July 7, 2021

End-of-Session Bills Bring Additional Funding for the Oregon Judicial Department

On June 26, 2021, after 159 days, the Oregon Legislature completed its legislative duties one day before the constitutional deadline. This year ended with significant state and federal funding for projects throughout Oregon, including additional funding for the Oregon Judicial Department.

Two end-of-session bills, House Bill 5006 and House Bill 3011, provided funding and the requisite statutory changes to programs throughout Oregon. Some of these projects were legislative priorities, and some projects and programs received funding at the direction of a local legislator. Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was sent to the Department of Corrections, for water and sewer infrastructure projects, and for broadband access, to name just a few. State funding was used for wildfire recovery, behavioral health, and seismic rehabilitation, among other projects. Additional funds were earmarked for the following purposes:

Deschutes County receives funding for two new judicial seats

In addition to the statewide funding, the Oregon Judicial Department received funding for two new judicial seats and staff in Deschutes County. Over the last decade, the Oregon Judicial Department has requested additional judicial seats each session in different parts of the state. This year, with the growing population in the Bend area, Deschutes County was prioritized. The positions will begin on January 1, 2022.

County courthouses receive funding in Benton, Linn, Crook, and Clackamas Counties

Since the 2011 legislative session, the Oregon Judicial Department and the Oregon Legislature have worked together to rehabilitate, update, and replace courthouses throughout the state. This biennium, the legislature provided bonding authority and a state match for four counties to move forward with their courthouse plans:

      • Benton County: $20.7 million
      • Linn County: $16 million
      • Crook County: $11.8 million
      • Clackamas County: $1

The Legislature has requested that the Oregon Judicial Department, along with Clackamas County, return before the 2022 Legislative Session to report on the “design, build, finance, operation, and maintenance public-private partnership (P3) agreement(s) for the Clackamas County Courthouse.” HB 5006 Preliminary Budget Report, p. 60 (6/29/2021).


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Senate Bill 278 Provides Eviction Safe Harbor and Additional Compensation for Landlords

On Friday, June 25, 2021, the Governor signed Senate Bill 278 to ensure that tenants who had applied for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP), but had not yet been approved, would be able to benefit from federal funding released in May.

The OERAP provides up to 12 months of rent to those that qualify. This funding may all be used for back rent or split between back rent and up to three months’ rent going forward. Under SB 278, tenants who have applied for the program may submit proof they have applied for OERAP to the landlord, and the landlord must hold off on the eviction process for an additional 60 days.

In addition, under SB 278 the amount of reimbursement for landlords under the Landlord Compensation Fund was increased from 80 percent to 100 percent. Landlords who have already applied to the Landlord Compensation Fund will not have to reapply for the increase in funding.

On June 24, 2021, the Oregon State Bar presented a webinar for the public entitled “Housing Law and COVID-19 in Oregon: An Update on Eviction Moratoriums, Financial Assistance, and Legal Services”. For more information on the services available to the public, please visit the Landlord and Tenant Law page on the Oregon State Bar’s public information page.


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New Chief Justice Order No. 21-025 to Update Court Operations Guidance

Chief Justice Martha Walters issued a new Chief Justice Order, CJO 21-025, effective June 30, 2021, which sets out updated provisions on court operations and supersedes earlier COVID-related orders and updates.

The new order:

      • Lifts earlier social distancing restrictions, except that Presiding Judges (PJs) and others may exercise authority to impose restrictions in particular circumstances.
      • Lifts earlier protective face covering requirements, without regard to vaccination status, except (1) in correctional settings; and (2) when the PJ exercises authority to be consistent with more restrictive county requirements, to protect public health and safety, or otherwise in particular circumstances. Any person who chooses to do so may continue to wear a protective face covering while in a court facility (with narrow, continuing exceptions in which a person may be directed to remove a face covering while in a proceeding).
      • Provides that proceedings may be conducted in-person or by remote means, as determined by the PJ.
      • Continues time extensions, as follows: Scheduling first appearances and trials in Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) proceedings remains extended (to 14 days and 30 days respectively); various deadlines pertaining to Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) Diversions continue to be extended, but most of those extensions now end as of September 7, 2021; and time to file various tax appeals remains extended.
      • Withdraws other pre-existing restrictions from the last operations order, CJO 21-009 (now superseded).

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How a Bill Becomes a Law

On Saturday, June 26, 2021, the House and Senate adjourned sine die and the legislative session closed. After the legislature adjourns, there are still a few steps each piece of legislation needs to complete.

Governor’s Signature. During the legislative session, the Governor has five days (including holidays but excluding weekends) to veto whole bills or “single items in appropriation bills.” Or Const, Art V, §§ 15a, 15b(3). For bills that are passed in the last five days of session, the Governor has 30 days (including holidays but excluding weekends) to veto a bill. A bill may pass without the Governor’s signature. If the 30 days have passed and the Governor has not vetoed the bill, it is presumed signed. Or Const, Art V, § 15b(3). This year the Governor has until August 7, 2021, to issue a veto.

Effective Date. In Oregon, the default effective date for a bill is January 1 of the following year. ORS 171.022. See generally Or Const, Art IV, § 28. This session, a bill without a specifically noted effective date in the text of the legislation will have an effective date of January 1, 2022.

