04/14/2017 April 17, 2017 Weekly Legislative Update
“I am not now nor have I ever been a Bond villain.”City Commissioner Steve Novick responding to an anecdote about his childhood ambitions to be emperor of the universe. He emphatically denies the story.
News of the week: Proposed marijuana sales tax
Legislators are considering a ‘point-of-sale’ tax on marijuana to replace the harvest tax in Measure 91. http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2015/05/proposed_marijuana_sales_tax_u.html#incart_river
Big Bill of the Week: Impeachment Authority
The House passed HJR 31 on a 47-12 vote, which would give the Oregon Legislature the ability to impeach Executive Branch public officials, such as the Governor, Secretary of State or Treasurer. This bill was proposed by Governor Kate Brown after she took office following the resignation of Governor John Kitzhaber. Oregon is currently the only state the nation in which the legislature doesn’t have that authority. (See Thing to Know for more information.) The bill now heads to the Senate and if passed,it will go to voters for their approval on the November 2016 ballot. http://www.pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/260851-132967-voters-will-get-a-say-on-impeachment-plan
The deadline to schedule work sessions for second chamber measures is May 22.
The next deadline:June 5 – Deadline for Committees to HOLD Work Sessions on Second Chamber Measures
This is the last day for policy committees to move measures that originated in the opposite chamber out of committee. The deadline does not apply to Ways & Means, Revenue, Rules and other joint committees.
Work Sessions Next Week
SB 874, adrenal insufficiency, is up for a work session in House Health on Friday, May 29. At the request of the Senate Health Care Committee Chair, OCEP worked on amendments. The new version of the bill (A-Engrossed) removes the requirements that establish medical protocols in EDs. Instead, the Oregon Health Authority will identify informational materials and distribute them to hospitals and emergency provider associations. Proponents of the original bill want to strip the new provision out. OCEP, OAHHS and the Fire Chiefs Association lobbyists testified in opposition of this proposal at the public hearing on Wednesday, May 20. Meetings with House Health Care committee members are scheduled for next week to educate them on the bill.
HB 2948 clarifies the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule regarding conditions (such as mental health crisis) under which protected health information may be disclosed by a healthcare provider, without obtaining an authorization from the individual. OCEP testified in support of this bill.
2023 A is the Rep. Keny Guyer sponsored bill that directs hospitals to adopt and enforce discharge policies for individuals that have been treated for mental health treatment. The policies must be publicly available and include, at minimum, encouraging the patient to sign an authorization for the disclosure of information that is necessary for a lay caregiver to participate in the patient’s discharge planning and to provide appropriate post-discharge support. Amendments to the original bill addressed concerns from the Hospital Association (and OCEP) about possible delays for discharge from EDs. The bill, if passed, would be operative in July of 2016.
SB 71, requires pharmacies to electronically report to Oregon Health Authority information under prescription monitoring program not later than 72 hours after dispensing prescription drug, is up for a work session on June 1.
Thing to Know: Removing an Official from Office through Direct vote
In Oregon the only means available to remove an public official is to hold a recall election. According to the Secretary of State’s website, someone wanting to recall a public office holder will need to wait until the public officer has served at least ‘six months of their current term of office’. The exception is for state senators or representatives. A recall petition can be filed after the fifth day from the beginning of legislative session. A chief petitioner files the necessary paperwork and then begins the process of obtaining the necessary signatures for verification. In Oregon, gun rights activists have already started the process to recall Sen. Chuck Riley, Rep. Susan McLain and Majority Leader Rep. Val Hoyle for their votes on gun control legislation.
For more information about the legislative process, please contact Katy King.