State Sen. Dallas Heard of Winston was one of 11 Republican senators who joined a walkout from the state Capitol last week.

The protest started with Republican objections to a business tax meant to fund education. It ended when they returned to the Capitol on Monday, giving the Senate the quorum required for voting.

While Democrats are in the majority, they do not have enough senators to make a quorum without some Republicans turning up. Following a week of negotiations, the Republicans agreed to return and allow the education funding bill to pass if two others — a gun control bill and a vaccination mandate — were killed.

He said he believes the Republicans got their message across.

“It’s the beginning of showing them we’re not just going to roll over and die,” Heard said.

Heard said he spent the week of the walkout back home in his district making phone calls. He worked with the caucus and individual citizens on the issues that drove the Republicans out to start with. And he faced a threat issued by Democrats that if the Republicans didn’t return this week they’d each be fined $500 a day for a job that only earns $2,600 a month.

He’s particularly pleased to see the vaccine bill go down. It would have mandated school kids get vaccinated in order to attend public or private school and daycare facilities. Proponents said the bill would protect kids from deadly diseases and prevent outbreaks; opponents said parents should have the right to opt out for religious or philosophical reasons. Heard said the bill represented a government overreach.

“It’s the same old human species character flaw. When we get too much control, too much power for too long, we almost all are subject to inherently becoming something other than what we started out as. And that something is arrogant, self righteous, overly confident and dismissive of what other people’s beliefs, values or circumstances are. And we just start running people over,” Heard said.

Heard said he was amazed at the commitment of the ordinary citizens who sent emails, made phone calls and wrote letters in an effort to prevent the vaccination bill’s passage. Ninety-five percent of them were women, he said. Heard said he was disturbed how few men were willing to invest in the political process.

“I am so proud of the women for showing all this courage, devotion, commitment that was unyielding in the pursuit to protect their children from what they believe is an overreach of government. These women through their efforts have renewed my hope that freedom and liberty will live on. I don’t feel alone anymore,” he said.

He said some of the women told him they changed their party affiliation as a result.

“The Republicans were the party that stood for their rights and their freedoms, and we fought valiantly in my opinion and my caucus’ opinion. Without this caucus collectively standing together that bill would be on the governor’s desk going into law,” he said.

As for the gross receipts tax that passed Monday, Heard still thinks it’s unfair to businesses, since it doesn’t account for whether the business made a profit or loss. He also said the Democrats can’t prove the money will be used for education, and that it may instead be used for the public employee retirement system.

The Democrats, on the other hand, viewed it as a major accomplishment — one that would raise $1 billion a year to fund Oregon’s education system. It passed on a strict 18-11 party line vote.

Heard said if no deal had been reached by Monday, he’d have paid the $500 a day fine. He also said since he wasn’t in the Capitol last week, he’ll be donating his payment for those days to the Douglas High School athletics program.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(15) comments

chelseland

So incredibly proud of Senator Heard for standing up for freedom! Every parent deserves the right to choose. The idea that we can give ultimate control to an organization that is liability-free, with a product that has the potential to injure or kill children (VAERS reports less than 1% of vaccine injuries) is beyond me. Two of the vaccines on the market are currently under federal investigation for fraud (MMR and HPV). Zero deaths from measles in 2018, 4 deaths from the MMR vaccine. Ultimate power corrupts, and I believe this is what we are seeing with Pharma. They are trying to control/mandate because they cannot provide true unbiased evidence (studies of vaccinated vs. vaccinated populations, double-blind safety studies for vaccines using an inert saline placebo) that vaccines are safe and effective, so they try and control instead. It's time to wake up. Where there is risk, there must be choice.

Momos

"My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov

No, it isn't. Anti-vaxers wear their ignorance like a badge of honor. And Heard leads the herd.

