Sine Die has arrived! The last few days have been grueling with long hours and late nights. I think everyone in the building is ready for a break, especially since there was some extremely contentious legislation resulting in heavily debated Floor Sessions and divisive party-line votes.
There was some good legislation this session and some poor legislation. Unfortunately, small businesses will bear the brunt of the party-line legislation that was passed.
With the majority party controlling the Senate, House, and Governor's office, I am extremely thankful with the amount of common sense legislation I was able to get passed this session. I chalk this up to having introduced bi-partisan bills, and focusing on building relationships regardless of political party affiliation.
Needless to say, below is a summary of some of what my office accomplished:
HB 2394 - Lottery Winnings Data Share/Notification
Currently, the Oregon Lottery does not allow for a data match of their winners with DHS clients. This measure requires Lottery to notify DHS of prize winnings of $1,250 or more within seven days of payout, identifying name and other available information regarding the winner of the prize and amount of prize.
HB 2393 - Recovery from Lottery Winnings
In creating an avenue for Lottery to share winnings with DHS, this concept establishes a data match process identifying lottery winners who are delinquent in paying benefit overpayments, giving the State an opportunity to recover an estimated $209,952 per biennium.
HB 2392 - Oregon Trail Card/Printed Names of Cardholders
This concept requires DHS to print the cardholder's name on the respective Oregon Trail card when cardholder replaces card in order to crack down on fraud and abuse, while ensuring those in need receive benefits.
HB 2389 - HWY Memorial for Fallen Soldiers
To be consistent with the HWY Memorial Program for Fallen Officers, HB 2389 creates a simple path in which Oregonians can request a Concurrent Resolution to be passed in honor of their fallen soldier. After passage, the family and or legislator work with ODOT to determine an exact location for the installation of the sign. I'm proud to say I introduced three concurrent resolutions of fallen soldiers and one of them has already been installed!
HB 2034 - Bowers State Park-Protection of Property
This bill removes the power of condemnation by the Department of State Parks to prevent the taking of farm land in order to establish access to Bowers State Park. The concept was brought forth from constituents.
HB 2658 - Gold Star Family
In 2007, SB 557 was passed by the Oregon Legislature, which allowed for the issuing of Gold Star Family registration plates to family members of an individual killed during active service in the military. Having been introduced in the 2013 Legislative Session as HB 3049, HB 2568 is a redraft; which expands the current law to include siblings, rather than just parents and spouses. The concept was brought forth from constituents.
HB 2596 - Upskirting
A local teacher brought the need for this bill forward after a student secretly took an upskirt photo of her and sent it out on social media. This invasion of privacy was legal and this bill corrects that, ensuring our laws keep up with technology.
HB 2522 - COFA
This bill intended to give Pacific Islanders access to health care coverage. Since there was a large amount of federal funds required, the legislature decided to put together a work group to ensure the federal funds are available. The final draft is a step in the right direction, and we hope to pass the original concept in the February 2016 session.
HB 2660 - Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
This bill returns discretion to the court as part of the sentencing order relating to the Ignition Interlock Device to first time DUII offenders eligible for the diversion program with a blood alcohol level of less than .08%.
HB 2313 - Minors and Marijuana
Prohibits a person under 21 years of age from attempting to purchase or possess marijuana while allowing the court to order a person to undergo assessment and treatment. This bill flew through the House Chamber, but got held up in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Thankfully, we were able to plug this policy into the final version of the marijuana bill, HB 3400.
HB 3503 - Breaking the Cycle
Invests in children and expands their opportunities to succeed by giving judges the ability to reduce a prison sentence to parents who have committed a non-violent crime and have been sentenced less than 24 months in prison.
HB 2234 - Child Abuse Prevention Center
This bill allows the state to reimburse Child Abuse Intervention Centers by clarifying the billing codes which will provide increased and adequate funding for these centers.
HB 2023 - Customized Care
This bill requires hospitals to have policies in place before discharging patients treated for mental health care so that patients receive better customized care.
HB 3469 - Strangulation
Currently, strangulation is punishable with a Class A misdemeanor. Certain factors can raise the crime to a Class C felony. HB 3469 expands the statute to include strangulation of a pregnant victim to the Class C felony list, which ensures consistency in domestic violence cases.
SB 741 - Placement of Children
This bill directs the Dept. of Human Services to give relatives and current caretakers equal status when considering them as prospective adoptive parents. SB 741 promotes decision making that supports the best interests of children and is supported by Court-Appointed Special Advocates.
I also worked extremely hard with stakeholders on HB 3400 relating to marijuana, SB 822 relating to grand juries, and HB 3365 relating to prohibiting the sale of obscene material to minors.
Although we only get two bills to introduce for the Short Legislation Session in February of 2016, I'm already working on what I plan to introduce.
I'd like to thank you for the unwavering support throughout this session. I will continue doing my absolute best to represent Albany.