Legislative Report - Week of 4/3
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Rights of Incarcerated People
Cybersecurity and Public Records
By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team
Rights of Incarcerated People
By Marge Easley
Two bills that promote more humane treatment of those in correctional institutions passed out of the House Judiciary on April 4.
HB 2890 directs the Department of Corrections (DOC) to ensure all incarcerated people have access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment throughout their term of incarceration. This is in keeping with the directive from HB 2257 (2019) to treat addiction as a chronic disease and provide appropriate treatment. The adopted -1 amendment removed a provision in the original bill that all incarcerated people must have access to personal electronic devices. The bill passed with a do-pass recommendation and a subsequent referral to Ways and Means.
HB 2345 passed with amendments with a do-pass recommendation. It directs DOC to share aggregate data on the department’s website about the use of segregated housing in Oregon’s correctional institutions. The goal is to be transparent in fulfilling DOC’s objective of minimizing the use of segregated housing as a disciplinary tool.
Budgets, Cybersecurity, DC Statehood & TikTok
By Rebecca Gladstone
We spoke to the SoS’s budget bill this week. We’re following the progress of numerous cybersecurity and public records bills. The SB 417 Task Force continues to meet, now into next week. We’ve added two bills, planning to speak to a broadly supported “TikTok” bill and a DC statehood resolution.
HB 5035: We support this Secretary of State budget bill (our testimony), repeating our calls since 2017 to replace and unify separate outdated OCVR and ORESTAR elections’ software systems, for efficiency. Note SoS Dennis Richardson’s 2018 Newsroom report “ORESTAR Batch Transactions Processing Error” and from May 2022, ORESTAR affected by C&E Systems ransomware. It is overtime already.
We urged for Risk-Limiting Audit support, with extensive information linked in testimony. The bill presents a conservative pilot program to educate elections officials and the public. We see in these hearings that education is clearly needed. We support the numerous cybersecurity efforts in the bill. We noted omission of voter registration expansion and geospatial districting and urged that these be retained and supported.
HB 2490 was quickly referred to Senate Vets, Emergency Management, Federal and World Affairs after no opposition from the House, 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).
SJM 6: Catching up with this, to urge Congress to grant statehood to the District of Columbia, supported by LWV as a national position. We will submit testimony for the next public hearing. Taxation without representation is a fundamental democratic value and we will support this. SJM 6 passed from Senate Veterans, Emergency Management, Federal and World Affairs on firmly partisan lines, with a do adopt recommendation. Sen. Thatcher prefers residents not be taxed and DC not be admitted as a state. Sen. Linthicum referred to Greater Idaho and focused on government problems. Sen. Woods invoked Taxation without Representation; DC residents pay taxes and this resolution lacks teeth but shows we understand and support them. Sen. Manning urged belief that when the DC area was included in the constitution, it omitted many who looked like him. We must correct the ills of the past at some point. This SJM may not pack power but sends a signal that Oregon recognizes and must correct ills of previous laws. He’s hopeful at some point we recognize all citizens. Not long ago we had a segregated military, now more diverse, agile and stronger. To “Greater Idaho”, imagine if every community wanted to pull up stakes. At the end of the Civil War, in 1865, we were looking for a greater, brighter future. This does send a message that Oregon will support.
HB 3127 A: We will research this “TikTok bill”, prohibiting installing or downloading certain “covered products” onto state information technology assets, and testify in the next public hearing. It passed 52 to 4 from the House floor, not on strictly partisan lines. Note, it does not address personal use.
By Chris Cobey
HB 5021: Budget of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, in Joint General Government, reported out with amendments, returned to full committee; 4/7: Joint W&M work session scheduled. 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.
SB 168 A: Senate Rules reported out with -1 amendment 3/31 and recommended Do Pass with Amendments; Senate floor carried over to 4/5 by unanimous consent. Expressly prohibits 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 passed with ayes 21, nays 8 on 3/23; referred to House Rules; 4/4: public hearing scheduled. Authorizes Oregon Government Ethics Commission to proceed on its own motion to review and investigate, if the commission has reason to believe that the public body conducted meetings in executive session that were not in compliance with laws authorizing executive sessions.
SB 292 A: Senate Rules; A2, A5 amendments on OLIS; 4/6: work session scheduled. Narrows applicability of requirement that district school board members must file verified statement of economic interest to only those members of districts with specified number of students or districts that are sponsors of virtual public charter schools.
SB 661 A: Senate Rules adopted -2 amendment, Do Pass as amended; Senate floor carried over by unanimous consent. Prohibits lobbyist from serving as chair of 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 14 petitions downloadable from its website.
By Barbara Klein
No further developments this week.
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