Legislative Report - Week of 1/30
By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team
Campaign Finance Reform
There have been no new bills filed and no public activity for CFR.
By Chris Cobey and Norman Turrill
The People Not Politicians coalition, in which the LWV of Oregon is a leader, now has an office in Wilsonville and a campaign manager. It will circulate only IP 14 (only legislative redistricting) and will begin collecting petition signatures probably in February. Four bills related to redistricting have been filed in the Legislature, detailed in a previous LR.
By Tom Messenger
SB 804 by Senator Manning emerged as a companion to SB 499 by Senator Weber to move the Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday.
Rights of Incarcerated People
By Marge Easley
On January 30, the League delivered testimony in Senate Judiciary in strong support of SB 579, which would restore the right to vote to over 13,000 people in Oregon’s prisons and jails. The response to the many individuals who delivered persuasive testimony was heartening, as was the fact that a work session on the bill was scheduled for February 2. However, instead of a work session the bill was sent to Ways and Means, which means it may or may not resurface later in the session. The League has added our name to the Guaranteeing the Right to Vote’s endorsement list for the bill, and we will continue to work for its passage.
Public Records Law
By Rebecca Gladstone
The League positions balance privacy and transparency needs.
At an Oregon Public Records Advisory Council (PRAC) meeting last fall, we heard that a public records request denial might be considered in the public interest if it presents a conflict of interest for workload. We will be evaluating as the SoS budgets ask for increased staffing in response to this. We have always supported Elections Division staffing budget requests, based on services, not on defense from efforts “to complicate or undermine their work.” Last fall, as Oregon hit 3 million registered voters, Oregon election offices got unprecedented numbers of public records requests, mirrored nationally.
Last week, the PRAC shared a wide-ranging roster of 33 proposed bills affecting public records law. Some, for example, may affect elections and League Vote411.org access to candidate and ballot measure filing information. We will be watching these for relevant League action, in some cases addressed in previous session versions.
Extensive 2017 public records law work passed with our support: SB 2101 for exemptions (our testimony), SB 481 for public records access policy (our testimony), and SB 106 for a Public Records Advocate and Council (our testimony).
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