Some bills, many of them from the legislature’s budget committee, the Joint Ways and Means Committee, will have an emergency clause. An emergency clause makes the bill effective upon passage, that is, when either the Governor proactively signs the bill or either 5 or 30 days have passed and the bill was not vetoed.

Other bills, for example, bills that raise revenue, can have an effective date of 91 days after sine die. This year, 91 days after sine die is September 25, 2021.

The fourth option is to have a specific effective date identified within the text of the bill. In some circumstances, different sections of a bill will have different effective dates. Also, some bills will have both an effective date and an operative date. In many circumstances, this is used to allow state agencies the opportunity to develop administrative rules.

Resources. Information on a bill can be found in the Oregon Legislative Information System. For bills passed during the 2021 Legislative Session, click on the “Bills” icon in the upper right hand corner and enter the bill number. For a quick analysis of legislation tracked by the Oregon State Bar, look for the 2021 issue of Legislation Highlights, which will be published this fall.


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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade,
President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham,
President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves,
Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning,
Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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June 23, 2021

Oregon Judicial Department Budget Passes the Full Ways and Means Committee

On June 18, 2021, the Ways and Means Committee passed the Oregon Judicial Department’s budget, found in House Bill 5012, out of committee and sent the bill to the House and Senate Floors. The budget contains funding not only for the Oregon Judicial Department but also for the Council on Court Procedures, the Oregon Law Commission, and the Legal Services Program.

The 2021–2023 legislatively approved budget for Oregon’s court system includes a General Fund increase of 12.7% from last biennium’s legislatively approved budget. General Fund dollars are used primarily for the administration and operations of Oregon’s court system. While the overall budget is a 2.2% decrease from the 2019–2021 legislatively approved budget, this is due to the wrap-up of the Oregon Courthouse Capitol Construction and Improvement Fund, which was used for the seismic retrofitting of the Oregon Supreme Court building.

The legislature highlighted funding for a number of new or continued investments, including:

“(1) data tracking and analysis related to disparate outcomes;
(2) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion human resources support;
(3) behavior health;
(4) juvenile delinquency improvement project;
(5) centralized support for child support and self-represented litigants;
(6) collaborative grants and agreements;
(7) capital improvement funding for Josephine and Klamath County Courthouses; and
(8) information technology staff and hardware, including a General Fund backfill of a revenue shortfall.” (Legislative Fiscal Office Recommendation for the Oregon Judicial Department Budget)

In addition to court funding, OJD also provides a funding structure for a number of pass-through entities. This biennium, the overall pass-through budget for the the Oregon Law Commission the Council on Court Procedures, and civil legal aid providers was fully funded at the current service level.

In the coming week, the legislature will make final changes to the state budget, and additional funding for OJD may be add. Any updates will be included in future issues of the Capitol Insider.

Thank you to the members of the Campaign for Court Funding for all of your outreach in support of court funding this biennium! We look forward to continuing to work with you on this important project.


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Public Defense Services Commission Budget passes the House and Senate

Last week, the Ways and Means Committee passed the two-year budget for the Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) out of committee. House Bill 5030 has passed the House unanimously and is on the way to the Senate floor for consideration. The budget is a decrease in funding of 4.5% from the 2019–2021 legislatively approved budget.

The 2021–2023 legislatively recommended budget, unlike in previous biennium, includes a holdback of $100 million. These funds have been earmarked for PDSC, and the decision to release the funds by the legislature will be based on PDSC’s progress in the eight areas listed below, as well as more clarity and certainty on procurement costs. If the $100 million is released to PDSC, Oregon’s public defense system will see a 23.6% increase over its 2019–2021 legislatively approved budget.

This biennium, the recommendation for Oregon’s public defense system is to restructure the program with a focus on the following areas:

“(1) re-structuring the agency’s appropriation measure along cost centers to increase the transparency of budgeted activities and to impose a heightened level of financial discipline and accountability on the agency;
(2) reorganizing the agency’s budget structure along lines of business;
(3) augmenting operational staffing in key areas of the agency, including agency leadership, financial management, and procurement;
(4) adding compliance, audit, and Performance Management functionality to the agency;
(5) in-sourcing base level information technology services;
(6) directing an independent financial and performance audit of the agency, including reviews of agency operations, procurement, human resources, information technology, accounting, budget, performance management, and auditing;
(7) converting three existing permanent full-time positions to limited duration so as to assess the long-term need for the positions; and
(8) provides General Fund to resolve material current service level deficits across the agency.” (Legislative Fiscal Office Recommendations for the Public Defense Services Commission)

This restructuring follows the Sixth Amendment Center’s recommendations from its 2019 report on Oregon’s public defense system.

In addition, PDSC received a $3.7 million supplemental increase for the 2019–2021 biennium to cover end-of-biennium costs.

In the coming week, the legislature will make final changes to the state budget, and additional funding for PDSC may be added. Any updates will be included in future issues of the Capitol Insider.

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Oregon State Bar Bills on the Way to the Governor’s Desk

Congratulations to the bar’s sections and committees for the successful passage of the 2021 Law Improvement Package. This year the Oregon State Bar put forward eight legislative concepts for consideration by the legislature. The eight OSB Law Improvement bills have passed both legislative chambers.

