Ginny Burdick was first elected to the Oregon Senate in 1996, and was re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
Senator Burdick currently serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue, an appointment she received in 2008. She also serves on the Senate Committee on Rules, and the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Public Affairs. In 2005 and 2007, Senator Burdick served as Chair of the Judiciary Committee. She has also served in the past on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety, and on the Environment and Commerce committees.
Senator Burdick has been the Legislature’s top advocate for gun safety legislation. When the Legislature failed to close the gun show loophole in 1999, she joined with two Oregon Sheriffs to sponsor Ballot Measure 5, an initiative requiring criminal background checks at gun shows. Measure 5 was passed by Oregon voters in November 2000 with 62 percent of the vote statewide and has cut down on the flow of illegal guns from gun shows.
As Chair of Senate Finance and Revenue, Senator Burdick’s main goal is to make Oregon’s tax system more stable and adequate to sustain education, health care, economic health, and public safety. In 2011, Senator Burdick also served as Co-Chair of the Joint Tax Credits Committee, which reined in excessive tax credits by evaluating all tax credits against their peers and contrasting their value with their costs. Every program benefiting from a state tax credit had to justify its continuance.
During the 2008 interim, she served on the Task Force for Comprehensive Revenue Restructuring where she joined multiple stakeholders in studying Oregon’s tax system and making recommendations for improvements to the 2009 Legislature.
In the 2008 Supplemental Session, Senator Burdick worked with her colleagues to expand the Business Energy Tax Credit to encourage manufacturers of energy-saving technologies to locate in Oregon. She also worked to expand affordable housing credits for preserving and building housing for low income residents.
In 2007, Senator Burdick was a Chief Sponsor of the Clean Indoor Air Act. This bill provides nearly all Oregon employees with clean air, free of secondhand smoke, in their workplaces. She was also the Senate leader in the Legislature’s successful effort to adopt anti-discrimination legislation for sexual minorities and domestic partnership legislation for same-sex couples.
In the 2005 legislative session, Senator Burdick co-authored the bi-partisan methamphetamine package that passed the Legislature overwhelmingly and has been credited with the virtual elimination of home methamphetamine labs in Oregon.