June Newsletter & COVID-19 Update


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem, Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
E-mail: sen.floydprozanski@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski
e-Bulletin                     June 2020

If you're having trouble viewing this message, please visit my legislative web page at http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski/, click on "News" in the lower left-hand column and scroll down.

Dear friends,

As the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to afflict Oregon, please keep wearing a mask when you're in close proximity to others, maintain social distancing and wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. With the commencement of "Phase II" reopening, let's continue to follow the science and data in overcoming the pandemic and moving forward! (See more about Phase II reopening below.)

    This last week, most Americans were shocked by the video footage of police brutality that lead to the death of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis. As a prosecutor for the past 33 years, I was totally disgusted by the images I saw in the video. I am pleased that the Minnesota attorney general took over the case and has now charged all four officers directly involved. Sadly, it only takes a few "bad apples" to taint all U.S. law enforcement. As we know, the vast majority of individuals who serve their communities as law enforcement officers are professionals committed to serve and protect all community members and would never participate in such conduct.

    These are momentous times. Citizens in Oregon and across the nation are calling for reforms to U.S. law enforcement practices including the use of force and the criminal justice system. Accordingly, at the beginning of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, as the chair of the committee, I announced the formation of a Use of Force work group to be led by Representative Janelle Bynum, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and myself. We will finalize membership of the work group next week following our extended "Legislative Days" of the past two week and we will commence meetings shortly thereafter.

    During Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee virtual meeting, the committee heard numerous presenters address a number of topics, including the COVID-19 impacts on Oregon's state court system and Department of Corrections. The full agenda and a recording of the meeting, as well as agendas and recordings for other committee hearings that were held over the last two weeks, are available on the Oregon Legislative Information System under the "Committees" tab.

    Below you will find information on:

Latest Oregon COVID-19 Infection Data
        - "Phase II" Reopening
        - DMV Appointment Process Goes Online
        - Lane County Rent Assistance Program
        - Umpqua National Forest Announced Reopening of Some Campgrounds
        - I-105 Lane Closures Shift
        - Primary Resource Links
        - Reference Media: Stream Just Mercy for Free

    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

Latest Oregon COVID-19 Infection Data

    As of June 5, 2020, our state has experienced the following number of positive cases and deaths attributable to COVID-19:

  • 4,442 cases in Oregon
  • 143,118 people tested for COVID-19 in Oregon
  • 161 deaths reported in Oregon


"Phase II" Reopening

    On Wednesday, Governor Brown announced that most Oregon counties will be able to move to Phase II reopening as soon as today, pending successful application. Subject to public health guidelines, physical distancing, gathering size limits, and sanitization guidelines, counties that meet prerequisites may reopen:

  • Recreational sports;
  • Pools;
  • Venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, and arcades;
  • Additional in-office work;
  • Bars and restaurants able to stay open until midnight; and
  • Social, civic, and faith-based gatherings can meet in larger, physically distanced groups.

    Its important to note that Phase II status is likely to last much longer than Phase I, since the Governor's reopening framework describes the third and final phase as "not possible until a reliable treatment or prevention is available." Such medical advances may be months or years away.

DMV Appointment Process Goes Online

    Due to high demand, Oregon DMV has moved its process for requesting appointments online to www.OregonDMV.com. DMV expects a high volume of requests for in-person appointments. The agency has increased staffing to prioritize scheduling while also processing all of the online and paper transactions. DMV offices will only process certain priority transactions:

  • Commercial Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement
  • Farm endorsements
  • Standard/Class C Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
  • ID card issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
  • Driver license reinstatements

Transactions that can be done online will not be processed in person. DMV will not conduct driving tests (skills tests) for new drivers.

Lane County Rent Assistance Program

    Lane County's rental assistance program is now "live" at www.lanecounty.org/rent. Eligible households will be served on a first-come, first-served basis for expenses accrued from April to June 2020.

    To be eligible for rent relief, an applicant's dwelling unit must be located in Lane County and there must be an active rental agreement or lease in the applicant's name. If the applicant is homeless, there must be a lease in place for a unit, or a signed agreement from the landlord that the lease will be signed upon payment.

Umpqua National Forest Announced Reopening of Some Campgrounds

    The Umpqua National Forest announced reopening of developed sites to recreational users. All campgrounds will be available by advance reservation only through www.recreation.gov. No payments will be accepted at the campground and reservations must be made two days in advance of your intended visit.

I-105 Lane Closures 

    The Interstate 105 work zone on the Willamette River Bridge shifted from the westbound lanes to the eastbound lanes this week. Travelers should expect changes daily as all traffic moves from the eastbound lanes to one lane in each direction in the newly completed westbound lanes. The eastbound lanes will be closed completely over the river while under construction until early fall.

    ODOT says this is the last portion of the I-105 project. The I-105 (Washington/Jefferson Street Bridge) Bridge Preservation Project is bringing bridges and ramps between Delta Highway and downtown Eugene up to current standards. The bridges were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s and needed repair and upgrades. Work includes new guardrail, deck paving, seismic retrofits, joint replacements, and other repairs. The $18 million project began construction in fall 2018.

Primary Resource Links

    Here's a list of government resources that you may find useful:

Reference Media: Stream Just Mercy for Free

    Warner Brothers studio announced that legal drama Just Mercy will be available to rent for free through June in the U.S. across a variety of streaming platforms. The studio said it hopes the film can be used as an educational tool for those interested in learning more about the systemic racism in American society.

    I was moved by Just Mercy when I had an opportunity to attend an advance screening organized by Oregon's Department of Corrections directors and the film's producer, Scott Budnick, who has dedicated his work to changing public perception of incarceration, the people who are incarcerated, the importance of successful re-entry, and perception of corrections professionals.


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