While some of these bills address bar governance, most of the bills were championed by section and committee volunteers. Beginning in April of 2020, these volunteers have been reviewing draft statutory language, meeting with stakeholders, attending public hearings and work sessions remotely, and answering questions from legislators in an effort to clarify statutory ambiguities, modify unforeseen “glitches” in major legislation passed in previous sessions, and codify case law as necessary.

Thank you to all of our legislative volunteers!

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2021 Legislation Highlights to be Published this Fall

This fall the Oregon State Bar will release the 2021 Oregon Legislation Highlights. Each year the bar produces a book detailing many of the more significant bills passed by the legislature during the recently completed session. Bill summaries are arranged by topic, allowing lawyers to easily review those that may be relevant to their practice. Summaries are authored by other attorneys who are experienced in the area of law on which they are writing, and often include useful practice tips for lawyers who are working with the new laws. Legislation Highlights is available free online for bar members through BarBooks If you have any questions or need more information about the 2021 Legislation Highlights, please contact OSB Public Affairs.


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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade, President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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June 7, 2021

Hearing on Cybersecurity for the Oregon Judicial Department

On June 2, 2021, the Oregon Judicial Department provided an information security report to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Information Management and Technology. The committee members heard presentations from the State Chief Information Officer, the Judicial Department, the legislative branch, the Secretary of State, the Oregon State Treasury, and the Department of Justice. The meeting materials can be found here.

The Oregon Judicial Department provided a brief presentation about its technology infrastructure. Currently there are almost 10,500 external registered system users. Thirty-five million court records are available online, both through the appellate system and the trial court system. The Oregon Judicial Department also shared a brief overview regarding the development and implementation of the information security policies.

While the reports were submitted in response to legislation passed in the 2016 legislative session, committee members and presenters acknowledged that with the recent push towards technology due to COVID and the ransomware cases that have recently been in the news, additional discussions would be helpful.


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Legislature Passes House Bill 2168 – Juneteenth Expected to Become Legal State Holiday

In early June the Legislature passed House Bill 2168. The bill establishes Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, as a legal state holiday.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, and Freedom Day, recognizes the day Union General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas, to announce, almost three years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the abolition of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth commemorates both the end of slavery and the work of those African Americans who have worked to bring their dreams of equality to reality.

Oregon has recognized Juneteenth as a holiday since 2001. HB 2168 goes further and includes the celebration of Juneteenth, beginning in 2022, as a legal holiday on par with Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving Day.

The bill was sent to the Governor on June 7, 2021 and is expected to be signed in the next few days.

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Bills of Interest

The Ways and Means Committee has begun scheduling public hearings in its subcommittees. Below is a list of some of the bills that may be of interest.

HB 2178 – Modifies provisions relating to fees in tax court.

HB 2738 – Modifies CASA Volunteer Programs to direct Oregon Department of Administrative Services to contract with nongovernmental entity to serve as statewide coordinating entity for provision of court appointed special advocate services.

HB 2992 – Modifies amount of compensation paid to members of state boards and commissions. Requires state boards or commissions to pay compensation and expenses to certain members with adjusted gross income below certain threshold. Provides that members may decline to accept compensation or reimbursement.

HB 2993 – Provides that advisory committees appointed by agency as part of rulemaking must represent interests of persons and communities likely to be affected by rule. Requires agency to include in notice of rulemaking statement identifying how adoption of rule will affect racial equity.

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Annual Adjustment for Tort Claims Published

The Office of the State Court Administrator (OSCA) has calculated the annual adjustment to the limitations on liability of state and local public bodies for personal injury, death, and property damage or destruction. Based on these calculations, the limitations are adjusted as shown in this table.

The new limitations become effective on July 1, 2021. They apply to all causes of action arising on or after July 1, 2021, and before July 1, 2022. OSCA opened a public comment period on the adjustments from April 5, 2021, to 5:00 p.m. on May 24, 2021. It received no public comment.

OSCA makes these adjustments annually, as required by ORS 30.271(4), 30.272(4), and 30.273(3). A list of past and current limitations on liability of public bodies can be found on the Oregon Judicial Department website at:  http://www.courts.oregon.gov/Pages/tort.aspx.


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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade, President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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May 25, 2021

Bar Bills Move through the Second Chamber

Over the last month, the Oregon State Bar bills have been moving through the House. At the time of publication, all eight of the Oregon State Bar Law Improvement bills have passed out of committee. In addition, Senate Bill 180 and Senate Bill 184 passed the House Floor and are on the way to the Governor for her signature. The final deadline to move a bill out of a House policy committee is May 28, 2021.

Similar to years past, many of the OSB bills were assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. For the first time in more than a decade, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Janelle Bynum was bifurcated into two subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Equitable Policing, chaired by Rep. Bynum, and the Subcommittee on Civil Law, chaired by Representative Karin Power. The majority of bills were assigned to a subcommittee for a public hearing and a work session. Those bills that passed muster with a subcommittee were then recommended to the full judiciary committee for passage, which took the final vote before a bill was sent to the House floor.

