether she supports the action of Senate Republicans, but pointed out she voted against the Cap and Invest bill at the heart of the boycott.
Helt says tensions are running high at the Capitol, largely due to the impasse and looming deadlines, "The end of session is a really stressful time because people have been working really hard for many, many years, in some cases, on bills. And, people are working longer hours; it’s a very emotional time and hopefully we can find some compromise at the last minute to really serve the people of Oregon better."
As the end of session approaches, the freshman lawmaker tells KBND News she's pleased with her work, "I’m always a perfectionist an want more, and would like to be doing more and wish some more bills had gotten through, especially around foster care and childcare, because those are some of my top issues. But, as a freshman, I feel like I gave it my all and I’ve been working up until the very last minute; and I will continue to do so, and I will continue to hold out hope and optimism and not give up until it’s over."