Legislative Report - Week of 3/27
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Cybersecurity and Public Records
Rights of Incarcerated People
By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team
By Barbara Klein
The League was able to give verbal testimony (at minute 33) for HB 2004, regarding Ranked Choice Voting. We had previously submitted written testimony, but covered different points in each testimony. Due to so much interest in these bills, two hearings were held on different dates; but still not everyone was able to testify. We were unable to present our planned verbal testimony for HB 3509, but you can see our written report here (this submission was similar to the verbal testimony for the other bill).
The RCV coalition continues to meet with individual legislators to promote HB 2004; the LWVOR has been invited to these. Advocates of another election reform, STAR (Score then Automatic Runoff) consistently testified in opposition against HB 2004. They suggest that a study group be established while they seek signatures for the ballot initiative promoting STAR statewide.
Cybersecurity and Public Records
By Rebecca Gladstone
These bills are moving across the spectrum from fully enrolled (SCR 1), to not yet assigned a bill number. Some are in W&Ms, one is in an amendment work group, others are progressing to second chamber and are being heard in committee. Cybersecurity remains a focus. We appreciated getting a thank you letter for supporting the OJD budget bill SB 5512 (our testimony) from the Chief Justice and State Court Administrator.
A JW&Ms General Governance subcommittee forwarded these two PRAC (Public Records Advocacy Council and Advocate) bills with a do pass recommendation to full W&Ms, in a March 28 work session.
SB 417 on Public Records Requests. We support this detailed PRAC bill to increase efficiency in processing public records requests, considering fee waivers, defining “media”, waiving records request fees when made in the public interest, and considering malicious intent in placing requests. See our testimony.
HB 5032 will fund the PRAC (Public Records Advisory Council) and its Advocate. See League testimony in support, citing League work since 1993 and linking to our public records advocacy in 2017 and 2020.
Bills coming up
Geospatial Information: We are watching for a geospatial information bill after a JCLIMT informational hearing. We have “a tremendous amount of technical debt”. Oregon needs to update and automate systems built in the 1990’s. The League believes this means a data security vulnerability that must be addressed. Agencies are being good partners, working toward improving, and honest about their capacity to share, with some trepidation. 2021 resources have been applied for data engineers and scientists, so this will be better going forward.
The League has participated with the Elections and Geospatial Data group convened by the state Geospatial Data Officer in 2022, the Oregon Tax Districts Workgroup convened by the Dept of Revenue in 2020, and as a guest, to the JCLIMT State CIO Data Sharing Workgroup, convening in 2015, to advocate for our Vote411.org and They Represent You geospatial information needs.
HB 3127 A: We are researching this state data security bill, being heard in the second chamber. It relates to protecting agencies from foreign social media access.
HB 2490 progressed with no opposition from the House, to be read in the Senate on March 27. It addresses Oregon’s growing cybersecurity vulnerability, by protecting our defense plans, devices, and systems from public disclosure, also echoing our call to balance public records disclosure transparency and privacy. The League urges for maximum protection of public health, safety, and the environment. Defending our critical infrastructures is at stake (our testimony).
SCR 1 Enrolled lacks any action in statute and has been filed with the Secretary of State. It calls for election worker support and applause. We urged for a larger perspective protection in statute. See our 2023 testimony for expanding election privacy and harassment protection, citing our League 2022 testimony from HB 4144 Enrolled (2022).
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 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
HB 5021: Joint General Government, work session scheduled 3/29. Limits biennial expenditures from fees, moneys or other revenues, including miscellaneous receipts and reimbursements from federal service agreements, but excluding lottery funds and other federal funds, collected or received by Oregon Government Ethics Commission.
SB 168: Senate Rules passed this bill 3/28 with -1 amendment 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 floor passed this bill 21 to 8 and it is now in House Rules. 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 held a public hearing 3/23 with A2 and A5 amendments on OLIS. This bill would narrow the applicability of the requirement that members of district school boards must file verified statements of economic interest (SEI) to only those members of districts with a 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 A: 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.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. Worthy causes go unaddressed for lack of League volunteers. If you see a Governance legislation need and can offer your expertise, please contact our staff at email@example.com.