Legislative Report - Week of 3/20
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Cybersecurity and Public Records
Rights of Incarcerated People
By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team
By Barbara Klein
The wide-reaching Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) bill (HB 2004), which LWVOR endorsed, along with 38 other organizations, drew a large audience, both in-person and virtually at the hearing on March 16. So many people wished to testify, and were unable to do so, that this bill and a related RCV bill (HB 3509) were placed on the March 21 legislative schedule as well. Legislators and representatives from both major parties, representing Alaska, New Mexico and Utah spoke in support of RCV.
The LWVOR submitted testimony on HB 2004 and plans testimony on HB 3509 to be shared on the next legislative report. Note that HB 3509 also requires RCV for nonpartisan elections and offices of the state legislature, whereas HB 2004 includes only federal and statewide offices. Amendment -1 to HB 2004, requested by Rep. Dan Rayfield, chief sponsor of the main bill, primarily expands the franchise by allowing RCV to be used for school boards. Specifically, RCV could be used for the nomination of candidates and election to the school board.
Cybersecurity and Privacy
By Rebecca Gladstone
SB 1073 Growing data management risks justify this bill to establish a state Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). This office in DAS would coordinate cybersecurity services with data governance and transparency / privacy concerns, would set rules, develop and share educational materials and forums. We again recommend reading our privacy and cybersecurity work. We support the networking for state agency CPOs and others around the state.
SB 1073 “may adopt” implementing rules, including that the SoS and Treasurer would be “directed” to adopt “the same or similar” rules. We are concerned that siloing to exempt the SoS, the Treasurer, and now an amendment requested to also exempt the AG, may hamper rapid response protection from the array of services we are supporting in other bills this session. Separating our state government branches’ administration here is meant to retain balance of power, yet effective defensive collaboration is warranted. We call on this prospective CPO and Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to collaborate closely.
SB 166 This bill is moving in one week from public hearing to work session, not promising for the multiple concerns we recommend be addressed, our testimony. This three-part bill would codify that actual voting on ballots is not revealed (never has been). It only addresses protecting elections workers, offending substances shall not be thrown at them, and elections should have cybersecurity plans. We recommend further amending, citing extensive references to our earlier relevant testimony. Technical harassment definitions should be expanded, as we note, for example to doxing, with extensive privacy issues, and extended to protect all involved in elections, even voters, from harassment and intimidation, as reported last fall, OPB. We anticipate valuing having these protections in place before the 2024 elections. We link our other testimony to support for elections as critical infrastructure, for cybersecurity, and for protecting our cyber defense plans, as mentioned in the bill below.
HB 3111 passed a March 21 work session after passing from the House with no opposition votes, and a March 16 Sen Rules public hearing. This privacy protection bill exempts some personal information for some public employees, focusing on retirees. As we advocated for SB 293 Enrolled (2021), we urge for less piece-meal privacy protection. See our testimony in support, repeating our previous calls for improvements.
SB 234 OJD rules for gathering info to evaluate judicial system disparities. Regarding privacy. Passed Senate floor on partisan lines, public hearing in H Judiciary, March 8. No work session set yet.
SB 216 This health information privacy bill is moving, assigned to H Behavioral Health and Health Care, about disclosure of identifiable data. Three -1 versions are on file. Creates an exception to ORS 181A.823, which prohibits public agencies from collecting data about an individual's immigration or citizenship status or country of birth, so that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) may collect data related to national origin in accordance with standards adopted by an advisory committee. Prohibits personal data collected by OHA and DHS related to race, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity from being disclosed as a public record, allowing for release of data only if it is anonymized and aggregated.
The bill would allow agency data collection about individuals to eliminate health disparities. This affects privacy, to collect and protect data for race, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Oregon law (ORS 181A.823) restricts public agencies from collecting data related to immigration, citizenship status, or country of birth.
Rights of Incarcerated People
By Marge Easley
HB 2345-1, which mandates that reasonable efforts will be made to limit the length of time an incarcerated person can remain in segregated housing (solitary confinement), is scheduled for a work session on April 3. The bill also establishes a committee to study the implementation of this new mandate. Here is League testimony in support of the bill.
After passing out of Senate Rules on March 9 with a do pass recommendation, SB 579 A, which would allow prisoners to register and vote, remains in Ways and Means. According to the Fiscal Analysis, the Secretary of State anticipates the fiscal impact of this measure to be $749,007 from the General Fund for two positions (1.00 FTE) and associated costs for the 2025-27 biennium.
By Chris Cobey
SB 168: Senate Rules held a public hearing 3/21 on this bill that would expressly prohibit public employees, while on job during working hours or while otherwise working in official capacity, from promoting or opposing appointment, nomination or election of public officials.
SB 207: Senate Rules gave a do pass recommendation and sent this bill to the Senate floor for 2nd reading 3/21. This bill was at the request of Oregon Government Ethics Commission and would authorize it to proceed on its own motion to review and investigate, if the commission has reason to believe that a public body conducted meetings in an executive session that were not in compliance with laws authorizing executive sessions.
SB 292 A: Senate Rules scheduled a public hearing 3/23 with an A2 amendment. This bill would narrow the applicability of the requirement that members of a district school board must file verified a statement of economic interest (SEI) to only those members of districts with specified number of students or districts that are sponsors of virtual public charter schools. The League believes that all public officials should file an SEI and that smaller jurisdictions are where the most conflicts of interest occur, which could be revealed in SEI filings.
SB 661: Senate Rules adopted a -2 amendment and sent it to the floor with a do pass as amended recommendation. This bill would prohibit a lobbyist from serving as chair of an interim committee, legislative work group or legislative task force.
No bills on campaign finance have yet been scheduled for a hearing.
There has been no movement on redistricting in the legislature. People Not Politicians has started collecting signatures on IP 19 petitions downloadable from its website.
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