Achsel

Thabk you Senator Heard for standing up for a minority too long ignored in this nation, the vaccine injured and their families. Oregon's vaccine rates surpass herd immunity levels while medical exemptions are impossible to get in this state. We already have a system designed to ignore those that need protection and HB3063 pitted medically vulnerable kids against other medically vulnerable kids. It used education as blackmail in
forcing parents to choose between their childs health or an education. They also lied to the public and legislators about the numbers. There is no threat in Oregon and definitively not in Douglas County where most schools ate at 98% vaccination rates. The very kids they claimed to be protecting were the ones being rolled under the proverbial school bus! It was a solution without a problem and Senatir Heard saw through the lies and hyperbole and looked at the facts.
Most of all, he listened to his constituents most likely to be harmed by this legislation. Something more legislators need to do!

S

"Republicans agreed to return and allow the education funding bill to pass if two others — a gun control bill and a vaccination mandate — were killed." Another almost school shooting today in Portland - be proud of Senator Dallas Heard for hiding out Douglas County.

S

We can always count on Dallas Heard to keep the "duh," in Duhglas County. The Wakefield Report that caused all of this nonsense has been retracted but not before it caused irrational and stupid people to latch onto it and make the world less safe. Yep we can count on good old fashioned dumbness to rule in Douglas County - making all of us less safe and the laughing stock of the State. Leif and Heard what a pair to draw too and never a safe bet.

SheilaN

Senator Heard, this mom of selectively vaccinated children cannot express how thankful that our family is for the courage that you have shown in standing up for our rights to make the best decisions for our children! Thank you is not enough.

Scott Mendelson

The act of stalling the course of government by refusing to make a quorum is bad enough. However this display of ignorance and stupidity of an elected official sworn to represent the best interests of the people of the state, even when those people themselves may be utterly ignorant of what is best for them, is beyond imagination. It is OK for the average fool on the street with no knowledge of medicine, prevention or treatment of disease and no responsibility for the health of others to have ridiculous, outdated, flat out stupidly wrong ideas about vaccinations. However, a leader of the people is supposed be something other than an ingnoramus. Vaccinations are not to punish the ignorant. There are to protect the health of others from that ignorance. The Government has constitutionally valid quarantine laws to force dangerously infected people into isolation. They also have the power to force vaccination on people for the general good of all. Your religious nonsense does not over-rule the rights of the majority to remain free of disease. You can believe any silly thing you want, but you cannot inflict your ignorance on others. The man is an outrage and an embarrassment.

SheilaN

It's unfortunate that you are missing the point. The point is that it is not about vaccines, but about our freedom to make informed medical decisions about our children.

S

Does that safe and informed medical decision extend to your own female body and the right to make decisions about it? My sense is probably not.

S

What Scott Mendelson said!

Achsel

There is no law in the U.S that can force vaccinate anyone! Vaccines can be mandated but there have always been exemptions since vaccines were invented. Even the Supreme Court case of Jacobsen vs MA, the court decided he could legally be fined $5.00 but he was never vaccinated nor was his son who was granted a medical exemption.
Until the 1990s no vaccine in the US had a higher uptake than 60% so we all went to school with a LOT of unvaccinated kids. No one cared! Now rates are 95% or above for way more vaccines. We vaccinate more kids with more vaccines than ever in history, there are no rising rates of unvaccinated, its a lie! What is rising is the rates of chronically ill or disabled children and no one seems to gives a rats arse about that, though it is breaking our school budgets and our state budgets.
4 different adults visting Oregon with measles, were unable to infect a single Oregonian with a highly contagious disease, sounds like whatever we are doing is working, leave it alone!

tkeisha

Thank you so much Senator Heard! Your leadership is so appreciated and your views on the forced vaccination bill gave hope to many of us.

MC

Thank you Senator Heard!

rachel817

Thank you for writing such a factual article, not biased reports.

And a huge thank you to Senator Heard,

Sandrine

I so appreciate Senator Dallas Heard's consistent support of medical freedom and the depth of his convictions! I have been very inspired by the communication I've read and heard from him about his desire to protect informed consent. Thank you, Mr. Heard!

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