Major Legislation, Lane Electric Meetings, & More


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
e-Bulletin                     May 2019

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Dear friends,

    The Legislature is quickly entering the "home stretch" of its 2019 session. May 24 will mark the second chamber work session deadline. This is the date by which bills need to be moved/passed out of committee in order to receive full-chamber votes. (Bills assigned to the Rules, Revenue, and Ways & Means Committees are not subject to the same deadline.) You can review committee bill assignments, read written testimony received, and watch live and recorded hearings using the Oregon Legislative Information System.

    With May upon us and drier weather is setting in, road work season is also kicking into full gear. There are numerous projects in Senate District 4, including OR 58 and OR 126 (east) tree and rockfall remediation. For a full listing of projects both locally and statewide, as well as an interactive map, please visit (Please note that many back roads may still have tree branches and debris down from the winter storms.)

    I'm happy to share an update on two other of my session bills that I reported on earlier. Both SB 580 (prohibiting the use of "cyanide bombs" in Oregon) and SB 593 (allowing residents to get both a Disabled Veteran hunting license along with a Resident Pioneer license) have passed both chambers and have been signed into law by the Governor.

    Below you will find information on:

- My Session Bills: SB 1008 (Juvenile Justice Reform)
        - Douglas County Unclaimed Forgotten Veterans Memorial Services
        - Lane Electric District Meetings

        - Tips for First-time Gardeners

    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

My Session Bills: SB 1008 (Juvenile Justice Reform)

   SB 1008 is a major piece of legislation that I am chief-sponsoring this session that has passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote and now awaits action in the House of Representatives. SB 1008 provides overdue reforms to the juvenile justice system in Oregon. The bill has several elements that will help juveniles who have committed offenses rehabilitate and get a second chance at a productive life. Those include the following:

  • Eliminating mandatory adult prosecution for juveniles who commit certain crimes. (Returns the decision as to whether 15-, 16-, or 17-year-old offenders should be tried as adults to the judge, not the prosecutor.)
  • Placing those who commit crimes before the age of 18 in Oregon Youth Authority custody rather than sending them to adult prisons, even if the sentencing occurs after the defendant has reached 18.
  • Court hearings to determine if juvenile offenders sentenced as adults who have less than 24 months to serve on their sentence should be transferred from Oregon Youth Authority custody to the Department of Corrections when they reach 25 years old to serve the remainder of their sentence or be conditionally released and under community-based supervision.
  • Creating a process where all youth who were convicted as adults have access to "Second Look" court hearings halfway through their sentences. At those hearings, judges can determine whether the juvenile offenders have taken responsibility for their crimes and have been rehabilitated. When that is the case, the rest of the sentence would be served under community-based supervision, rather than additional incarceration.
  • Banning life sentences without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders;

   Ballot Measure 11 (M11) passed by Oregon voters in 1994  requires mandatory minimum sentences for specific crimes. It requires youth aged 15 to 17 charged with M11 offenses to automatically be prosecuted as adults.

    The Senate Committee on Judiciary convened a work group that met over a 10-month period with local stakeholders and national experts who examined case law, brain science, best practices, national trends and relevant data to better understand the effects of M11. The work group also examined whether M11 ensures justice for victims, protects the public, holds juvenile offenders accountable and provides opportunities to reform and rehabilitate, reducing recidivism and promoting productive citizenry. SB 1008 is the product of that work group.

    In many cases under the current law, youth offenders who have served time in a juvenile detention facility rehabilitate rather quickly. Under the status quo, M11 offenders convicted as juveniles spend the first part of their sentences in juvenile facilities and then are transferred to adult prisons once they reach age 25. That move often wipes out all of the progress that the juvenile has made toward rehabilitation and, as a consequence, studies show they are twice as likely to relapse into criminal behavior when released from adult prison!

    Stakeholders worked within four subcomittees to allow detailed analysis to take place on various issues. Contrary to a campaign of misinformation being waged by the Oregon District Attorneys Association (ODAA), the bill does not allow for retroactive re-sentencing of offenders convicted prior to the bill's passage. It will only apply to youth offenders sentenced on or after January 1, 2020.

    SB 1008 is supported by the Governor, the Oregon Attorney General, the directors of both the Oregon Youth Authority, the Oregon Department of Corrections and the Oregon Juvenile Department Directors Association. There are also over 40 organizations supporting the bill, including Right on Crime (a conservative national public safety organization based in Texas), Koch Industries (Charles Koch Institute), the ACLU, the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth, and the Oregon Justice Resources Center.

