Democratic Party of Oregon Legislative Update–March 31

Greetings —

Below is the latest update on DPO priorities. A very important deadline looms Tuesday, April 9th — this is the final day for almost all committee to move bills out of committee. If a bill is not moved out of a policy committee in its chamber of origin by this date, the bill is considered “dead” for session.

However, this deadline does not apply to bills in the Rules, Finance and Revenue, Ways and Means and other joint committees (Capitol Culture, Carbon Reduction, Student Success, and Transportation).


It’s being reported that on Thursday, April 4, the Joint Committee on Student Success will release their proposals for how to make new investments in education this year. This is the moment that advocates for new revenue been waiting for all session. We will have updates on these proposals and how you can voice your support in the next legislative update. In the meantime, follow A Better Oregon for updates on Facebook or on Twitter.

There are a number of priority town halls on the horizon. You can RSVP here with the Invest in Oregon Coalition if you plan on attending (although RSVPs are not required):

HILLSBORO: April 5th, 6- 8 pm – Rep Janeen Sollman –  R A Brown Middle School – 1505 SW Cornelius Pass Rd, Hillsboro

EUGENE: April 6th, 2:30- 4 pm – Rep Julie Fahey, Nathanson, Manning, – North Eugene High school Cafeteria – 200 Silver Lane, Eugene

PORTLAND: April 13th, 1-2:30 pm – Ginny Burdick, Rob Wagner – Multnomah Arts Center – Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland

GARIBALDI: April 14th. 2 pm – Rep Tiffiny Mitchell – Garibaldi City Hall – 107 6th St, Garibaldi
There are a number of other priority town halls later in the month listed at this link.

Below are updates on top DPO priorities:

#1 Health Care

Current Status: Health Care for All Oregon is holding a Lobby Day today, MONDAY, April 1 at the State Capitol in Salem. SB 770, legislation that would create the Universal Health Care Commission, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee On Health Care.

Chief Sponsors: Senators Manning Jr, Dembrow, Beyer, Representatives Fahey, Keny-Guyer, Salinas, Williamson

Where to go for more information: Sign up for more information at the top of the page on the DPO’s Health Care caucus website and at the Health Care for All Oregon website.

Register here for the April 1 Lobby Day.
Can’t Attend? Contact your legislators and tell them to support universal health care.

#2 Clean Energy Jobs

Current Status:  HB 2020 is in the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction. Since this is a “joint” committee, it is not subject to posting deadlines.

Where to go for more information: Sign up for more information at https://www.reneworegon.org/

#3 Campaign Finance Reform

Current Status: The Senate Campaign Finance Committee took action on a measure to refer a constitutional amendment to the people to allow campaign limits in Oregon. Oregon is currently one of five states without any campaign finance limits.

Where to go for more information: SJR 18 will be heard next in the Senate Rules committee. You can sign up for updates from the Senate Rules Committee here.

#4 Gun Safety

Current Status: Many bills have been introduced. We are awaiting updates from partner groups.

Events/Actions: Contact your legislators and express your support for common sense gun safety legislation.

#5 Criminal Justice Reform

Updates from the Oregon ACLU:

Youth sentencing reform (SB 966, SB 968, SB 969, SB 1008): Our youth justice system should focus on prevention and rehabilitation, rather than punishment and incarceration. These four bills that will help move Oregon toward a more humane youth justice system. The first hearing on the bills occurred on Thursday, March 28th at 8am in Senate Judiciary. You can view the hearing here. Urge your legislators to support this important legislation by using the ACLU of Oregon’s action alert. If you know of an organization that may be interested in joining the coalition, please email Kimberly McCullough to let her know at kmccullough@aclu-or.org.

Requiring unanimous juries in criminal cases (HB 2615 and HJR 10): Oregon is the only state in the nation that allows a jury to find someone guilty of a felony with only 10 out of 12 votes. The ACLU is supporting two bills that will both need to pass and then be followed by a vote of the people in the 2020 election to eliminate non-unanimous jury convictions in Oregon. These bills are currently in the House Judiciary Committee and will be moved to the Rules Committee before they have their first hearing.

Removing barriers to marijuana expungement (SB 420): The ACLU is supporting legislation to help remove barriers to clearing people’s records of old marijuana convictions. Even though marijuana has been legalized, many people still have old convictions on their record for things that are now legal. This bill will be amended based on recommendations from various stakeholders. As amended, it will reduce the cost of expungement by waiving filing fees, eliminating the need for an applicant to obtain a background check, and creating simple forms to help people avoid the need to hire an attorney to help them through the process. This bill will have its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 5th at 8am. You can submit testimony in support of the bill before the hearing (preferably 24 hours in advance) to sjud.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.

District attorney transparency and accountability (HB 3224 and HB 3419): HB 3224 will increase transparency for district attorney offices in Oregon. More specifically, the bill requires DAs to develop policies on a variety of subjects and make those policies publicly available. HB 3419 (note new bill number from last update) prohibits DAs from requiring defendants to waive crucial procedural and constitutional rights in plea agreements, as well as prohibiting waivers of access to important rehabilitative programs. These bills will have their first hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on April 4th at 1pm. You can submit testimony in support of these bill before the hearing (preferably 24 hours in advance) tohjud.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.

Public defense funding (HB 3145): This bill will reform Oregon’s public defense funding system. This is a response to a recent report that found that Oregon is not meeting its obligations under the Sixth Amendment. The bill had its first hearing on Tuesday, March 26th in House Judiciary. You can view the hearing here (click on the bill number below the video screen. We expect the bill will be referred to Ways & Means next week.

Where to go for more information: Sign up for the ACLU list at https://www.aclu-or.org.


We anticipate that a hearing will be scheduled soon in the Senate Rules Committee on SB 870, commonly referred to as the National Popular Vote bill. Once it is scheduled, the DPO will submit testimony in support. Support for this concept is outlined in DPO Legislative Action Item #17.

Finally, an update on a couple of process bills that the DPO is supporting: 

HB 2491 is scheduled for a vote on the House Floor tomorrow. It was approved by the House Rules Committee on a unanimous vote. This bill changes the process to write in nominees for Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs) and removes gender specific language from the PCP process. The DPO submitted testimony in support of the bill.

SB 630 was passed by the Senate, on a 24-6 vote. The bill allows party central committees to notify members of upcoming meetings by email. Current law requires the notification be sent by postal mail. We are awaiting a hearing on this bill in the House Rules Committee.