Our Pledge to Every Oregonian
2019 Legislative Successes
Seeking Access to Justice and Equal Rights for All
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.