While the Equitable Policing Subcommittee completed its work at the first chamber deadline, the Civil Law Subcommittee continued its work through the end of the second chamber deadline. The subcommittee, made up of six legislators, including five lawyers, led in-depth policy discussions with stakeholders and each other.

The remaining bar bills received a public hearing and a work session in either the House Committee on Business and Labor or the House Committee on Housing. Thank you to the committee chairs, members, and staff for your consideration of these bills.

House Committee on Judiciary
SB 181 – Directs court to consider, in determining amount of award of attorney fees, whether attorney performed services on pro bono basis or award of attorney fees otherwise promotes access to justice. Unanimously voted out of committee on May 24, 2021.

SB 182 – Terminates authority of spouse as agent under certain estate planning documents upon annulment, separation, or dissolution of marriage. Extends liability protections for property held as tenants by the entirety when property is conveyed to certain trust. Modifies procedure for disposition of wills by attorney. Unanimously voted out of committee on May 18, 2021.

SB 183 – Modifies provisions relating to foreign restraining orders. Unanimously voted out of committee on May 18, 2021.

SB 185 – Specifies circumstances under which members of nonprofit corporation and board of directors of nonprofit corporation may discuss issues or take action by electronic means without meeting. Specifies circumstances under which majority of directors may approve dissolution if number of directors in office at time at which directors consider dissolution is less than required by laws of this state or by articles of incorporation or bylaws of nonprofit corporation. Unanimously voted out of committee on May 24, 2021.

SB 768 – Modifies provisions relating to attorneys. Clarifies that Insurance Code does not apply to professional liability fund established by Oregon State Bar. Declares emergency, effective on passage. Unanimously voted out of committee on May 24, 2021.

House Committee on Business and Labor
SB 180 – Requires insurer to notify claimant upon paying $5,000 or more to settle third-party liability claim if claimant is natural person and if insurer or insurer’s agent or other representative, including insurer’s attorney, delivers payment to claimant or to claimant’s attorney, agent, or other representative by draft, check, or other form of payment. Passed the House with a 52-0-7-1 vote.

SB 184 – Modifies laws relating to preference given to veterans in public employment. Passed the House unanimously.

House Committee on Housing
SB 829 – Clarifies rights of possession of real property following execution sales. Unanimously voted out of committee on May 25, 2021.


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New Chief Justice Order Updates Mask Guidance in Courthouses

On May 25, 2021, Chief Justice Walters released Chief Justice Order (CJO) 21-016 and a letter to Oregon State Bar licensees. The order provides an exception to the protective face covering requirement found in CJO 20-045 for judges and court staff who show proof of fully vaccinated status. With limitations, judges and court staff who provide proof of fully vaccinated status may remove their masks while in a court facility.

Fully vaccinated judges and staff who have received approval to go without protective face coverings are not required to wear them, unless they are:

(1) Working in an adult jail or correctional facility;

(2) Working in a youth detention or correctional facility,

(3) In a public area of the court facility, such as the front entry, waiting areas, hallways, restrooms, and elevators; unless the Presiding Judge has designated the particular area as an area in which protective face coverings are not required; or

(4) Participating in a courtroom proceeding at which participants are required to wear protective face coverings.

During a court proceeding, a judge will have the ability to permit fully vaccinated participants to remove protective face coverings only while in the courtroom. However, there are some situations where masks may still be required in a proceeding; for example if a presiding judge or a participant in a court proceeding requests that all participants, including the judge and court staff, continue to wear a mask.

The court’s social distancing guidance, found in CJO 21-009,  has not been modified at this point.

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Economic and Revenue Forecast Up with a Kicker Expected

On May 19, 2021, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) shared the May 2021 Economic and Revenue Forecast with the House Committee on Revenue. The May Economic and Revenue Forecast is used by the Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee to finalize the state’s biennial budget.

This most recent forecast was a surprise to many due to the substantial forecasted increase in state revenue. Between the March 2021 forecast and the May 2021 forecast, the OEA increased the forecasted revenue for the 2021–2023 biennium by over $1 billion. This forecasted increase, based on expected economic growth and Oregon’s tax and lottery revenue, coupled with the federal stimulus funds identified in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), could profoundly affect the budget process. Late last summer, the Oregon Legislature met for the Second Special Session of 2020 to make cuts to the state budget. Earlier in the legislative session, the proposed Oregon Judicial Department budget included a cut to current-service-level funding. The substantial increase in expected funding potentially opens the doors to full funding for the courts and their policy proposals.

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Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) Budget Receives Public Hearing

In early May, the Public Safety Subcommittee of the Joint Ways and Means Committee held two public hearings to review the proposed 2021–2023 PDSC budget found in HB 5030. The PDSC budget is split between three divisions: the Appellate Division; the Public Services Account, which holds state funding for contract defense services; and the Contract and Business Services Division, which administers the financial and business processes of the PDSC.

Over two days, the Public Safety Subcommittee received testimony from the PDSC as well as a number of interested parties, including representatives from the Oregon Judicial Department, public defenders from throughout the state, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA), and the Oregon State Bar, to name just a few. Thank you to Joe Piucci for testifying on behalf of the Board of Governors in support of HB 5030. With the release of the May Revenue Forecast, the Public Safety Subcommittee is expected to finalize the PDSC budget in the coming month.