    These diverse supporters of SB 1008 reached their decision of support based on better public safety outcomes, juvenile brain development research, and long-term fiscal costs of the current policy.

    One might ask: Why would ODAA not join this esteemed group of supporters? It's all about power and authority that district attorneys received 24 years ago with the passage of M11. Measure 11 transferred the decision of whether a 15-, 16-, or 17-year-old juvenile offender should be tried as an adult in the adult court system from a circuit court judge to a district attorney. This power shift has made the district attorney one of the most powerful public elected officials in Oregon. They now have the authority to set mandatory minimum sentences over these juvenile offenders. As you can imagine, that authority gives district attorneys unfair negotiation advantages over youth offenders. In many if not most M11 cases involving juveniles, district attorneys threaten youth with the mandatory minimum sentence in order to obtain a guilty plea to a lesser offense. Further, many of these plea bargains require the youth offender to wave their rights to appeal and to limit their participation in certain rehabilitation programs while in custody.

    Studies show that this 24-year experiment has not served the purpose of our juvenile justice system. It has not provided greater public safety and it has shifted judicial branch discretion and authority to the executive branch (district attorneys) of government.

Douglas County Unclaimed Forgotten Veterans Memorial Services

Three inurnment services for 28 unclaimed and forgotten veterans' cremains will be held at the Veterans Administration National Roseburg Cemetery Annex (913 NW Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg) this month. The first service will be held on Tuesday, May 14, for inurnment of four veterans of World War I, two of whom have waited 44 years to join their brother and sister veterans in the National Cemetery. Invited guests are federal, state, county and city officials. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at least 45 minutes before the service to secure parking. The second service will be held on Wednesday, May 15, for inurnment of 11 U.S. Army veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The third service which be held on Thursday, May 16, for inurnment of seven Navy veterans and four Air Force veterans.

Lane Electric District Meetings

    This month, Lane Electric is holding a series of district meetings to provide members a chance to connect with Lane Electric staff and community leaders. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. and programing follows at 6:30. Upcoming district meetings are:

        Thursday, May 14 — Lowell High School

        Thursday, May 23 — Dorena Grange

    Members can RSVP to Brenda Everts.

Tips for First-time Gardeners
(From the OSU Extension Service)

    The onset of dry, warm weather means more than just road work! If you're new to vegetable gardening and want to enjoy your own homegrown tomatoes and summer squash this year, the Oregon State University Extension Service can provide the information you need to get started. There are several things novices can do to make their foray into gardening more successful:

  • Choose raised beds, containers and mounds, if you live in the Willamette Valley, where clay soils do not drain well and remain cold into the spring. If you use containers, which can be just about any size and as casual as old tires, you can garden in any location and move the containers for optimal conditions.
  • Choose a site where your garden will get at least eight hours of light, preferably sunshine. Air drainage can be a problem. If you live on a slope, be sure to avoid cold air drainage in low spots and wind.
  • Get a soil test. Soil supplies 13 essential plant nutrients, primarily nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. A soil test will tell you if your soil has deficiencies and if it is too acidic or alkaline. See testing laboratories serving Oregon. Testing cost is about $45.
  • Build organic matter with compost to correct many deficiencies. Start a compost heap with two parts "brown" materials – leaves, straw, paper, sawdust – to one part "green" materials such as vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings and fresh manure from cows, horses or poultry.

    An easy way to start a new garden spot, while improving soil structure and fertility, is called sheet or "lasagna" mulching. Wet soil thoroughly and add a layer each of overlapping cardboard, compost and six to eight inches of mulch (leaves and grass clippings). In about seven months the soil will be ready for planting.
Choose easy-to-grow vegetables that your family likes, adding others in following years as tastes mature. Recommended vegetables that like cool conditions are: radishes, peas, leaf lettuce, carrots and spinach. Heat-loving veggies that should be planted in warm soil are: bush beans, summer squash and tomatoes.

    Other easy crops are kale and kohlrabi, beets, onions, garlic and annual herbs such as basil, fennel and parsley. Vegetables and fruits that do well in containers are bush beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, swiss chard, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, dwarf apple trees, blueberries, strawberries, turnips, eggplant, kale and green onions.

    Choose high-quality seed for your vegetable garden. Germination rates on the package should be 65 to 80 percent. The package also will tell you when to plant seeds, how long it will take them to germinate, depth of planting and spacing. Although more expensive than growing food from seed, bedding plants already sprouted work best for tomatoes, basil, eggplant and peppers. Check that they are not root bound in the pot and are stocky and deep green, not spindly and light green.

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