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February 7, 2022 - Week 1

Back to Full Legislative Report


Campaign Finance Reform

Redistricting

Cybersecurity and Privacy

Public Records, Meetings and Ethics

Rights of Incarcerated People


Campaign Finance Reform (Norman Turrill)


There are three proposed bills relating to campaign finance filed for this session:


HB 4049 requires the Secretary of State to conduct a study and analyze best practices for financing electoral campaigns, as if CFR has not been studied enough.


SB 1526, sponsored by the Senate Interim Rules Committee, establishes limits on campaign contributions that may be accepted by candidates and political committees. However, the proposed limits in this bill are blanks.


SB 1561, sponsored by Sen. Golden, prohibits candidates for state office from accepting contributions in excess of amounts specified and from sources not specified. We are told that this bill will be the vehicle for CFR during this session in Senate Rules. However, it will be heavily amended before going forward.


The Legislature will likely use these bills to try to head off initiative petitions IP 43, 44 and 45, organized by Honest Elections Oregon, which are currently awaiting ballot titles.


Redistricting (Norman Turrill)


HJR 204 is nearly identical to IP 34 and has been filed by Reps. Bonham, Boshart Davis, and Wilde, without outreach to the IP 34 chief petitioner, PNP PAC, or the League.


The People Not Politicians coalition is still continuing with IP 34, and it is now in the ballot title process. IP 34 opponents have now appealed the AG’s certified ballot title to the Oregon Supreme Court. Since the AG’s ballot title is nearly identical to that approved by the Supreme Court without change two years ago for IP 57, the opponent’s purpose seems to only be to delay signature gathering. However, the Supreme Court will take as much time as it needs to make a decision, so it may be late February or early March before signature gathering can begin. Some 150,000 valid signatures must be delivered to the Secretary of State by July 8.


Cybersecurity and Privacy (Becky Gladstone)


Several bills this session relate to cybersecurity. Note that next week’s policy bill deadlines will not affect most of these coming up because they are in House Rules:


HB 4017: LWVOR supports this Oregon Data Broker Registry bill, from the Attorney General’s Consumer Privacy Task Force, with League attendance since August 2019. Our testimony cited our Privacy and Cybersecurity study and position for the influence of data brokers on elections.


HB 4092: This widely supported Broadband Advisory Council bill would increase statewide outreach by leveraging federal funds. LWVOR support cites broadband access as a basic human need, to reduce urban/rural connectivity gaps, support public library access, and improve access for telemedicine, schools and more.


Contention centers on section four, geospatial mapping data collection, despite nondisclosure agreement amendments for proprietary (corporate broadband) information and exemption from public records disclosure under ORS 192.355. League members in the State Data Sharing Work Group have repeatedly heard about the value of sharing data, to quote from this bill, “in a form that can be viewed, edited and mapped.” Rep. Brock Smith mentioned concerns about equitable service delivery and grant application oversight, though he was otherwise fully supportive.


SB 1527: LWVOR supports this bill to update statutory election references to “secrecy envelopes” and, revising election recounts timing.


HB 4133: LWVOR plans to support this voter registration housekeeping bill, including a promising feature to allow registered organizations like the LWVOR to facilitate registering voters, forwarding from our website. This bill also allows using a social security number for identity verification for voter registration. These are incremental steps to maintaining voter access.


HB 4136, sponsored by Rep. Rayfield and Sen. Manning, requires the Secretary of State to establish a digital voting system to allow a limited set of voters to digitally request, receive, mark, verify and cast ballots. This is limited internet voting, which most computer science experts say has not yet been shown to be secure and private.


HB 4155: We are reading this major bill to write testimony for a public hearing forecast for next week. Stakeholders spoke to critical cybersecurity infrastructure problems including increasing Oregon public safety, government, medical, and education, ransomware attacks. These problems got multiple proposals.


  • Outdated cyber infrastructure. Replace vulnerable “Legacy” or outdated systems with unsupported security updates.

  • Lack of qualified workforce. We’re shorthanded. Of 954 Special Districts, only some 50 have IT staff. Sometimes only one person, near retirement, knows how to maintain old software. Recruitment, practical training, diversity, and support are critical ASAP since the graduate delivery pipeline takes time. This collaboration is promising but will need funding.

  • Insurers are denying cyber coverage. The risk is too high. A “Teaching Hospital” in the bill could educate to help reduce insurance risk rates.

  • Lack of cultural understanding of cyber importance. The League of OR Cities said “People are the greatest liability!” Extension services were mentioned to educate the public, for example, to use multi-factor authentication, described on p. 47, LWVOR Privacy and Cybersecurity study.


Note: This week the Dept. of Homeland Security announced the creation of a US Cyber Safety Review Board. More bills will be addressed here, time allowing.


Electoral Systems (Barbara Klein)


No new bills.


Public Records, Meetings and Ethics (Chris Cobey)


HB 4114 requires district school board members for common school districts or union high school districts to file verified statements of economic interest with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission (OGEC). February 10, 8:05 am public hearing, House Rules.


HB 4140 expands OGEC duties to conduct investigations, make findings and impose penalties for violations of public meetings law. February 1, amended to -2; February 10, 8:30 am public hearing, House Rules.


SB 1566 establishes annual Legislative Assembly member salary, equal to the annual occupational mean be the wage estimate for Oregon for prior year. Directs that the Legislative Assembly members’ salaries adjusted to conform to annual occupational mean wage estimates, only once every two years. Applies cost-of-living adjustment to monthly interim expense allowance received by members. Authorizes child care allowance for members who have children or dependents under 13 years of age. Applies to pay periods beginning on or after January 1, 2023. February 3 public hearing, Senate Rules. Of the 8 registered speakers, all of whom indicated "FOR," four were legislators; all written testimony urged support save one writer, who questioned whether the bill's child care stipend should be needs-based. LWVOR will likely support this bill.


HJR 203 proposesa constitutional amendment to vest power of impeachment of statewide elected Executive Branch officials in the House of Representatives and power to try impeachments in the Senate. No hearings are scheduled.


HJR 206 proposes a constitutional amendment to limit the Governor’s ability to declare emergency or to exercise powers under declaration of emergency to only those powers granted by law and to 30 days' duration.


Rights of Incarcerated People (Marge Easley)


The League will be supporting three bills related to the rights of incarcerated individuals, a topic related to racial justice that came to the fore in the 2021 legislative session:


SB 1584, scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary on January 8, creates a procedure for filing a petition for compensation for a wrongful conviction. Given that 36 states, the federal government, and Washington, D.C., all currently have such compensation procedures in place, makes this bill an important step forward for exonerated individuals who have been unnecessarily harmed by the criminal justice system. This bipartisan bill, championed by the Oregon Innocence Project, would create a clear pathway for compensation, in the amount of $65,000 for each year of imprisonment and $25,000 for each year of parole or post-prison supervision. The League supports.


HJR 202 proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution to repeal the provision requiring inmates in corrections institutions to engage in full-time work or on-the-job training. Such a mandate can be construed as a form of convict leasing, a racist holdover from the post-Civil War era. This is a follow-up to SJR 10 from last session that sought to remove the constitutional clause that banned slavery, except in the case of punishment for a crime. If passed, this bill will appear on the 2022 ballot as a legislative referral, along with SJR 10.


HB 4147, which grants the right to vote for felons who are currently incarcerated, returns this session for a second try. The bill passed out of committee in 2021 but did not receive a floor vote. Republican objections to the bill have been loudly raised, which is problematic for a productive short session.