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Oregon State Legislature success-seeking-access-to-justice


​Oregon House Democrats

A Better Future for All Oregonians

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1900
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-295, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email the House Majority Leader:​​


Our Pledge to Every Oregonian

2019 Legislative Successes

Seeking Access to Justice and Equal Rights for All

Driver’s Licenses for All: HB 2015, the Equal Access to Roads Act, allows all Oregon residents who pass written and driving tests, pay the fees, and provide proof of identity and residency to get a standard driver’s license.

Boosted Funding for Public Defense in Oregon: The legislature passed an additional $20 million in funding for the Office of Public Defense Services, to be used to stabilize caseloads and begin to ensure a constitutional level of defense.

Supporting Our Veterans: The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 24% increase of the 2017-19 Legislatively Approved Budget and a 175% increase over the 2015-17 Legislatively Approved Budget for veterans’ services.

Youth Justice Reform: SB 1008 reformed mandatory minimum sentence laws for youth offenders to ensure that 15, 16
and 17-year-olds have a chance at redemption and rehabilitation. The legislation eliminates the automatic waiver of children into the adult criminal justice system; makes all children eligible for a “second look” hearing halfway through their sentence; creates “transfer hearings” before children are moved into the adult prison system; and prohibits sentencing a child to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Strengthening Hate Crimes Law: SB 577, the strongest hate crimes legislation in the nation, makes changes to the crime of intimidation, including renaming it “bias crime,” and defining a bias incident, specifically making it a crime to commit a violent offense or the immediate threat of violence based on a person’s membership in a protected class. The legislation also adds gender identity in the category of perceived characteristics of person against whom a bias crime can be committed.

Improving Child Welfare: The legislature allocated an addition $176 million to reduce caseloads and provide social services to children in need, which allow 347 additional frontline workers to be hired.

Elder Care: This year’s budget invested $31.6 million in Aging and People with Disability (APD) programs to keep up with facility oversight; address workload issues in local APD offices; and increase rates for long-term care service providers to ensure they are meeting the needs of people in their care.

Refugee Resettlement Support: Historically, Oregon has funded refugee services with federal funds. However, the state received notice that the Trump Administration will suspend these funds, so HB 2508 appropriates $2 million General Fund to award grants that support refugee resettlement agencies, including $200,000 for a culturally responsive employment service provider. The funding will serve approximately 900 refugees.

Legal Services for Immigrants: This year’s budget includes $2 million to support a state-level investment in legal support for immigrants who are facing detention or deportation. This funding will prevent family separation and maintain community stability.

Support for Oregonians with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD): This year’s budget invests $30 million increase to provide meaningful increases in wages for direct support providers to reduce turnover and provide better continuity of care. SB 491 invests $6.3 million to provide housing for individuals with I/DD.

Read more about 2019 access and equity successes.

Read more about 2019 senior and children successes.

Read more about 2019 criminal justice reform successes.

Read more about 2019 veterans successes.