Heath Care Town Hall; Special Session; Consumer Alert

 

Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-417, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
Email: sen.floydprozanski@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/prozanski
e-Bulletin                     September 2013

If you're having trouble viewing this message, please visit my legislative web page at http://www.leg.state.or.us/prozanski/, click on "News" in the lower left-hand column and scroll down.

Dear friends,

    Wednesday
was the third and final day of September's "legislative days." The Senate met in the morning to consider gubernatorial appointments. In the afternoon, I co-chaired a joint meeting of the Senate and House Judiciary committees. We heard expert testimony on: juvenile sex offenders (tools for assessment and addressing the problem); "e-cigarettes" in Oregon (whether to include them in the definition of cigarettes for the purpose of sale of tobacco to minors, smoking in public places and taxation); and law enforcement training for active shooters on school campuses. If you would like to share your opinions on any of these topics, please feel free to e-mail me. The next set of legislative days will take place November 20 22.

     As you may have heard, the Governor announced a one-day special legislative session for next Monday, September 30. The special session is expected to be address additional PERS reform and additional revenue for K-12 education and mental health services.

   
A health care town hall will be held this Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University of Oregon Law School, Room 175. Expert panelists at the forum include: Dr. Katrina Hedberg, State Epidemiologist & Acting State Health Officer at the Oregon Public Health Division; Dr. Patrick F. Luedtke, Senior Public Health Officer & Medical Director at the Deptartment of Health & Human Services; and David Barenberg from Cover Oregon. I will co-host this event with other area legislators. We hope you can join us!

    Below you will find information on:

       
- 2013 Session: Legislation on Education & Children
        -
Consumer Alert: MoneyGram Refunds
        -
Homemade Herbicide Alternative

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature



2013 Session: Legislation on Education & Children
(Listed in numerical order)

Senate Bills
 
     SB 2 - Tuition for Medical Students Committed to Serve in Rural Communities: Establishes the Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative to provide free tuition for OHSU medical students who commit to practice medicine in rural communities after graduation.

    SB 132 - Immunizations for Children Entering School:
Promotes healthier schools by requiring parents to affirm that they have received information about the benefits of immunization before declining to vaccinate their children in advance of enrollment at school.

    SB 222 - Dual Credits Expansion:
Expands dual credits programs by establishing the Accelerated Learning Committee, which will examine ways to develop partnerships between high schools, community colleges and universities. The bill also requires community colleges to collaborate with interested K-12 school districts to facilitate college credit programs, and only allows high schools to require more than 24 credits if the additional credits qualify for credit at a postsecondary institution.

    SB 344 - Protections for Students' Social Media Privacy: Provides social media privacy protections for students enrolled in Oregon colleges, universities and private institutions of higher education.

    SB 365 - Requiring Insurance Coverage of Autism Treatment:
Requires coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorders to be included in PEBB and OEBB, and requires private insurance to cover it by 2016. Establishes the Behavior Analysis Regulatory Board to provide licensure and regulatory oversight for practitioners of Applied Behavior Analysis. Requires the Health Evidence Review Commission to evaluate Applied Behavior Analysis as a treatment for autism.

    SB 444 - Protecting Kids from Secondhand Smoke in Cars:
Prohibits smoking in a motor vehicle when children are present in order to protect them from the effects of secondhand smoke.

    SB 498 - Career and Technical Education Grants:
Provides $7.5 million in grants to Career and Technical Education programs. The CTE Revitalization Grant Program leverages innovative partnerships with local businesses and labor organizations to provide classes for high school students to gain workforce training opportunities. During the last budget cycle, 21 schools received CTE grants to offer new or improved vocational programs that partner with employers in the community.

    SB 529 - ESDs:
Allows school districts to withdraw from Education Service Districts if the districts can provide services to students for less money and more efficiently.

    SB 540 - School Building Upgrade Planning: Begins the process of updating and improving Oregon's school buildings by appropriating $425,000 to the Department of Education for a Task Force on School Capital Improvement Planning.

