Beyer Goes to Bat for Blueberries in Salem

Former Oregon lawmaker and veteran lobbyist Roger Beyer has been selected to represent the Oregon blueberry industry in the state capital.

Beyer, who served nearly 12 years in the Oregon House and Senate, one of those as Senate Republican Leader, will be focusing mainly on labor and water issues.

During the last short session in Salem Beyer was involved with several labor bills “that were successfully disposed of,” he said. The chief labor bill was one requiring E-Verify for government employees. “The berry groups (Beyer also represents the Oregon raspberry and blackberries industry in Salem) were opposed to that. Their stand has been to be opposed to any changes in the labor laws without comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level and the bill never came up for hearing.”

Beyer expects the issue to resurface in 2013 during the full legislative session.
Also, “There were some water bills we kept a close eye on, too. Nothing passed, positive or negative.” One of two bills Beyer became involved with dealt with split-stream water rights which would, in effect, continue to allow water right holders after 2014 to lease part of their in-stream rights back to in-stream usage, making that water unavailable to junior water-rights holders during lean water years.

In his role as lobbyist, Beyer is also being asked to introduce blueberry commissioners to their legislators so that the industry “will have a presence” in Salem. He will also be involved with the Commission in the planning of “Berry Day” at the Capitol in 2013.

On this day, which has yet to be determined, growers will be invited to the Capitol to meet with legislators. Products made from Oregon blueberries will also be featured.

Starting in the next issue, Beyer will be filing a brief account of his activities in each issue of the Update.

Beyer, a Clackamas County Christmas tree/timber grower, lobbies for several other Oregon commodity commissions and is the lobbyist for and executive director of the Oregon Seed Council. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1983 with a degree in horticulture.



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Oregon Blueberry Commission • P.O. Box 3366 • Salem, Oregon 97302
Paid for by the Oregon Blueberry Commission, an agency of the State of Oregon.