As I enter into my seventh term representing the Albany area, I feel privileged to be assigned to four different committees that have great impact to our state. To have a voice at the table on behalf of our community in shaping policy that not only impacts the mid-valley, but also the entire state is a responsibility I do not take lightly.
House Committee on Judiciary
This will be my sixth term serving in Judiciary. Once again, I will serve as the Vice-Chair alongside of the Chair and good friend, Representative Jeff Barker (D-Beaverton-Aloha). This committee receives the largest number of bills to review of any of the committees. This year, besides evaluating criminal and civil laws, we will also be tasked to consider some measures that impact the mental health community as well as marijuana issues relating to sentencing guidelines. Here are some of the measures that appear to be contentious:
- HB 2130 creates the crime of endangering a minor by allowing access to a firearm. This measure is graduated in penalty depending upon the circumstances. You can read more about this bill by clicking here.
- HB 2215 establishes the Oregon Right to Rest Act providing rights to persons who are homeless. Essentially, anyone in this state, including persons experiencing homelessness, have the rights to be free from experiencing harassment, citation or arrest by law enforcement officers, public or private security personnel or employees of local governments. A violation for unlawful practice is enforceable by the Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries or by civil action. You can read more about this bill by clicking here.
- HB 2105 establishes the Department of Corrections (DOC) Budget Oversight Commission to advise the Governor and the Director of DOC. The commission is tasked with making recommendations for legislation relating to management and implementation of DOC, including employee overtime expenses and health care costs. You can read more about this bill by clicking here.
House Committee on Economic Development Trade
This is a new committee with Representative Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego) serving as the Chair. I have served on other committees with Representative Lininger and enjoy working with her in developing common sense legislation. Currently, this committee is receiving bills from the House Committee on Revenue, Rural Communities, Land Use and Water, Business Oregon and the House Committee on Small Business Growth. I will keep you informed of how this committee is performing as we move through the session.
Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization
This committee is a continuation from the 14-member interim committee that traveled across the state last year learning of the transportation needs throughout Oregon. Hopefully, toward the end of the session we will be successful in presenting a package that brings a perceived value to Oregonians that will help build the infrastructure.
Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation
This committee is a continuation from last session's joint committee for implementation of Measure 91.