As the Oregon legislature engages in a short session, Oregon PSR is once again weighing in on bills that affect the health of Oregonians. One silver lining of another session of remote testimony is that it’s easier to testify from the comfort of home rather than driving to Salem to be heard. Continue reading to see what bills we have been supporting during this legislative session and how you can make an impact.
Bills We Support:
SB 1568 - Early Compassionate Medical Release: This proposed legislation addresses gaps in Oregon’s compassionate release process by establishing an independent Medical Release Advisory Committee (MRAC) within the State Board of Parole. The MRAC consists of 7-13 licensed medical professionals, appointed by the Governor and compensated for their time, to review applications and make release recommendations solely and objectively from a medical and public health perspective using the newly established criteria.The MRAC will have rule-making authority to ensure that they can meaningfully implement a functional compassionate release mechanism and creates a release navigator position to assist adults in custody with re-entry planning and continuity of care.
Read a factsheet on SB 1568 from our partners at Oregon Justice Resource Center for more information.
HB 4052 - Racism is a Public Health Crisis: Following the passage of HR 6 in 2021, which declares racism a public health crisis in Oregon, this bill takes steps to: address the crisis by creating a pilot project of mobile health units in impacted communities; engage Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to identify future strategies to address the crisis; and allocate resources to support intervention programs designed to prevent health conditions that result in inequitable outcomes for BIPOC communities.
Read a factsheet on HB 4052 from our partners at the Oregon Health Equity Task Force for more information.
HB 4058 2022 & SB 1536 2022 - Emergency Heat Relief Bills: Following the record heat wave in the summer of 2021, the second-worst natural disaster in our state’s recorded history, many people were made more vulnerable because they did not have access to life-saving cooling technologies like air conditioning and heat pumps. These proposed pieces of legislation take action to help protect more families by removing barriers to installing these appliances and incentivizing the most efficient and effective devices.
- HB 4058 2022 directs Oregon Health Authority to create a program to acquire and distribute air conditioners and air purifiers on an emergency basis to individuals eligible for medical assistance.
- SB 1536 2022 limits restrictions on portable cooling devices in residences by landlords, homeowners associations, condominium associations, and local governments.
HB 4002 - Farmworker Overtime Protection Bill: This legislation prohibits employers from permitting or requiring agricultural workers to work in excess of maximum allowable hours unless workers are compensated for overtime hours worked.
SB 1567 2022 - Fuel Storage Seismic Vulnerability: This legislation requires owners or operators of bulk oil and liquid fuels terminals to conduct and submit seismic vulnerability assessments to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. It also requires Oregon DEQ to review and approve seismic vulnerability assessments.
Read a factsheet on SB 1567.
HB 4115 - Treasury Transparency Bill: This bill would ensure that the Treasury publicly releases its asset holdings annually. Transparency from the Treasury is the first step in addressing the risks of climate change to Oregonians. Learn more from the Divest Oregon Coalition.