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Legislative Report - Week of 2/27

Gun Safety

Criminal Justice

Human Services


Gun Safety 

By Marge Easley

As implementation of Measure 114 (permit-to-purchase and high-capacity magazine ban) remains in limbo awaiting court decisions, a bill has just been introduced by several Republican legislators that would, in effect, allow counties to opt out of enforcing the measure. HB 3445 gives a county the authorization to adopt an ordinance to make Measure 114’s permit-to-purchase requirements optional for county sheriffs, police chiefs, gun dealers, and county residents. Although the bill will likely fail to progress and has not yet been referred to a committee, we will keep you informed of its progress.

SB 993, sponsored by Senator Brian Boquist and referred to the Senate Judiciary, is an interesting bill that we will be keeping an eye on. It creates the crimes of pointing a firearm at another person and unlawful carrying of a handgun, increases penalties for crimes of criminal trespass while in possession of a firearm, and directs the Oregon State Police to maintain a database of those convicted of crimes related to firearms. 

Meanwhile, gun sales continue to soar in Oregon. Here are some alarming facts from a recent article in “The FBI conducted an estimated 55,581 background checks related to firearm sales in Oregon in January 2023, up 88.7% from the same period in 2022. Adjusting for population, this comes out to about 13.1 background checks for every 1,000 people, the most among states.”

Criminal Justice 

By Marge Easley & Karen Nibler

The League submitted supportive testimony on two bills, both heard on February 27 in the House Judiciary, related to programs at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. HB 2535 establishes a doula program for pregnant and postpartum adults in custody that would provide an array of doula services overseen by an onsite pregnancy coordinator. The bill also prohibits shackling during labor, childbirth, or postpartum recovery. HB 2731 authorizes the long-term continuation of the Family Preservation Project under the auspices of the Oregon Justice Commission (OJC) and the Department of Corrections. This program, supported by the League in previous sessions, promotes family connections during incarceration and is a lifeline for inmates and their children.

The League submitted testimony on HB 2327, which was heard on March 2 in the House Judiciary Committee. The bill permits county juvenile departments to provide preventive services for children under 12 who engage in delinquent behavior.

The League is pleased that another criminal justice bill we have supported is moving forward:

SB 529, relating to alternative incarceration programs for those suffering from addiction disorders, passed the Senate on January 22 and is now awaiting referral to a House committee.

The Senate Judiciary scheduled SB 519 A for a hearing on March 2 on an amendment. The bill related to juvenile delinquency records and expunction will stipulate the process within the juvenile system. The amendment proposes requirements for the destruction of records and possible damages for confidentiality violations. The League did not testify on the legalities in this bill but supports expunction of juvenile records. SB 763 is a related bill that has opposition from the District Attorneys Association and has not moved forward.

Human Services 

By Karen Nibler

Senate Human Services took testimony on March 27 from many citizens on the need for food programs through the Department of Human Services. SB 609, SB 610 and SB 856 covered higher education graduate students, immigrants from Asian countries and Pacific Islanders, who expressed the need for the food programs. The Human Services Ways and Means Subcommittee will consider the costs and the decisions in the Department of Human Services Budget process.


By Nancy Donovan and Debbie Aiona


Significant strides are being made to address Governor Kotek’s executive order declaring housing and homelessness a state emergency. A bipartisan and bicameral process is in action, and bills are being passed on near unanimous votes. Legislators are meeting more frequently than originally scheduled.


HB 2001-11 Oregon Housing and Community Services Governor’s Budget


The Oregon Legislature is moving quickly to address urgent homeless and housing priorities. On 2/28, the House Committee on Housing and Homeless passed HB 2001-11. The estimated $200 million dollar package will fund the Governor’s Homeless State of Emergency, prevent more people from becoming unhoused, make affordable housing a top priority for the state, and much more. The bill is headed to Ways and Means, and lawmakers aim to pass the final package by mid-March in response to the current housing and homeless crisis facing Oregonians. 

A complete list with descriptions of the bill’s 11 amendments can be found at:

HB 2001-11


Metro Regional Multi-Agency Coordination Group


On Friday, February 24, Governor Kotek convened the first meeting of the Metro Regional Multi-Agency Coordination Group. This group includes representatives from local jurisdictions, public housing authorities, local homelessness agencies, rapid rehousing service providers, shelter developers and operators, landlord associations and behavioral health providers. Its formation came out of the governor’s declaration (EO 23-02), of a homeless state of emergency. MAC groups also will be established in other regions: 1) Central Oregon, 2) Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County, 3) Medford, Ashland, and Jackson County, and 4) Salem, Marion, and Polk Counties.


The MAC groups will provide planning, coordination, and operational leadership and be responsible for working with landlords and unsheltered people to move them into housing stability. They will work with Oregon Housing and Community Services and the Office of Emergency Management to meet the following goals by January 10, 2024:

  • Prevent 8,750 households from becoming homeless statewide;

  • Add 600 low-barrier shelter beds in emergency areas; and

  • Rehouse at least 1,200 unsheltered households in emergency areas.


This work depends on the Legislature passing the governor’s proposed funding package. 


SB 976 - Mortgage Interest Deduction


Oregon’s largest housing subsidy, the Mortgage Interest Deduction, costs the state about $1 billion per biennium in reduced revenue. Benefits primarily go to wealthier homeowners who live in urban areas. SB 976 would place limits on the deduction by prohibiting its use for second homes and reducing the amount a household can deduct based on income. The resulting increase in state revenue would be placed in a newly created Oregon Housing Opportunity Account. Resources in the account would flow through Oregon Housing and Community Services to promote affordable homeownership and prevent homelessness. Write your senators and encourage them to schedule a hearing on this common sense proposal.


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