“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.”
Pericles of Athens; as quoted by Rep. Knute Buehler at OMA lobby day.

News of the week

Jeanne Atkins was sworn in as Oregon’s new Secretary of State on Wednesday, March 11. She has said she will only complete Brown’s unexpired term to January 2017 and doesn’t plan to run for election, opening up the field for other candidates. http://www.statesmanjournal.com/picture-gallery/news/local/2015/03/11/jeanne-atkins-sworn-in-as-secretary-of-state/70167086/


The big bill this week: SB 442, Vaccine Mandate

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward dropped her attempt to eliminate the non-medical exemption for school children to opt out of vaccinations. The vehicle for the amendments, SB 442, was the target of intense lobbying by the anti-vaccine community, that included some international opponents. She’s now considering other options to improve vaccination rates in Oregon. http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/03/11/senator-drops-vaccine-mandate-bill/70152454/


“White Coat Invasion” OMA Day at the Capitol, March 12.

The Oregon Medical Associations sponsored a lobby day for physicians, PAS and students on March 12.  Physician legislators Sen. Alan Bates, Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward and Rep. Knute Buehler spoke to the citizen lobbyists, along with Sen. Tim Knopp. Special guest, Governor Kate Brown, also dropped in to field questions about funding for graduate medical education and other issues of importance to physicians. Participants later visited their legislators to advocate for OMA bills.



April 10 – Deadline for Chairs to SCHEDULE Work Sessions for First Chamber Measures 

Policy committee Chairs must post agendas with first chamber measures (House bills in the House, Senate bills in the Senate) that they intend to hold a work session on by the April 21 deadline. This will not apply to Ways & Means, Revenue, Rules, and other joint committees. Bills in a policy committee that are not scheduled for a work session by this deadline will not receive further action.


OCEP bill hearings and other activities

HB 2948, disclosure of protected health information in certain circumstances, had a hearing on Wednesday, March 11. Katy King testified in support on behalf of OCEP. Here’s a link the testimony: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Exhibits/HB2948

SB 79, hands on CPR training in schools, had a hearing on Thursday, March 12 in the Senate Education Committee. Katy King testified in support on behalf of OCEP.  https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Exhibits/SB79


Upcoming hearings

SB 5526, the budget for Addictions and Mental Health, will have an overview on Wednesday, March 18 in the Ways and Means Human Services subcommittee. 

SB 840, allows licensed independent practitioners to perform psychiatric holds, is up for a hearing in the Senate Human Services Committee on March 24. Dr. Sharon Meieran and Katy King served on the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems work group that produced this bill to address overcrowding in the ED and acute care facilities. OCEP will testify in support.



SB 891 and SB 900 price transparency bills, are scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday, March 25. Posting prices in the ED is a potential EMTALA violation. Katy King will draft a statement on this issue. To see the bills: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB891/Introduced and https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB900/Introduced


Thing to Know: Line of succession to the Governor’s Office

Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins is not in the line of succession to the Governor’s Office in case Governor Brown is no longer able to serve. Only an elected official is eligible for appointment. The next in line is State Treasurer Ted Wheeler.

For more information about the legislative process, please contact Katy King.

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