Hello Friends and Neighbors, and Happy Spring!
We are beginning the third month of the legislative session, and it has been busy! I have been hard at work with my colleagues on state-wide issues including transportation and revenue. I have also successfully passed a few of my personal bills. A few of note, include Voter Pre-Registration, Gambling Addiction Hardship Permits, and a pair of bills which give resources to victims of sex trafficking.
I am proud to champion SB 802 which allows a person who is at least 16 years old to pre-register to vote. Automatic pre-registration through Oregon’s Motor Voter law is the most efficient and secure way to register voters. This bill simply lowers the pre-registration age from 17 to 16, the legal voting age will remain 18. This is a way to encourage future voter participation, as many young adults are interacting with the DMV at this age. SB 802 passed off the Senate Floor on March 28th and will go to the House Committee on Rules for consideration.
Click the link to read the press release: Senate Majority Office News Release
Gambling Addiction Hardship Permits
I am the Chief Sponsor of SB 252, a bill I have put forward in collaboration with the Oregon Lottery. This will allow individuals with a suspended license to be issued a hardship permit to drive for the purpose of participating in gambling addiction treatment, if no other reasonable transportation is available. SB 252 passed off the Senate Floor on February 23rd and is in the House Committee on Judiciary for consideration.
Click on the links below to read recent news about this bill:
Oregon Lottery Press Release News Channel 21 KTVZ
Resources for Victims of Sex Trafficking
I Co-Chair the Statewide Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Workgroup, with Representative John Huffman. The workgroup is a bipartisan, bicameral group dedicated to promoting legislation to address the problem of sex trafficking by holding perpetrators accountable, and by providing victims with safety, resources, and support. This workgroup created Senate Bills 249 and 250, which provide legal options for victims of sex trafficking who were mistakenly charged with the crime of prostitution. Senate Bill 249 creates a process to vacate prostitution convictions if the person was a victim of sex trafficking at the time of the conviction. Senate Bill 250 creates an affirmative defense for prostitution, if the defendant can adequately
demonstrate they were being trafficked. SB 249 and SB 250 give victims control over their personal records, and will lessen the chance that they are re-victimized by their past experience. These bills unanimously passed off the Senate Floor on April 5th and are in the House Committee on Judiciary for consideration.
Click on the link to read the press release: Senate Majority Office News Release
Oregon Women’s Health & Wellness Alliance
I am proud to Co-Chair the Oregon Women's Health and Wellness Alliance (OWHWA). The OWHWA is a group of legislators, health care personnel, state and local agency staff, and citizen advocates dedicated to promoting the health, safety, and economic well-being of women.
A few bills that we are excited to support include:
- Pay Equity [HB 2005A] This bill makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate in the payment of wages against an employee due to their status as a protected class. HB 2005A passed off the House Floor on March 28th. Click the link to read the press release: House Majority Office News Release
- Reproductive Health Equity Act [HB 3391] This will ensure that Oregonians receive the full range of preventive reproductive health services (including abortion) at zero out-of-pocket cost – including those who are without healthcare coverage due to citizenship status. The bill also prohibits discrimination in reproductive health care based on gender identity.
- Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act [HB 3087] This bill will allow family members to care for each other in times of serious need (such as: severe health conditions or to care for an aging relative or new child) without having to compromise their economic stability or risk loss of wages.
For a complete list of our priority legislation please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/orwhwa/ or email email@example.com for further questions.
Lobby Days and Constituent Meetings
We had several groups visit my office this past month, those have included: OCN [Oregon Conservation Network], BRO [Basic Rights Oregon], Moms Demand Action, Unite Oregon, SEIU, ACLU, Pro Choice Coalition, AFL-CIO, Oregon Tradeswomen, Milwaukie High School, CASA, Oregon Association of the Deaf, Northwest Credit Union Association, AFSME, and Oregon Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Coalition, to name a few. It's wonderful to see so many motivated and engaged individuals sharing their experiences in Salem.
Click on the links above to learn more about a few of the organizations and stakeholders we have been hearing from this session.
My staff and I are always happy to meet with constituents who would like to discuss issues before the legislature. If you would like to schedule a meeting in Salem, please contact my office at 503-986-1721.
I met with the Pro Choice Coalition to discuss my support for the Reproductive Health Equity Act [HB 3391].
I met with various constituent groups from SEIU several times this past month to discuss revenue for education, senior services, and housing issues.
Members of Moms Demand Action, visited to advocate for common sense firearm safety measures.
Members of the Housing Alliance (left) came to share their real life stories about the lack of affordable housing and tenant protections in our state.
Students from Milwaukie High School (right) came to visit and share about the success of their School Based Health and Wellness Center.
My office celebrated International Women's Day on March 8th by wearing red. International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women. I support ongoing efforts to make the women's movement more intersectional and inclusive.
Please look for future updates and newsletters, and as always, if you have questions, concerns, or ideas please contact my office using the information below.