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ABA Hosts a Second Virtual Lobby Day

This year the Oregon State Bar, along with Oregon’s civil legal service providers, participated in the American Bar Association’s annual lobby day. Because of the continuing COVID-19 travel restrictions, as well as continued security concerns at the U.S. Capitol, the ABA’s Lobby Day was, once again, a virtual event.

The focus on this year’s Lobby Day was adequate funding for the federal Legal Services Commission and the increased judicial security and safety. President David Wade, Board of Governors Public Affairs Committee Chair Katherine Denning, Ed Harnden (Campaign for Equal Justice), Maya Crawford Peacock (Campaign for Equal Justice), and Monica Goracke (Oregon Law Center) shared their support for both issues with Oregon’s federal delegation. As community members become fully vaccinated, the bar’s delegation looks forward to connecting with our elected officials in district.

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Bills of Interest

With the release of the May Revenue Forecast, the Ways and Means Co-Chairs, along with the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, are expected to begin scheduling for policy bills with a fiscal impact. Below is a short list of bills that are currently awaiting a hearing in the Ways and Means Committee.

HB 2158 – Clarifies role of State Treasurer with respect to unclaimed property and escheated estates.

HB 2178 – Modifies provisions relating to fees in tax court.

HB 2230 – Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Long Term Care Ombudsman for purpose of providing public guardian and conservator services to veteran.

HB 2239 – Directs Judicial Department to establish centralized veterans treatment court that counties may opt into beginning July 1, 2023.

SB 571 – Allows persons convicted of felony to register to vote, update voter registration, and vote in elections while incarcerated.

SB 755 – Modifies and provides for implementation of Ballot Measure 110 (2020).

SB 778 – Establishes Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement to operate statewide immigrant and refugee integration strategy.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade, President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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April 20, 2021

Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee Holds First Public Hearings on Oregon Judicial Department 2021–2023 Budget

Over the last few weeks, the Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Chris Gorsek (D – 25) and Representative Janeen Sollman (D – 30) held three public hearings on the Oregon Judicial Department’s proposed budget for the next biennium. Over the course of the hearings, Chief Justice Martha Walters and others shared their request to maintain consistent funding and highlighted legislation and specific funding requests for programs moving forward. On the third day, the subcommittee opened the hearing for public testimony. Over the course of two hours, 31 representatives from across the public safety sphere testified in support of funding for the OJD, with many more organizations submitting written testimony in support.

This year, Oregon State Bar President David Wade and OSB President-Elect Kamron Graham both testified in support of the OJD budget. Mr. Wade represented the bar and the Oregon Campaign for Court Funding, a group of business and nonprofit leaders focused on increasing state funding for the OJD.

Ms. Graham, along with past-president Liani Reeves who submitted written testimony, shared the bar’s support of one-time funding for the Oregon Civil Legal Access Portal Pilot Project. The portal was developed by a partnership between the OSB, the OJD, and Oregon’s civil legal aid providers. The portal project is intended to create an online, centralized, professionally staffed, legal information and navigation portal. The project will allow Oregonians to more seamlessly access legal information and assistance in key high-needs areas such as housing, domestic violence prevention, health care, and employment in a culturally specific, user-designed format.

The legislature’s budget process will be finalized after the May revenue forecast, which will be released on May 19, 2021.


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Bills of Interest

The first deadline for this year’s legislative session occurred on April 13, 2021. Policy bills that were not voted out of a policy committee by the end of the day on the 13th will not move forward this legislative session. In addition, this is often a time when legislative concepts are amended into another bill. Please find below a list of some of the bills the bar has been tracking that died on Tuesday, as well as a list of placeholder bills that were amended in the last days before the deadline.

Bills that were in committee after April 13, 2021
House Bill 2177 – Authorizes Chief Justice of Supreme Court to collect fees from certain public bodies for use of certain state court technology services.
House Bill 2208 – Directs Oregon State Bar to report to Supreme Court with recommendations of alternative means of admission to bar.
House Bill 2998 – Provides that party or attorney may not move to disqualify judge in judicial district with three or fewer circuit court judges.
Senate Bill 666 – Modifies public meeting notice requirements for meetings held in executive session.

Bills that were amended and moved out of committee before April 13, 2021
Senate Bill 193 – Makes statutory modifications based on holdings in Busch v McInnis Waste Sys., 366, OR 628 (2020) and Ramos v Louisiana, 140 S.Ct. 1390 (2020).(-4 Amendment Adopted and Minority Report issued).
Senate Bill 780 – Limits liability of health care providers, health maintenance organizations and hospitals for certain claims arising during COVID-19 emergency period. (-4 Amendment Adopted)
Senate Bill 813 – Modifies statute of limitation provisions of Section 7 of House Bill 4212 (First Special Session,2020).(-1 Amendment Adopted).

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Paraprofessional Licensure Implementation Committee

Several years ago, the Oregon State Bar formed a Futures Task Force to allow for an in-depth discussion about the future legal needs of Oregonians, and how the bar would need to evolve to meet those legal needs. One of the major recommendations of the task force was for the bar to create a committee to develop a detailed plan for licensing legal providers. These providers would offer limited services at a lower cost in specific issue areas in which there is significant unmet need. The Futures Task Force referred to these legal providers paraprofessionals.

