Season's Greetings from Senator Ginny Burdick

Ginny Burdick

December Newsletter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well this holiday season. As 2016 comes to an end, many of us are taking a moment to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and thinking of the challenges and opportunities ahead. The same is true in the Legislature, and this time of year I can’t help but reflect on the good things we’ve accomplished.  


News updates available on Facebook


News updates available on Twitter

Re-Election as Majority Leader:

There have been some exciting developments for the Senate Democratic Caucus during the past month. I am humbled to announce my reelection as Oregon Senate Majority Leader. It is a great honor to represent Senate District 18 and all Oregonians as I continue in this role. I look forward to working hard with my Senate colleagues, the Oregon House of Representatives and Governor Brown to continue growing our state economy and protecting critical social services in the 2017 Legislative Session.

Please join me in congratulating the 2017 Senate Democratic leadership team:

During the 2016 Session, Senate Democrats took bold action to put the needs of families and small businesses from across Oregon first. We got the job done, but there’s more work to do. As Majority Leader, I look forward to continuing to focus on Oregon’s priorities and building on these accomplishments in the 2017 Legislative Session.

New Year & New Laws 2017:

While many bills passed during the 2016 Legislative Session already have become law, there are some important new laws that will take effect on January, 1:
SB 1503 Access to Affordable Primary and Mental Health Care
Oregon’s Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants fill critical roles in our state’s delivery of primary care and mental health services, especially in rural Oregon. In 2013, the Legislature enacted a law to ensure that these providers are reimbursed at the same rate as physicians for providing the same services. Senate Bill 1503 ensures that these essential providers can continue to deliver quality, cost-effective care in underserved areas by making this law permanent.

SB 1600 Eliminating the Statute of Limitations for First-Degree Sex Crimes with New Evidence
Senate Bill 1600 authorizes the prosecution of first-degree sex crimes at any time after the crime is committed, if the prosecuting attorney obtains additional, corroborating evidence such as non-DNA physical evidence, such as a video or audio recording; confession by the defendant to that particular crime; statements by the victim made close in time to the alleged crime; or when multiple victims come forward alleging crimes similar enough to be on the same list of charges.

SB 1524 Improving Ease of Access to Medical Marijuana for Veterans
Under current law, individuals with valid medical marijuana cards are required to see a physician annually to maintain their eligibility. Senate Bill 1524 creates an exception to this requirement for 100 percent permanently disabled veterans, removing an unnecessary barrier by ensuring that these former service members don’t have to complete this process annually.

SB 1527 Ensuring Efficiency and Accountability for Transit Riders
Senate Bill 1527 makes changes benefitting public transit riders throughout Oregon by ensuring that funds placed on an eFare card will remain in the account and available to the rider in perpetuity, regardless of length of inactivity.

SB 1554 Guidelines for Managing an Individual’s “Digital Assets”
In today’s day and age, many of us have online lives consisting of electronic information such as photographs, correspondence and important business records or other documents with significant financial value. When an individual dies or becomes disabled, they often leave behind this digital legacy for friends, family members and other designees to manage. Senate Bill 1554 enacts the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, a national policy standard. The Act lays out clear guidelines, responsibilities and directives for account users to make clear their wishes for designees who are acting on the wishes of the person they represent, and for online providers who are often the custodians of these important digital assets.

SB 1567 Criminal Impersonation
Senate Bill 1567 closes a loophole in existing law by making it clear that it is a crime to impersonate someone with the intent to humiliate, harm or harass a person. SB 1567 provides an important mechanism to hold offenders, particularly those who use technology for violence or other harm, accountable for these kinds of abusive tactics. SB 1567 builds upon the necessary work the Legislature has undertaken in previous sessions to ensure that victims are protected in a fast-paced digital age.

HB 4046 Enhancing Penalties for Poaching
House Bill 4046 cracks down on poachers by increasing penalties for unlawfully taking or killing certain game wildlife. The bill increases the maximum fine amount for illegally taking certain species and requires the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to revoke all licenses, tags and permits issued to those convicted of a first poaching offense. Upon an individual’s second conviction within a 10-year period, the bill prohibits the individual from applying for or obtaining a license, tag or permit. Upon a third poaching conviction within 10 years, all guns, boats, vehicles, traps and other implements used in committing the offense are subject to civil forfeiture. This bill is designed to address a key problem for rural Oregon communities.

HB 4082 Preventing Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
House Bill 4082 closes a loophole in Oregon’s laws to better protect victims of sex trafficking. The bill expands the crime of promoting prostitution to include bartering goods, services or anything of value in exchange for prostitution services, rather than strictly an exchange of money, as is in current statute. The bill comes at the recommendation of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Work Group, which meets regularly with stakeholders to address the needs of sex trafficking victims, many of whom are minors.

HB 4128 Preventing “Notario” Fraud
In Oregon, only attorneys and federally authorized individuals can provide legal advice on immigration matters. However, some unqualified individuals advertising their services as a “notario” -- a misleading term because, in many countries, “notario” refers to someone with the same training and authority as an attorney -- deceive consumers and provide illegitimate services. House Bill 4128 cracks down on “notario” fraud by strengthening penalties, tightening standards for becoming a notary public and providing law enforcement and other agencies with more effective tools to protect consumers and hold fraudulent practitioners accountable. 

Holiday Giving:

The holidays are a time of thanks and giving back to your community. While there are many great charities in our community that do tireless work for those in need, there are also organizations that take advantage of this same generosity. To make sense of it all, the Oregon Department of Justice provides helpful “Tips for Charitable Giving.” I hope you can share the gift of giving this year with one of the many nonprofit organizations that play a pivotal role in supporting educational, religious, artistic, health and welfare services across our state.

Stay in Touch:

During the 2016 Legislative Session, Senate Democrats went to Salem with a plan for bold action that put the needs of families and small businesses from across Oregon first. We got the job done, but there’s more work to do. As Majority Leader, I look forward to building on these accomplishments in the 2017 Session, by continuing to focus on Oregon's priorities.

For an overview of my work as Majority Leader, our Senate Democratic Caucus, and Agenda in the 2016 Session, click here. For periodic updates, I also encourage you to follow my work on Facebook and Twitter.

As always, please feel free to contact me or my office with your concerns. We can be reached at 503-986-1718 or by emailing

Wishing you and your family happy holidays!

All the best,


Senator Ginny Burdick
Senate Majority Leader
Senate District 18