Gene Derfler

Abstract/Description: Interview with Gene Derfler. House of Representatives, 1988-1993, State Senate, 1994-2001, Senate Majority Leader, 1991-1999, Senate President, 2001. After decades as a successful small businessman, Gene Derfler (interviewed February 10, 2017) turned his skills and attention to state politics. He won a seat in the House of Representatives for House District 31 in 1988 and held that seat until 1993. One of his overriding interests was the reform of issues involving worker's compensation. Over the course of several sessions he and Kevin Mannix guided the reform of the worker's compensation, in what he considers one of his key legislative accomplishments. In 1994, he ran for and won the right to represent District 16 in the Oregon Senate, a post he held until 2001. Family Medical Leave, Workfare, JOBS Plus, and changing the rules for state employee collective bargaining were other legislative reforms that Derfler proudly takes credit for creating and implementing. For two sessions, Derfler served as Senate Majority Leader, and in his final session in the Senate in 2001 Derfler served as the President of that body. Having your party in the majority in the legislature allows control over issues and bills, and that power was something Gene Derfler relished, but something he also took seriously in making certain that the work of the people was done and done well. "It takes a lot of work and common sense to get people to come and be on your side."
Subject(s): n-us-or
Derfler, Gene -- Interviews
Oregon -- Officials and employees -- Interviews
Oregon -- Politics and government
Date Issued: 20172017