Week 10 Update

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

Human Trafficking – SB 249 and 250

This session we have been working on multiple ideas to combat the practice of human trafficking. Senate Bill 249 and 250 are aimed at protecting women who are victims of sex trafficking from being convicted for prostitution. Many times, victims of sex trafficking are arrested and charged for prostitution even though they have been coerced through abuse and violence. These two bills would provide a safety valve for those cases and prevent innocent victims from becoming criminals rather than the traffickers who force them to commit crimes.

SOS Government Waste Hotline-

waste hotline

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson recently reached out to state employees about ways to report government waste and fraud. He provided some great information about the Oregon Government Waste Hotline that allows citizens and state employees to anonymously report waste. If you know of or suspect government waste or abuse, you can reach a hotline operator, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-336-8218 or online at https://oregonsos.alertline.com/gcs/welcome

SOS Voter Access –


On Tuesday, Secretary of State Richardson announced an effort to protect the voter registration of those on military deployments, attending out-of-state college, or those dissatisfied with political candidate choices. Secretary Richardson’s actions could protect the voting rights of nearly 60,000 Oregonians who are registered to vote but for various reasons have not voted in 5 years. I support Secretary Richardson in the effort to expand legal voter access for Oregonians.

Land Use Bills – SB 602, 608, 612, 618

building homes

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak on behalf of a package of bills that I proposed to modernize Oregon land use laws. The bills would have given local governments more flexibility to set aside land for new affordable housing and job-creating, commercial developments. One of the reasons Oregon is experiencing a shortage of housing is due to our restrictive land use laws that increase the cost of land and reduce new building. 

The housing problem is a long-term issue. According to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, “The problem is that the level of new construction in the past decade has been considerably less than what is needed to keep pace with a growing population. It’s the lack of supply relative to the growing demand that underlies the affordability challenges. The housing bust has clearly been disproportionate to the boom. The fact we were/are underbuilding was apparent all the way back to 2011.” We are arguably experiencing the same problem in commercial and industrial development. In order to rebuild and strengthen the middle class, we need local land use flexibility to allow new homes and businesses to be built.

Government Accountability Bills – SB 588, 605, 628, 629, SJR 33

Improving the accountability and efficiency of state agencies is critical to making sure that citizens are receiving the services they need and taxpayers are getting the best possible return for their money. That is why I introduced a slate of bills aimed at providing proper legislative oversite over agency rulemaking and spending. SJR 33 would give the legislature more control over the agency rule making process to prevent overreach. SB 605 and 628 require agencies to provide information costs and benefits for their rules and mechanisms for the public to hold the agencies accountable for their rules. SB 629 requires agencies to carry out their duties in the least costly manner and provides for challenges to agencies that are not acting in the least costly manner. Finally, SB 588 would allow the Secretary of State to appoint Inspectors General to review spending by state boards and agencies to identify inappropriate costs and take action to resolve them. 

Biomass Bill – SB 634


This week, the Oregon Senate passed a bill I sponsored, Senate Bill 634, which allows public entities constructing new buildings or significantly renovating existing buildings to use biomass energy sources to fulfill state renewable energy construction requirements. The bill is a significant opportunity to create jobs in rural areas as well as provide environmentally friendly energy options for schools, agencies, etc. The bill also supports proper forest management by providing a market for the byproducts of forest undergrowth removal and for waste from the forest products industry. Biomass is well suited for energy generation due to its consistency compared to solar and wind and can be complementary to those technologies. 

Veterans – SB 573, 992, 993


The Oregon Senate has recently passed some good legislation honoring those who have served their nation through military service. SB 573 designates that on the 21st day of every month, Oregonians will be encouraged to remember those who gave their lives for our country. SB 992 designates the third Friday of every September as Oregon POW/MIA Recognition Day. SB 993 designates every August 7th as Oregon Purple Heart Recognition Day. I am proud to support these bills and I know there is much more to be done to provide veterans and active duty service members with the support and care they need.

Recreational Immunity – SB 327


One of the most important bills this session to pass out of the Senate is the Recreational Immunity bill, SB 327. The bill will protect public and private landowners that open their land up to the public for recreational activities from excessive liability risks. In 1995, the Oregon Public Use of Lands Act passed which lowered liability risks for individuals and public entities that allowed the public to use their land for recreational purposes. The Oregon Supreme Court made a recent decision that put the liability protections at risk and thus risked closing off many public and private areas that are open to free recreational use. I think SB 327 is a good solution to the problem of recreational liability and will allow citizens and visitors to continue to visit many beautiful and scenic areas of our state currently at risk of being closed to the public. 

Best Regards,


Senator Tim Knopp 
Senate District 27

email: sen.timknopp@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1727
address: 900 Court St NE, S-309, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/knopp