“We have a right to live. As Black Oregonians, we have a right to live.”
Senator Lew Frederick (D-N/NE Portland), Senator Kayse Jama (D-East Portland) and Senator James I. Manning Jr. (D-Eugene), members of the Senate BIPOC Caucus, react to the Derek Chauvin verdict in the killing of George Floyd.
Oregon’s Black, Indigenous and People of Color Caucus have a top ten priorities for their legislative agenda, leading with police accountability. The BIPOC Healthcare Access priorities include HB 2359, the health care interpretation accountability act and HB 2949, the mental health workforce expansion bill. Both bills are in Ways and Means.
Once again this week: Third Capitol COVID Case cancels House floor sessions
House members canceled floor sessions for the entire week after another person — rumored to be a lawmaker — was infected with COVID. A power-sharing deal brokered last week meant that stalling tactics of reading the bill in full were lifted and the backlog cleared but the pandemic is on ongoing challenge to meeting session deadlines. This is the third time that the House has canceled work due to COVID cases. Session will resume April 26 unless additional cases are identified. Breaking news: hearing reports of a fourth case.
Legislator Spotlight: Sen. Ginny Burdick announces resignation after this session
Sen. Burdick, D-SW Portland, announced that she will be leaving office after the legislative session adjourns in June. She has been nominated to join the Northwest Power and Conservation Council by Gov. Kate Brown. Burdick was first elected to her seat in 1996 and is the longest serving member of the Senate. She is a long-time champion of gun control and sponsor of the Extreme Risk Protection Order, the concealed weapons bill (see SB 554 notes below), safe gun storage and bills to close the “boyfriend loophole” to make it harder for convicted domestic abusers to buy guns. Multnomah County Commissioners will choose her successor in time for the 2022 Legislative Session in February. Former state Rep. Akasha Lawerence Spence has announced she will seek appointment to the seat.
Bill Watch: SB 554 is the new HB 2510
The House Rules Committee held hearings on SB 554, a concealed weapons bill with amendments to combine concealed weapon provisions to include the safe gun storage provisions in HB 2510. Advocates testified about the need to keep guns out of the hands of kids and to prevent tragic shootings and suicides. Opponents testified about their right to defend themselves. A work session is scheduled April 23.
Upcoming public hearings (PH) and work sessions (WS):
- Monday, April 26
- House Behavioral Health
- SB 563 Modifies laws relating to youth suicide intervention to include children 5 to 10 years of age.
- Senate Health Care
- HB 2261 Prohibits online/telephonic vaping sales. PH
- HB 2508 Telehealth Pay Parity. PH
- House Subcommittee on Civil Law
- SB 110 Repeals sunset on early discussion and resolution program for resolving adverse health care incidents. PH
- Tuesday, April 27
- Senate Mental Health
- HB 3037 Directs medical examiner to report suspected suicides involving people 24 years of age or younger to mental health authority.
- Wednesday, April 28
- Senate Education
- HB 2053 Modifies community plan requirements for Preschool Promise Program.
Portland Tribune: Covid case shuts down Capitol a third time.
Oregon Public Broadcasting: Oregon lawmaker accuses state Rep. Brad Witt of sexual harassment.
Willamette Week: Sen. Ginny Burdick will step down after session.
KXL: Legislators may roll two gun bills into one.
Capital Insider: Appointment comes with a big paycheck.