2024 Legislative Update

This year, Oregon Families for Boating welcomed Senate Bill 1590, an important initiative aimed at increasing public access to recreational boating in the Newberg Pool. We made impressive momentum with 9 legislators across partisan lines sponsoring this bill and overwhelming support from thousands of Oregonians who advocated for Newberg Pool families and small businesses.


While we didn’t see the passage of SB 1590 because some legislators felt this year’s short legislative session would not provide ample time for debate and discussion, we made significant progress with more legislators than ever standing up in support of the bill. At the bill’s public hearing Senator’s Meek, Brock-Smith and Emler all spoke in support of the bill and the majority of public testimony was in favor of passing this important legislation. Due the this positive momentum, legislators are committed to making the Newberg Pool boaters and small businesses a priority in the 2025 session by reintroducing legislation.


Oregon Families for Boating would like to extend our sincere thanks to SB 1590’s chief sponsors, Senators Mark Meek (D) and Brock Smith (R) and Representatives Bynum (D) and Elmer (R) along with co-sponsors Senators Manning Jr. (D) and Woods (D) and Representatives Boice (R), Hieb (R) and Ruiz (D) for their support and significant momentum on this bill. We are grateful for their efforts to make the Newberg Pool accessible to all and for their championship of the Oregon boating community. Together, they collaboratively support a cause that goes beyond party affiliations, ensuring a positive future for both boating enthusiasts and the broader Newberg Pool community. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to the thousands of Oregonians who voiced their support for the bill by signing the petition, submitting written comment or testifying at the hearing.


During this year’s legislative session, we also celebrated the success of the second annual Oregon Boating Advocacy Day. Together, Oregon recreational boating advocates and Oregon-based marine dealers teamed up to meet with over 20 legislators from both parties in the House and Senate to educate and discuss legislative opportunities for recreational boating across the state. Read more about our 2024 Oregon Boating Advocacy Day here.


Oregon Families for Boating will continue to advocate for boating families and small businesses across Oregon and is eager to bring this issue back to the legislature in January 2025. In the meantime, here are two ways you can help pave the way to make the passage of this bill a success in 2025:


1.    Donate to the Oregon Families for Boating PAC today! Help us elect lawmakers who support the boating community. There will be open seats up for re-election in November and it’s imperative that we elect pro-boating candidates in these seats. Support our 2025 lobby efforts by donating $25 to the Oregon Families for Boating PAC for the 2025 session and stay tuned for the Oregon Families for Boating election guide later this year.

2.    Wake Responsibly: Practice safe and responsible boating not just on the water, but off the water too by educating fellow Oregonian boaters how to wake responsibility and promote a safe boating environment for all. Learn more today at www.wakeresponsibly.com.


Thank you to all those who have been part of our efforts to be seen, heard, and represented at the capitol. We are lucky to have such an active and growing movement in this state that will keep advocating in the legislature to keep recreational boating a reality for future generations of Oregonians to come.