“With House Bill 2168, we can learn from another time. We can change the future now, in real time. We can work towards equality – even without a declaration or official holiday. We must. Celebrating Juneteenth will help each of us remember all that we can and must do to ensure a more just future.”

Sen. Lew Frederick (D- N/NE Portland) in his floor speech for creating Juneteenth as an official state holiday.

This week: The Waiting Game
The House Speaker has declared that sine die is imminent and we are at 24 hours
notice for committee hearings. Work is underway to finalize state agency budgets but
the OHA budget is not finished. The American Rescue Plan Act Funds are adding to the
workload. A 600-page list of legislator allocations (each Senate has $4 million, each
Representative has $2 million) is under review but not yet available to the public. It’s
likely they will be part of the “Christmas Tree” budget reconciliation bill at the end of
session. The designated funds for district priorities will give all members a strong
incentive to stay in the Capitol until adjournment.

Capitol Closure
The Capitol is not expected to reopen to the public before sine die and an ongoing
Capitol earthquake improvement project means the building will be shut down for the
rest of the year — including legislative offices — with the exception of the chambers.
Interim legislative day committee hearings will be virtual, according to the Sen. Michael
Dembrow, D-NE Portland, report. The project will extend through 2022 and be
completed in time for the 2023 legislative session.

Bill Watch: SB 193, removal of damage caps for awards for non-economic

The House Rules Committee voted to advance SB 193, would repeal the statute
creating damage caps on awards for non-economic damages in cases not involving
wrongful death. For background in 2020, the Oregon Supreme Court found that the cap
on the amount of noneconomic damages that could be awarded to an injured party in a
bodily injury case deprived the party of their right to a remedy under Article 1, Section
10 of the Oregon Constitution. (Source: staff measure summary)

June 27: Last possible day of the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session*

*Doesn’t Apply to Ways & Means, Revenue, Rules, or Joint Committees.

News Buzz

Questions about the legislative process? Contact Katy King: KatyKing01@gmail.com

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