State Legislative Roundup

By David Krogh

The 2020 Oregon State Legislative Special Session has been completed. This session was the 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly and only lasted three days, June 24-26.

In all, 26 bills were considered. The City of Portland’s Office of Government Relations and State Representative Rob Nosse provided lists of the adopted bills to The Southeast Examiner for review.

Following is a list of selected bills and their summaries All bills discussed have been approved by both the Oregon State House of Representatives and the State Senate. House Bills are labeled as HB and Senate Bills as SB. All will be submitted to Governor Kate Brown for her signature.

Law Enforcement-Related Bills

SB 1604 requires there be consistent standards for police officer accountability and disciplinary actions. It requires a discipline matrix to be collectively bargained and prevents an arbitrator from overturning a discipline decision when criteria are met.

HB 4201-A creates a Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform to do further work in defining “force,” and when it may be used.

HB 4203-A prohibits an officer from impeding normal breathing or circulation of a person by applying pressure on the throat or neck (a ban on choke holds) unless use of deadly force is permitted by legal circumstances. It also prohibits the training of officers in the use of choke-holds except as a defensive maneuver.

HB 4205-A requires law enforcement officers to intervene if they observe misconduct by another officer. The report of misconduct must be made within 72 hours and the reporting officer is to be protected from retaliation.

HB 4207-A: The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training is required to establish a statewide database of officers whose law enforcement certifications have been revoked or suspended. Review of this database is to occur by jurisdictions as part of hiring processes.

HB 4208-A: The use of tear gas is prohibited for crowd control except in cases of riot, in which case adequate warning must be given before its use. The bill does not regulate the use by police of acoustic devices or non-lethal projectiles.

COVID-19-Related Bills

SB 1601-A creates a moratorium on law enforcement issuing citations for violations related to expired documents between March 1 and December 31, 2020 due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, if your vehicle registration has expired but you weren’t able to renew it because of Oregon DMV closures, you won’t be fined during that time period.

SB 1606-A prohibits hospitals from discriminating against patients with disabilities when seeking treatment. It allows up to three designated support persons (one of whom may be present at all times).

HB 4204-A would extend a moratorium on foreclosures through September 30, 2020. Deferred payments would be required at the end of that period.

HB 4212-A: A COVID-19 response omnibus package containing provisions including the addressing of ethnic and racial reporting, judicial proceeding and electronic appearances, physicians assistants scope of practices, and government public meetings practices.

HB 4213-A restricts landlords from evicting tenants for failure to pay rents through September 30, 2020. The bill provides for a six-month missed rent repayment period after the moratorium ends.

HB 4210 removes the authority of the courts to impose drivers license suspensions based on an individual’s failure or inability to pay traffic-related court fines.

Additional information on these and other bills considered by this session is available at:

State Legislative Roundup

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