Week 14 Recap: Senate Passes Kaylee's Law, Creating a Safer Work Environment and Ending Political Hush Money,

Updates from Senator Tim Knopp.

Senator Tim Knopp

Week 14: April 22 - 26, 2019

Last week, multiple bills that have been top priorities of mine this session came before, and passed, the Senate. Learn more about these bills and more in this week's recap: 

Senate Passes Kaylee's Law Unanimously

Sawyer Collage

In 2016, Kaylee Sawyer, a Central Oregon Community College Student, was walking home when a man with a car, uniform, and equipment that resembled that of a police officer asked if she needed a ride home. That man, a campus security guard, proceeded to abduct, sexually assaulted and murder Kaylee.

This tragedy exposed the need for college campus security reform, and Kaylee Sawyer's family was willing and ready to lead the charge to prevent another family from having to suffer the way they have. Together, we created "Kaylee's Law", which would prohibit college campus security officers from having vehicles, uniforms, and equipment that presents them as police officers. Thank you to the Sawyer family for all of your work on this bill and for joining me for the floor vote. You can watch my floor speech on Kayle's Law by clicking the images above.

Police officers go through years of training and evaluation to prove their ability to serve and protect the people of Oregon. Campus security officers, however, are not required to complete the same training or pass psychological examinations. Kaylee's murderer had failed a psychological examination in an attempt to be a police officer. After being rejected, he became a campus security guard where he could pose as a police officer, lock Kaylee in the caged back of his car, and eventually murder her. Kaylee's Law will ensure people like Kaylee can differentiate between campus security and law enforcement to prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again.

Creating a Safer Work Environment for All

Floor Speech on Workplace Fairness

A top priority of mine this session has been to support the victims of, and strengthen protections against, workplace and sexual harassment. We had three pieces of legislation aimed to do so come before the Senate for votes this week. The first was SB 726, or the Workplace Fairness Act. This legislation would prevent employers from using non-disclosure agreements to silence their victims on discriminatory behavior, including sexual harassment or assault. You can watch my floor speech on the bill by clicking the image to the right.

The second bill we voted on in the Senate this week was SB 479, which would require public employers to establish policies and procedures for addressing reports of workplace harassment. It also requires employers to follow up with the victim of reported harassment to determine whether harassment has stopped or if victim has experienced retaliation. 

Both of these bills passed in the Senate and are now off to the House for consideration. I'm proud to have been a chief-sponsor of both, and hope to see them receive similar support from the other chamber. 

Ending Hush Money Payments

Sb 478 Floor Speech

The third bill the Senate voted on this week aimed at creating a safe and respectful work environment for all was SB 478. This legislation prohibits public money or campaign contributions from being used as hush money in non-disclosure agreements.

For too long, certain individuals in power have displayed abhorrent behavior, hurt, and disrespected others and then used campaign or taxpayer resources to silence their victims. Congress, for example, has paid out over $17 million from 1997 - 2017 in settlements to cover up their wrong-doings, and taxpayers covered the cost.

SB 478 would prevent those types of payments from occurring in Oregon and create a fairer, more just system. I'm proud to have chief-sponsored this legislation and urge my colleagues in the House to support it when it comes before them for a vote. 

Oregon National Guard Conference

Oregon National Guard Conference

It was my honor to get to speak at the Oregon National Guard Association Conference on Saturday to discuss the importance of the Oregon National Guard and how our state can improve on how we provide resources to our service members.

There are significant discrepancies between veterans and civilians in in rates of homelessness, unemployment, addiction, and suicide. After having sacrificed so much to protect us and our freedoms at home and abroad, our veterans deserve better and we must deliver. This includes employment and housing assistance, access to mental health services, treatment plans for those who come home scarred, and more. I enjoyed getting to discuss these issues with members of the Oregon National Guard this weekend and I look forward for an opportunity to do so. 

Council for Behavioral Health

Council for Behavioral Health

It was my pleasure to meet with the Council for Behavioral Health last week. Their mission is to "Promote, develop, and maintain the highest quality community programs and services for the treatment of problems related to behavioral health and to promote the recovery of adults with substance use disorder and/or psychiatric disabilities."

These are issues that Oregon knows all too well. Too many of our citizens who struggle with addiction or have psychiatric disabilities do not receive the help the need and end up on the streets. That's why I think it's especially important to meet with organizations like OCBH to gain insights from experts who have dedicated their careers to this field. I appreciate their time and hope to find more ways organizations like theirs and the State can work together. 

CASA Lobby Day

Council for Behavioral Health Lobby Day

I had a productive meeting with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) on Monday to discuss their organization's work and what the legislature can learn from them.

CASA aims to make sure all who have, and currently are, suffering from child abuse or neglect receive the treatment and resources they need as well as a safe and permanent home.  I appreciate members from this great organization coming by my office to share their first-hand experiences and knowledge and all they've done for some of the most vulnerable children in our state. 

Farm to School

Farm to School

The Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network aims to " improve the health and well-being of youth, families, farms, and the environment by supporting members of Oregon’s farm to school and school garden community their work to incorporate healthy, local food into school meals and implement food and garden-based education."

It was great to meet with this organization last week to discuss their work and goals for the future. We both share the desire to make sure all of our students have the food and energy they need to thrive in the classroom. 

Discussing Oregon Arts Commission

Jenny from Oregon Arts Commission

I received a surprise visit from Jenny, who is a member of the Oregon Arts commission and constituent from Central Oregon who was at the Capitol to advocate for extending the tax credit for the Oregon Cultural Trust.

It was great to hear why this issue is important to her and others who are a part of the Arts Commission. I will be sure to keep the information she provided in mind should this legislation come before me for a vote on the Senate Floor. 

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
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