Last fall the bar formed a Paraprofessional Licensure Implementation Committee to address the concept of licensing paraprofessionals who would provide limited legal assistance in two of the largest subject areas in which Oregonians end up representing themselves: landlord-tenant law and family law.

The committee’s goal is to develop educational requirements, ethics rules, and an identified scope of practice for these paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals are not attorneys; therefore, determining what tasks they can assist clients with and which tasks they can perform is extremely important. The committee’s recommendations will ultimately be presented to the Oregon Supreme Court for consideration.

Anyone who has questions about the committee or input on this proposal should contact the OSB at [email protected] or visit the committee’s website at https://paraprofessional.osbar.org/.


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Public Comment Period for Annual Adjustment to the Oregon Tort Claims Act

The Office of the State Court Administrator (OSCA) has calculated the annual adjustment to the limitations on liability of state and local public bodies for personal injury, death, and property damage or destruction. The OSCA proposes to adjust the limitations as follows:

The public comment period on the proposed adjustments closes at 5:00 p.m. on May 24, 2021. The OSCA will then finalize the adjustments, and the new limitations will become effective on July 1, 2021. They will apply to all causes of action arising on or after July 1, 2021, and before July 1, 2022. The OSCA makes these adjustments annually, as required by statute.

A list of past and current limitations on liability of public bodies can be found on the Oregon Judicial Department website at: http://www.courts.oregon.gov/Pages/tort.aspx.

Public comment can be posted on that web page or sent to:
Aja Holland
Office of the State Court Administrator
Supreme Court Building
1163 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-2563
or
[email protected]

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade, President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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April 2, 2021

Budget Process Begins for Oregon Judicial Department

With the release of the Governor’s budget priorities and the Ways and Means budget priorities, the 2021–2023 budget process is underway. Over the next three months, the Ways and Means Subcommittees will be holding public hearings and work sessions as they craft agency and commission budgets, as well as the Oregon Judicial Department’s budget, to fund the next two years.

The Oregon Judicial Department proposed budget will receive its first of at least three public hearings in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety on April 7, 2021. The first two days of hearings will focus on the proposed budget. This is an opportunity for the Oregon Judicial Department to discuss its current service level budget, the challenges it expects to face in the upcoming biennium, and its strategic plan and policy goals. Legislators will have an opportunity to ask questions and request additional information. On the third day of testimony, there will be an opportunity for the public to provide testimony on the proposed budget.

This year, for the first time, state funding for civil legal services is included in the Oregon Judicial Department’s budget as a pass-through to the Oregon State Bar’s Legal Services Program. The Oregon Law Commission and the Council on Court Procedures also receive pass-through funding from the Oregon Judicial Department.

The Oregon Judicial Department’s strategic campaign commitments for the 2021–2023 biennium, reflected in the policy proposals housed in the budget, are:

      1. Improve services and outcomes for people who are underserved, vulnerable, or marginalized.
      2. Eliminate barriers to access to justice by simplifying and streamlining processes and forms, enhancing service options, leveraging technology, improving interpreter services, and keeping courts open, safe, and secure.
      3. Enhance the public’s trust and confidence in Oregon’s state government by listening and responding to the needs of those we serve, holding ourselves to high standards, and communicating the role of our courts in providing justice for all.
      4. Create a workplace and courthouse culture that is supportive, inclusive, welcoming, and affirming; that embraces diversity; and where all people can thrive and are treated with respect and dignity.

The Public Defense Services Commission will also go through the legislature’s budget process. Its first budget hearing has not been scheduled.


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Public Records and Public Meetings Bills of Interest

This session, public records and public meetings bills are being considered in a number of committees. Three of the bills that have received public hearings are:

      • HB 2478 – Maintains indefinitely exemption from required disclosure of public records that are subject to lawyer-client privilege and public records exemption for privileged information.
      • HB 2485 – Requires state agencies to reduce public records request fees by 50 percent if request is made in public interest, and requires state agencies to entirely waive fees if public records request is in public interest and narrowly tailored.
      • SB 666 – Modifies public meeting notice requirements for meetings held in executive session.

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Legislative Deadlines and What to Watch For

To keep the legislative process moving and ensure that the legislature completes its responsibilities before the end of the legislative session, the House and Senate have established internal deadlines for moving bills through the legislative process.

This year, the deadline for scheduling a bill for a work session in its chamber of origin was March 19, 2021, and the deadline for voting a bill out of committee is April 13, 2021. Those bills, with a few exceptions identified below, that have not been scheduled by March 19 and moved out of committee by April 13 are no longer active and may not be voted into law by the legislature under that bill number.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, the deadlines do not apply to bills that are in the House or Senate Rules Committees, the House or Senate Revenue Committees, or the Ways and Means Committees or subcommittees. Further, bills in the Joint Committee on Transportation are on their own unique schedule.