    SB 721 - Concussion Safety Rules for Club Sports:
"Jenna's Law" increases the recognition and treatment of concussions by requiring club coaches and referees of club sports to complete training course.

    SB 755 - Increasing the Number of Minority Teachers:
Increases the number of minority teachers, administrators and students enrolled in teacher prep programs by 10 percent by 2015 by making important changes to the Oregon Minority Teacher Act.

    SB 789 - OEBB Opt-Out for Certain School Districts: Simplifies the administrative process for school districts that offer private health plans to their employees instead of plans through the state’s Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB), so that districts only have to justify their private plan for the first six years, and then only upon request by their employees. Limits total period of time school district or educational service district is subject to actuarial analysis to six years when district provides health benefit plans other than those provided by OEBB.

    SB 5519 - Reinvesting in and Stabilizing Oregon's K-12 Public Schools:
Provides $6.75 billion in resources to Oregon K-12 schools for the 2013-2015 biennium, one billion dollars over the previous biennium’s budget. This investment marks a 17 percent increase, allowing most school districts to avoid further cuts to school days and teacher positions. Some school districts will be able to add back positions and programs.

    SJR 1 - Oregon Opportunity Initiative:
Oregon Opportunity Initiative makes college more affordable for Oregon families by creating a permanent and dedicated fund to finance additional aid to aspiring students. Over time, the Oregon Student Opportunity Fund would provide funding to greatly expand Oregon Opportunity Grant awards, which give tuition assistance to students attending an Oregon community college, university or private institution.

House Bills
 
    HB 2013 Early Learning Hubs: Directs Early Learning Council to establish Early Learning Hub Demonstration projects to integrate and streamline state programs for at-risk youth and ensure that children are prepared to learn when they enter kindergarten.

    HB 2158 - Veterans Tuition Discount:
Requires that colleges charge in-state tuition for undergraduate veterans with either an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions if the veteran demonstrates his or her physical presence in Oregon 12 months prior to enrollment. The bill will save veterans from paying the additional 50 percent calculation that is not covered by the GI Bill.

    HB 2188 - Ensuring Accountability for Career Colleges:
Allows Higher Education Coordinating Commission to retain reasonable costs related to investigation and assessment of career school civil penalties.

    HB 2501 - Small High Schools:
Extends Oregon’s Small High School Grant Program that enables small high schools to offer a greater diversity of educational programs.

    HB 2636 - STEM Investment Council: Creates the STEM Investment Council that will advance educational initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. It also establishes a STEM grant program to ensure Oregon kids are receive training for the jobs of the future.

    HB 2649 Expanding the Farm to School Program: The Farm to School program enables schools to offer fresh, locally sourced products in their cafeterias, and to design corresponding hands-on curricula that may include farm visits, gardening, cooking, composting and recycling. This bill appropriates $500,000 to the program.

    HB 2747 - Reforming Inter-School District Transfers: Ensures that school districts treat all students equally when conducting inter-district transfers, regardless of race, economic status, athletic ability or anything else.

    HB 2787 Tuition Equity:
Grants in-state tuition to students entering the university system if they attended elementary or secondary schools in the United States for at least five years immediately prior to receiving a high school diploma, graduated from an Oregon high school and are actively working toward U.S. citizenship.

    HB 2898 - More Educational Tools for Students with Disabilities:
Provides students with disabilities the tools they need to pursue a college education.

    HB 2913 - Governance of Career and Technical Education Program:
Clarifies that the Career and Technical Education Revitalization Grant Program will be run by the Oregon Department of Education and the Bureau of Labor and Industries. They will jointly establish a committee to set goals for the program, develop criteria, review all grant applications and make recommendations related to the awarding of grants.

    HB 2958 - Community Colleges Supporting 40-40-20:
Promotes Oregon’s higher education options by requiring community colleges to make information available to high school juniors and seniors about academic programs, in order to meet the state's 40-40-20 goals.

    HB 3000 - Eye Exams at Public Schools:
Keeps Oregon students’ vision health strong by requiring public school students at age 7 to have vision screening or eye examinations.

