Legislative Report - Week of 2/13
By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team
By Barbara Klein
The Oregon Election Reform Coalition has filed an initiative by the same name (now IP 19). It’s an open primaries proposal using a ‘Final Five’ system similar to the Alaska model, as well as other reform features. The LWVOR action committee supported the idea of an identical bill, and LWVOR will review this as a ballot measure. See the full text. Members of the League were involved in developing this initiative.
Work is still behind the scenes, and no hearings have yet been scheduled for the three Ranked Choice Voting bills (SB 506, HB 2004 and HB 3107) nor for the STAR (Score then Automatic Runoff) bill (HB 3107).
By Marge Easley
The League delivered testimony on HB 2107 to House Rules on February 14. This bill extends automatic voter registration to the Oregon Health Authority when eligible individuals have provided pertinent information to the Oregon Health Plan. Current law only provides for the automatic process through the Department of Motor Vehicles, so this is a welcome expansion that will facilitate an opt-out voter registration process for more citizens, especially those who are low income, homeless, or disabled. HB 2107 originally included the establishment of a pilot program at Powder River Correctional Facility for automatic voter registration of incarcerated individuals upon release, but the Secretary of State asked that this provision be removed.
Public Records Law
By Rebecca Gladstone
HB 2821 may relate to recent articles in the Malheur Enterprise, SPECIAL REPORT: Smith pledges scrutiny of Nyssa rail project budget, can’t produce one, and this follow up, Findley blocks access to records on his rail funding efforts, invoking immunity. Note, author Les Zaitz has agreed to be LWVOR Convention Keynote Speaker, May 19-21. We are watching, marked for public records, open meetings, and budget concerns. A hearing has not been scheduled.
After Sen Rules Chair Lieber requested a Work Group, we assembled a roster and began outreach for bill collaboration networking. A meeting is set for Feb 20. See last week’s LR.
Thanks to committee admins for help with managing testimony presentations since numerous bills came up during concurrent hearings this week.
Next week, or soon after, we expect to speak to these bills:
HB 2049: We will support this cybersecurity omnibus bill, with a Feb 22 public hearing.
HB 3201: We have supportive testimony for this broadband bill, awaiting hearing scheduling.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. Worthy causes go unaddressed for lack of League volunteers. If you see a need and can offer your expertise, please contact our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.