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Legislative Report - Week of 2/19

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By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team

Campaign Finance

By Norman Turrill

A placeholder bill, HB 4024, is being pressed into service from unusual partners, labor (which is otherwise promoting IP 42 against IP 9), and business. They are presumably hoping to forestall the impending faceoff between the two competing campaign finance initiative petitions. A three-hour hearing was held 2/23 in House Rules on a complex 43-page -3 amendment to HB 4024. The debate was vigorous with good government groups, including the League’s written testimony, opposed and labor, business, and small c(4) groups beholden to labor in favor. It remains to be seen if legislative leaders can push through such a complex bill with just over two weeks left in the short session. Remember that every legislator is an expert on campaign finance, at least on their own campaign’s finance.


Other Governance Bills

HB 4021 requires the Governor to fill U.S. Senator office vacancies by appointment within 30 days until a special election can fill the vacancy. House Rules had a public hearing and scheduled a work session.

HB 4026, amending is proposed in House Rules for this elections placeholder bill, to retroactively prohibit the use of a referendum on any urban growth boundary expansion. This would block a referendum in the City of North Plains in Washington County. The LWVOR submitted written testimony opposing the amendment and saying the bill is likely unconstitutional and may invite a lawsuit. The bill House Rules work session is scheduled for 2/27.

HB 4031, which requires the Public Records Advisory Council to study public records, passed out of committee without recommendation and was sent to House Revenue, where a hearing was held 2/21. An amendment is proposed to protect taxpayer information from disclosure.

HB 4032, which 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, had a public hearing and a work session is scheduled in House Rules.

HB 4117, which authorizes the Oregon Government Ethics Commission (OGEC) to issue advisory opinions on the application of the public meetings law, and which is a correction to a bill passed in the 2023 session, passed the House immediately and unanimously. The bill then had a hearing and was scheduled for a work session in Senate Rules.

SB 1502 requires public schools and college boards to livestream their meetings and post the meeting recordings on their websites and social media sites. It allows remote testimony for most school and college board meetings. The bill was amended and passed out of Senate Education with referral to W&Ms rescinded. The bill is scheduled for a 2/26 hearing and possible House Education work session.

SB 1538, an election law clean-up bill that makes many changes, was amended in several details and passed out of Senate Rules on 2/15. The amended bill was then passed by the Senate 20 to 10, sent to the House, and a hearing is scheduled 2/27 in House Rules.


Privacy & AI, Campaign Finance, Elections, & Alice Bartelt, In Memoriam

By Rebecca Gladstone


Landmark Victims’ Rights package, HB 4146: This sexual abuse bill addresses victims’ rights and provides technical protection fixes, including image privacy, even if images are not directly identifiable to an individual. We will support, relating to our privacy positions. The revenge porn aspect invites consideration of altered images, which could be relevant to SB 1571 -3, below. See MIT Technocrat, Dec 1, 2023 about student AI revenge porn victims . HB 4146 passed House Judiciary unanimously, with OJD implementation timing reservations addressed in amendments. It will be heard in Sen. Judiciary Feb. 26. See Oregon House approves bill changing laws on revenge porn, restraining orders, KOIN, Feb. 21, and Oregon's current law requires that victims of revenge porn be "reasonably identifiable" in the image, Feb. 15, KOIN.

From Multnomah County DA’s office Policy Director Aaron Knott:

“This is a small change that will make an enormous difference in the lives of crime victims who see intimate images of themselves distributed without their consent, but who may nevertheless be denied justice — or forced into a deeply traumatizing legal process to determine whether their body is reasonably identifiable.”

AI, synthetic media in campaign ads, SB 1571 A: The House passed this bill unanimously. It awaits a Senate hearing assignment, League testimony. We are networking and expanding the conversation.


Campaign Finance Reform, HB 4024: Details are addressed elsewhere in this report. The 43-page -3 amendment to this brief placeholder bill was released one day before House Rules dedicated a 3-hour public hearing solely to the bill. The amendment was crafted between legislators, unions, and Oregon business, who face unevenly competing campaign finance initiatives for the fall, with their IP 42 trailing good government groups’ IP 9. The LWVOR opposes HB 4024; see our testimony. See former legislator Marty Wilde’s Money in Oregon Politics and earlier in the week, OPB, cautious hope for a campaign finance breakthrough.

LWVOR is actively collecting IP 9 signatures (get petition forms). A LWVOR member is a Chief Petitioner.

Automatic Voter Registration for students SB 1577-3: This bill to expand automatic voter registration for higher ed students, through the Dept of Revenue, was amended to study viability, benefits and challenges. After passing from Senate Veterans on a 3 to 2 partisan vote, it awaits a J W&Ms hearing.

Increasing Voters’ Pamphlet languages from 5 to 10, SB 1533, is up for a Feb. 26 work session in Joint General Government, after passing unanimously in Senate Rules on Feb. 15th. League testimony addressed the language increase; see other details in this report.

Commemoration for Alice Bartelt, SCR 203. This resolution, researched and written by LWVOR at sponsor Senate President Sen. Rob Wagner’s request, was heard and passed unanimously from Senate Rules on Feb. 22, League testimony and hearing video.

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