    HB 3079 - Private Career College Accountability:
Holds private career schools accountable for the promises they make to students by regulating advertising and solicitation of students, and by requiring them to provide fact sheets about educational value, school performance and financial cost.

    HB 3093 - Public Charter School Finance Management:
Aims to ensure that public charter schools maintain sound and stable financial management systems and that the state has reasonable means to regulate financially unstable charter schools.

   
HB 3120 - Higher Education Coordinating Committee: Helps Oregon achieve statewide educational goals and strategic initiatives by streamlining Oregon’s higher education system, and expanding direction and oversight of the Higher Education Coordinating Committee.

    HB 3231 - Youth Development
: Creates the Youth Development Division in the Oregon Department of Education, which will evaluate and integrate youth services provided to students from first grade to adulthood with the goal of reducing criminal involvement by improving supports in order for youth to be successful.

    HB 3232 - OEIB Strategic Education Initiatives:
Provides funding for and directs the Oregon Education Investment Board to design and implement strategic education initiatives, including early reading programs, post-secondary aspiration programs and mentor programs, and professional development for educators.

    HB 3233 - Educator network for Teaching and Learning:
Establishes the Network of Quality Teaching and Learning, aimed at making educators more effective and promoting student-centered learning.

    HB 3234 - Early Learning:
Creates the Early Learning Division in the Department of Education to ensure students have access to high-quality care and early learning experiences that serve as a foundation for academic success. 

    HB 3296 - Protecting Student Athletes from Sports Agents:
Protects the college eligibility of student athletes and the integrity of amateur sports by increasing the regulation of sports agents in Oregon.

    HB 3341 - Community College Workforce Programs:
Makes job-training programs more affordable by repealing the "adverse impact" statute that allowed for-profit career schools to preempt programs offered at local community colleges. 

    HB 3472 - "Pay It Forward, Pay It Back" Tuition for Higher Education:
Directs the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to create a Pay It Forward pilot program to put before the 2015 Legislature. Pay It Forward would allow college students to attend college tuition-free and debt-free, and upon graduation begin paying a small, fixed percentage of their income into a public fund for education.


Consumer Alert: MoneyGram Refunds


    Modern scammers use a wide variety of techniques and tactics to separate you from your money.
The scammers often have one thing in common: They urge their victims to send money via an electronic transfer system like the service offered by MoneyGram International. The simplicity of MoneyGram and the fact these transactions are hard to trace has made it one of the payment modes of choice for a universe of unscrupulous con men and women. This fall, however, it's "payback time."

    MoneyGram has agreed to pay $100 million into a compensation fund for victims of scams that involved MoneyGram payments. Some Oregonians are eligible to share in the refunds.

   
The $100 million payment is part of a settlement and deferred prosecution agreement that the company reached last year with the U.S. Department of Justice. MoneyGram admitted that it aided and abetted wire fraud and that it failed to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Federal prosecutors agreed to take no further action against the company if it agreed to the appointment of an independent compliance monitor and forfeited the $100 million to repay fraud victims.
Oregonians who fell victim to such a scam between January 1, 2004, and August 31, 2009, may be eligible to receive a refund.

    The Oregon Department of Justice is not party to the settlement, but the department's Consumer Protection / Financial Fraud Section closely tracks these kind of fraud-induced money transfers. Oregon DOJ records indicate there are at least 47 Oregon victims eligible for the MoneyGram refunds. They reported losses of $190,585.

 
    If you believe you may be an eligible victim and you have not filed a consumer complaint with the Oregon DOJ, call 877-282-2610 or go to http://gilardi.com/moneygram/ for more information. Victims must submit a remission form along with any available supporting documentation by November 15, 2013.


Homemade Herbicide Alternative

    In response to my last e-bulletin with advice on managing garden weeds, a helpful constituent named Kim offered the following simple and homemade remedy: mix one part vinegar to three parts water. This concoction can be sprayed directly onto the roots of an offending weed.
Kim tells me that there are no deleterious effects on the environment and the lawn smells like a tossed salad for a few days. Thanks, Kim!

 

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