I recently introduced Senate Bill 865 and it has generated some controversy. The bill is about rooting out conflicts of interest in our government, but I wanted to provide my constituents with what I hope is helpful background.

One fundamental American ideal is checks and balances. Oregon’s government, which is elected and governed by the people, must not only protect the rights of Oregonians, but must also have their trust. In regard to trust, our representative democracy needs all the help it can get. Polling shows that faith in our government is at an all-time low.

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Sen. Bill Hansell represents Wallowa, Union, Umatilla, Morrow, Gilliam, Sherman, and parts of Wasco counties.

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