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Legislative Report - Week of 1/15

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By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team

Senate and House Rules Committees

The Interim Senate Rules and Executive Appointments Committee met 1/10/24 and introduced three legislative concepts (LCs) for the Public Records Advisory Council (PRAC) to study public records requests fees charged (LC 196); make youth sporting events grants available (LC 195); and to make many changes in an election law clean-up bill (LC 194).


The Interim House Rules Committee met 1/11/24 and introduced many LCs:

  • LC 22 proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution to require the Legislative Assembly to impose by law a state property tax to fund public safety and define taxable property.

  • LC 46 sets the convening date and time of electors of the President and Vice President of the United States and sets procedures.

  • LC 47 requires all notary public applicants to complete a course of study.

  • LC 251 requires the Governor to fill a vacancy in the office of U.S. Senator by appointment within 30 days until a special election can fill the vacancy.

  • LC 266 requires the Oregon Health Authority to study Oregon’s addiction crisis. (Placeholder relating to addiction.)

  • LC 267 requires the Oregon Health Authority to study access to behavioral health treatment in this state. (Placeholder relating to behavioral health.)

  • LC 268 requires the Secretary of State to study how best to improve Oregon’s campaign finance system. (Placeholder relating to campaign finance.)

  • LC 269 directs the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to study the deterrent effect of different sentences on the use of controlled substances in public places. (Placeholder relating to community safety.)

  • LC 270 requires the Secretary of State to study how to improve Oregon’s voter access. (Placeholder relating to elections.)

  • LC 271 requires the Oregon Government Ethics Commission to study Oregon’s government ethics laws. (Placeholder relating to government ethics.)

  • LC 272 requires the Oregon Health Authority to study access to health care in this state. (Placeholder relating to health care.)

  • LC 273 requires the Housing and Community Services Department to study housing (Placeholder relating to housing.)

  • LC 274 requires the Oregon Government Ethics Commission to study public meetings. (Placeholder relating to public meetings.)

  • LC 275 requires the Public Records Advisory Council to study public records. (Placeholder relating to public records.)

  • LC 301 removes the requirement that the word “incumbent” appear on the ballot with the name of incumbent candidates for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Oregon Tax Court, and circuit court.


AI and Elections, EPAB (Electronic Portal Advisory Board)

By Rebecca Gladstone

No developments yet on our Senate Commemorative Resolution (SCR) for Alice Bartelt from Sen Wagner. 

The Electronic Portal Advisory Board (EPAB) met in November, 2023, highlighting the Oregon Digital Equity Plan draft; see consolidated documents.

Expect several Artificial Intelligence (AI) bills this session. In mid-November, Sen. Woods’ staff asked us to work on an elections AI bill (LC 132), paraphrasing highlights here:

  • AI means digital technology used to create an image, audio or video recording of an individual’s appearance, speech or conduct that a reasonable person would believe depicts a real individual but that did not actually occur.

  • The bill requires disclosing any form of AI use in campaign ads and communication.

  • A filing officer believing an election law or rule violation has occurred shall proceed promptly as though they had received a complaint. Time periods in the bill range from 3 days to 5 years.

  • Circuit courts are directed to prioritize these restraining orders, prohibitions, or injunctions, which may be issued without proof of injury or damage to any person. Civil penalty enforcement is not to exceed $10,000. Being effective on passage could impact Oregon 2024 campaigns.

  • Notwithstanding ORS 260.005 (10)(c)(B)(i), a campaign communication may involve aggregate expenditures of any amount.


States’ legislation underway:

Thanks to Joint Committee Information Management and Technology Admin. Sean McSpaden, for renaming our HB 2049 group to the AI group, sending ongoing reading, some here:


AI Background: Sen. Woods notes that AI is not new, cites Alan Turing, “the Father of AI,” and the 1950 Turing Test, to test a machine’s ability to convincingly carry-on human conversation. From The Guardian, Dec 7, 2023, Eliza, a 1960s computer program, beat the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT at the Turing test, designed to differentiate humans from artificial intelligence, by 27% to 14%. But OpenAI’s GPT-4 chatbot tricked study subjects more than Eliza did, succeeding 41% of the time.

 AI’s vast AI scope See the Dec 4, 2023 New Yorker on the AI Revolution: Human beings “think linearly. You give instructions to someone on how to get from here to Starbucks, and you give them individual steps,” he said. “You don’t give them instructions on how to get to any Starbucks location from anywhere. It’s just hard to think that way, in parallel.”


Election Methods

By Barbara Klein

On 1/11/24 the Joint Committee On Ballot Measure Titles and Explanatory Statements held a work session and public hearing on HB 2004 (a Ranked Choice Voting bill from 2023 that the LWVOR supports). Currently it is known as Legislative Concept 60 (LC 60). See LWVOR testimony.


This same committee is preparing ballot titles for two other legislative referrals: 

(LC 59) would set up a process for the Oregon House of Representatives to impeach statewide elected public officials and for the Senate to convict impeached officials. 

(LC 58) would create a commission to determine the salaries of state level public officials.

Campaign Finance and Redistricting

LWVOR has endorsed circulating petitions. They can be downloaded, printed, signed and returned by mail from Honest Elections for IP 9, Campaign Finance Reform, and People Not Politicians for IP 14, Redistricting. Initiative petition signature filing is due July 5, 2024. Watch for legal status updates.

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