For those tracking legislation, the period before a legislative deadline can be complex. The weeks before the deadline often result in a fair amount of juggling and amending bills. For example, a legislative concept in one bill may be amended into another bill with a better chance of passage. Another option is for a legislator to move a bill to one of the Rules Committees to keep it alive after the deadline. Finally, if neither option seems feasible during the legislative session, a concept may be sent to an interim work group to be discussed and finalized for the next legislative session.


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Oregon State Bar Bills Move Out of Committee

This week, four Oregon State Bar bills moved out of committee and to the Senate floor. Because the Senate will begin holding floor sessions three days a week beginning April 5, 2021. they are expected to receive floor votes at the end of next week or the beginning of the following week.

      • Senate Bill 180 – Requires insurer to notify claimant upon paying $5,000 or more to settle third-party liability claim if claimant is natural person and if insurer or insurer’s agent or other representative, including insurer’s attorney, delivers payment to claimant or to claimant’s attorney, agent or other representative by draft, check or other form of payment. The bill was amended and voted out of committee.
      • Senate Bill 183 – Provides procedure for recognition and enforcement of orders and judgments of tribal courts in courts of this state. The bill was amended and voted out of committee.
      • Senate Bill 768 – Modifies provisions relating to attorneys. The bill was amended and voted out of committee.
      • Senate Bill 829 – Clarifies rights of possession of real property following execution sales. The bill passed out of the committee without amendment.

Thank you to all of the bar volunteers who worked so hard to develop and pass these bills.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade, President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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March 18, 2021

Oregon State President David Wade testifies to House and Senate Judiciary Committees

During the opening month of the Oregon Legislature, Oregon State Bar President David Wade and OSB General Counsel Amber Hollister presented an overview of the Oregon State Bar and its work to protect the public to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation and the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Law. OSB President Wade and Ms. Hollister provided an overview of the bar’s regulatory function, its mission to protect the public, and the public services the bar provides, and answered questions.

Additionally, the current and former chairs of the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners, Joanna Perini-Abbot and the Hon. Angela Lucero respectively, testified along with Mr. Wade and Ms. Hollister to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Law about the Oregon bar exam and the Oregon State Bar. The written testimony is posted here.


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Oregon State Bar Bills Pass the Senate

On March 11, 2021, the Senate voted on three proposals from the Oregon State Bar’s Law Improvement Program: the OSB Consumer Law Section bill (SB 181), the OSB Estate Planning and Administration Section bill (SB 182), and the OSB Nonprofit Law Section bill (SB 185), All three bills passed the Senate and are now on the Speaker’s desk awaiting assignment to a House Committee.

In addition, SB 184, a proposal from the OSB Military and Veterans Law Section, passed the Senate and has been assigned to the House Committee on Business and Labor for consideration. Thank you to the section members for volunteering your time and expertise!

      • Senate Bill 181 – Directs court to consider, in determining amount of award of attorney fees, whether attorney performed services on pro bono basis or award of attorney fees otherwise promotes access to justice.
      • Senate Bill 182 – Terminates authority of spouse as agent under certain estate planning documents upon annulment, separation or dissolution of marriage.
      • Senate Bill 184 – Modifies laws relating to preference given to veterans in public employment.
      • Senate Bill 185 – Specifies circumstances under which members of nonprofit corporation and board of directors of nonprofit corporation may discuss issues or take action by electronic means without meeting.

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How a Remote Legislative Session Works

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Legislative Session began remotely. A remote legislative session means that legislators, like many Oregonians, are primarily working from their homes and local communities. Committee meetings are held via video conferencing, and meetings with constituents, stakeholders, and other legislators are hosted either via phone or video conferencing. For those who travel to Salem to testify, there is an outdoor kiosk with a video connection set up to allow people to testify at the Capitol.

Committee hearings are hosted on Microsoft Teams and then broadcast through the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). To find a specific bill, view an agenda, or watch a hearing, go to the 2021 Legislative Session link in OLIS.

Beginning in January, legislators traveled from their home counties to Salem for floor sessions. For the first month or so of the legislative session, floor sessions were scheduled primarily to introduce proposed legislation. As of March 1, 2021, the House and Senate chambers began to meet twice a week to vote on bills on the House and Senate floor, in addition to introducing proposed legislation.

For more information on the legislative schedule and internal deadlines, visit the Secretary of the Senate’s web page.


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Bills of Interest

This legislative session, close to 2,500 bills have been introduced so far, and more are expected. Below are a few bills that may be of interest to practitioners.

      • HB 2009 – Establishes temporary limitations on lenders’ remedies for borrowers’ failures to make payments on obligations secured by mortgages, trust deeds or land sale contracts for certain real property.
      • HB 2176 – Eliminates minimum amount of fee added to judgment that includes monetary obligation that court or judicial branch is charged with collecting.
      • HB 2998 – Provides that party or attorney may not move to disqualify judge in judicial district with three or fewer circuit court judges.
      • HB 3230 – Establishes universal representation program in Oregon Department of Administrative Services.
      • HB 5012 – Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Judicial Department for certain biennial expenses.
      • SB 513 – Requires student to demonstrate proficiency in civics in order to receive high school diploma.
      • SB 765 – Makes permanent provisions allowing notary public to perform notarial act using communication technology for remotely located individual under certain circumstances.

