Oregon lawmakers say adios to a pile of proposed bills
The first big deadline of this year's short legislative session hit the Capitol on Friday, Feb. 7.
Legislation that hadn't been scheduled by that day for a committee vote were headed for the political dustbin.
These proposals may not have made headlines, but they could have affected Oregonians nonetheless. Sometimes lawmakers introduce legislation that is unlikely to pass just to get the matter attention or to win the startup of a policy workgroup with the aim of it passing in a future session.
Although the first deadline means most bills won't advance, there is a chance for them to be revived. The deadlines don't apply to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, as well as other committees that deal with rules or finance. So bills sent to those committees might have more time.
Here is a sampling of what seems dead and what's still moving forward:
• The issue: It's illegal to carry a firearm into a public building. But a court case made an exception for people who have a concealed carry license.
What it does: Allows local governments to ban people with concealed carry permits from bringing guns into public buildings.
Bill number: Senate Bill 1538
Status: Still moving. The Senate Judiciary Committee sent the bill to the Rules Committee.
• The issue: Firearms left unlocked by their owners have been blamed for suicides and as well as other shootings.
What it does: Requires gun owners to lock up their firearms when not in use or face penalties as well as liability if their guns fall in the wrong hands.
Bill number: House Bill 4005
Status: Still moving. The House Judiciary Committee held a work session on the bill.
• The issue: Oregon currently has no effective limits on the amount of money that can be donated to political campaigns. A court case and a constitutional amendment that will go before voters could allow limits.
What it does: Would establish a task force to propose campaign finance regulations.
Bill number: House Bill 4124
Status: Still moving. The House Rules Committee has scheduled a work session.
• The issue: Contests to kill coyotes has drawn criticism that such events are inhumane.
What it does: Makes it illegal to hold coyote-killing competitions.
Bill number: House Bill 4075
Status: Still moving. The House Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a work session.
• The issue: Vaping devices that deliver flavored nicotine have been criticized for being used by tobacco companies to hook kids.
What it does: Bans stores from selling flavored vaping products.
Bill number: Senate Bill 1559
Status: Spiked. Stuck in Senate Health Committee.
• The issue: Oregon has experienced increasingly destructive wildfires.
What it does: Attempts to address wildfires with updates to Oregon's building codes, land-use planning, mapping of high-risk areas, treatment of forest debris, mitigation of smoke on public health and forest protection.
Bill number: Senate Bill 1536
Status: Still moving. The Senate Committee On Wildfire Reduction and Recovery held a hearing on the bill.
• The issue: Despite an Oregon law that limits law enforcement's cooperation with federal immigration authorities, a facility in The Dalles holds contracts to detain people suspected to be in the country illegally.
What it does: Prevents the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility, a state-run detention complex, from contracting with the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Bill number: House BIll 4121
Status: Spiked. Died in House Judiciary Committee.
• The issue: Record amounts of money have poured into elections as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
What it does: Seeks to start a process to amend the U.S. Constitution intended to reform how political campaigns are funded.
Bill number: Senate Joint Memorial 201.
Status: Still moving. Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
• The issue: Because of a quorum requirement, the last legislative session came to a halt after Senate Republicans staged a walkout, depriving the chamber of the number of senators to conduct business.
What it does: Changes the number of legislators that need to be present in the House and Senate respectively in order to take votes and conduct business.
Bill number: Senate Joint Resolution 201
Status: Still moving. Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
• The issue: Mattresses are difficult to dispose of.
What it does: Requires mattress manufacturers or retailers to register with a "stewardship organization" that will collect and recycle unwanted mattresses, similar to existing programs for paint and electronics.
Bill number: Senate Bill 1564
Status: Still moving. The Senate Labor and Business Committee has scheduled a work session.
• The issue: Some parents choose not to vaccinate their children, which some have likened to abuse.
What it does: Establishes that not refusing or delaying a child's vaccination does not count as abuse.
Bill number: Senate Bill 1557
• The issue: Prescription drugs have become prohibitively expensive in the U.S.
What it does: Requires the Oregon Health Authority to develop a program to import wholesale prescription drugs from Canada.
Bill number: House BIll 4147
Status: Still moving. The House Health Care Committee referred it to Ways and Means.
• The issue: Kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia, is thought to have medicinal uses but there are fears it's addictive.
What it does: Creates regulations for Kratom and ups the age to buy it to 21.
Bill number: House Bill 4013
Status: Still moving. The House Economic Development Committee held a work session.
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