“Call it Motor Voter on Steroids”
MSNBC describes Oregon’s new voting law.

News of the week

Oregon lost two former lawmakers this month. Former Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer died March 9 and former legislator, city and county commissioner Gretchen Kafoury, died on March 13.

 

The big bills this week: 

Health Coverage — updates Oregon family leave law

The House of Representatives voted 39-15 to pass a bill which would protect health care benefits for workers on leave. HB 2600 would require all companies with 25 or more employees, to continue health coverage for an individual on protected medical leave. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

 

Motor Voter

Governor Brown signed into law a bill HB 2177, which registers a person to vote when they obtain or renew a state driver’s license or ID. Oregon is the first state to adopt this approach. Brown promoted this concept while serving as secretary of state. Here’s links to national coverage:

MSNBC

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/oregons-motor-voter-law-quickly-increase-voter-registration

Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/03/17/could-oregons-voting-law-signal-a-democratic-push-to-open-up-elections/

Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/16/us-usa-politics-oregon-idUSKBN0MC27F20150316\

 

Deadlines

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 2936, immunity for sobering centers, had a hearing on Thursday, March 19 in the House Judiciary Committee.  OCEP submitted a statement of support at the request of the bill’s sponsors. https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Exhibits/HB2936

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.

https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB840/Introduced

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 testify 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: March 27 is an ‘In District Day’

The legislature will not convene on Friday, March 27 but will instead be in their districts. Some will hold town halls or meet with constituents. For others, it’s a rare day off during the legislative session.

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

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