Oregon NOW is proud to have endorsed the following legislation for the 2017 Oregon Legislative session.
Thanks to all of your advocacy, the diligent and skilled work of our partner organizations, and the brave leadership of many of our legislators, we have much to celebrate at the end of the 2017 legislative session. We also know that there is much unfinished business and we, with your help, will push forward to pursue justice in our state.
If you missed it, X-RAY FM’s show Group Therapy discussed the wins and losses in the legislative session, with guests Kate Newhall (Policy Director for Family Forward), Heather Stewart (Coalition Director at Fair Shot for All), Alberto Moreno (Executive Director of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition), and Greyson Dempsey (Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon).
Many of Oregon NOW’s key priorities were reflected in bills passed the 2017 legislative session, including:
Reproductive Rights and Justice
- Reproductive Health Equity Act (HB 3391): This historic law protects and expands reproductive healthcare, including contraception, abortion and postpartum care, to all Oregonians, regardless of income, gender identity or citizenship status. It also codifies the legal right to abortion for the first time in Oregon history. Find out more about this first-in-the-nation law here.
- Cover All Kids (SB 558): This law extends the Oregon Health Plan to every child in the state, regardless of immigration status or federal poverty level status, expanding access to health care for an estimated 17,000 previously uninsured children. Read more analysis of the law’s passage here.
- End Profiling (HB 2355): Building on a 2015 law outlawing police profiling across the state, this law requires law enforcement to keep records on the perceived race and gender of all people they stop and law enforcement trainers to use that data to help local law enforcement bureaus change their practices, plus more. Follow this link to learn more about changes the law makes to defelonize drug possession and expand access to treatment.
- Ethnic Studies Bill (HB 2845): This bill requires ethnic-studies curriculum for K-12 students across Oregon, with standards adopted by 2020 and implementation in schools set for 2021. Read more about the bill’s passage here, from APANO.
Ending Violence Against Women
- Extreme Risk Protection Order (SB 719): To reduce preventable gun violence, this law creates a process for obtaining an extreme risk protection order to prevent someone from possessing a deadly weapon when a court finds that person presents risk in the near future, including imminent risk, of suicide or causing injury to another person. Follow this link for additional analysis.
- Transgender Name Change (HB 2673): Creates an administrative option that will be a safer, faster and more private process for transgender Oregonians to update their name and gender on their Oregon birth certificates. Geeta Lewis shares what this law means for her and other Oregonians.
- Prevent Discrimination Through Public Contracting (HB 3060): Requires all businesses that enter into state contracts that exceed $150,000 to have LGBTQ-inclusive workplace nondiscrimination and sexual harassment prevention policies. Read why Basic Rights Oregon calls this a “Remarkable Year for Transgender Justice.”
- Fair Pay Act (HB 2005): This law expands Oregon’s existing Equal Pay law to all protected classes, not just sex; strengthens penalties for violations by employers; and prohibits employers from asking about previous salary history when hiring new employees. More details and analysis can be found here.
We are disappointed, however, at a number of bills that failed to advance in the 2017 session. Among these disappointments are the legislature’s failure to pass:
- Just Cause Evictions (HB 2004): Provide relief to renters who are at risk of no-cause evictions;
- Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (HB 3087): create a paid family and medical leave insurance program to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid time off;
- Domestic Violence Protections, Charleston Loophole (SB 1065): close the boyfriend/girlfriend and Charleston loopholes in our gun laws;
- Anti-Bullying (HB 2649): strengthen tools for ending harassment and bullying for all students;
- Increase Funding for TA-DVS (HB 3364): increase emergency assistance payments to victims of domestic violence; and
- Support the Popular Vote for the US Presidency (HB 2927): enact the Interstate Compact for Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.
Thank you for all of your advocacy. We know that you will be there to take up the fight again in the next legislative session.