For a comprehensive list of introduced list, go to the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). For a list of bills by practice area, go to the Oregon State Bar’s Public Affairs page.

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Chief Justice Order 21-009 released on March 11, 2021

Last week Chief Justice Martha Walters released Chief Justice Order (CJO) 21-009 and a letter to the public. This new CJO replaces CJO 20-016 (restrictions on court operations) and CJO 20-047 (Amended) (additional restrictions during “freeze”).

The CJO addresses and updates court functions to address the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last year, the Oregon Judicial Department has responded to the pandemic by expanding virtual access to the court system as well as following health and safety guidelines. However, many of the situations that were crucial to limit in March of 2020 are now options due to a greater understanding of the virus and a decreasing case count in March of 2021. The CJO addresses and provides guidance to the court system and its stakeholders until the court can lift social distancing requirements.

On March 15, 2021, Chief Justice Walters hosted “Courts, COVID, and Moving Forward,” a virtual CLE that addressed the changes to court processes. To review the materials from the CLE, click here.


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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade, President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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January 12, 2021

Oregon Legislature Convenes its 81st Legislative Assembly on January 11, 2021

On January 11, 2021, the Senate President and Speaker of the House opened the 81st legislative assembly for organizational days. Ninety legislators were sworn in. During the first day, legislators voted to adopt chamber rules, and pre-session-filed bills were formally introduced. Bills that were pre-session filed are available for public review on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). The Legislative Session will begin on January 19, 2021.

This year, the legislature is expected to address a number of complicated budgetary and policy issues that will affect the practice of law. Topics of interest include Ballot Measure 110, adequate funding for the courts, civil legal services and indigent defense, tort liability, equitable policing, aid and assist, fines and fees, emergency powers, and a host of other issues.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature will begin the session remotely. Public hearings in both chambers will be over videoconference. In response to the unique challenges of a remote legislative process, the public record will be extended for 24 hours after the start of each public hearing to allow for the submission of comments, support, and opposition. For more information on the legislative process, please see below.


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Oregon State Bar and the Legislative Process

Public Affairs is available to assist all Oregon State Bar sections and committees to track proposed legislation. If a section or committee identifies specific bills to follow, please contact Kellie Baumann in Public Affairs at [email protected], to ensure that legislation is included in a section’s bill-tracking list.

As bills are introduced, Public Affairs will review all proposed legislation and refer specific bills to groups that may be interested in the subject. Throughout the session, a section or committee’s legislative contact will likely receive periodic emails from Public Affairs notifying him or her of bills that might interest the group.

Once a section or committee has identified bills to follow, those bills will be input into the group’s bill-tracking page. Each group has its own page on the Public Affairs Department’s webpage. This will enable each group to receive updates and to review changes to any legislation that a group has expressed an interest in following.

If you have any questions about proposed legislation, do not hesitate to reach out to Public Affairs.


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Oregon House and Senate Announce Committee Assignments for the 2021 Legislative Session

Over the last week the Speaker of the House and Senate President have each released committee assignments for the 2021 Legislative Session. House committee appointments can be found here and Senate committee appointments can be found here.

In both the House and the Senate, some changes have been made in to the Judiciary Committees.

House Judiciary Committee. This session, not only will the House have a Judiciary Committee, the speaker also created two subcommittees, a Subcommittee on Civil Law and a Subcommittee on Equitable Policing.

House Judiciary Committee

Rep. Janelle Bynum, Chair
Rep. Ron Noble, Vice Chair
Rep. Karin Power, Vice Chair
Rep. Maxine Dexter
Rep. Ken Helm
Rep. Jason Kropf
Rep. Rick Lewis
Rep. Lily Morgan
Rep. Kim Wallan
Rep. Marty Wilde

House Subcommittee on Civil Law

Rep. Karin Power, Chair
Rep. Kim Wallan, Vice Chair
Rep. Ken Helm 
Rep. Jason Kropf
Rep. Lily Morgan

House Subcommittee on Equitable Policing

Rep. Janelle Bynum, Chair
Rep. Ron Noble, Vice Chair
Rep. Maxine Dexter
Rep. Rick Lewis
Rep. Marty Wilde

Senate Judiciary Committee and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation.

This session, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been specifically tasked with Ballot Measure 100 implementation. Ballot Measure 110, which passed this past November, decriminalizes certain drug crimes and redirects funding to prevention and social services.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Chair
Sen. Kim Thatcher, Vice Chair
Sen. Sara Gelser
Sen. Dennis Linthicum
Sen. James Manning, Jr.
Sen. Dallas Heard
Sen. Michael Dembrow

Ways and Means Committee – Public Safety Subcommittee

Sen. Chris Gorsek, Co-Chair
Rep. Janeen Sollman, Co-Chair
Sen. Bill Hansell
Sen. Floyd Prozanski
Rep. Dacia Grayber
Rep. Jason Kropf
Rep. Gary Leif
Rep. Duane Stark


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Final Special Session of 2020 completed in late December

On December 21, 2020, the legislature met for its third and final special session of 2020. Public hearings were held prior to the special session on December 17, and December 19, 2020, to allow members of the public to testify virtually and submit written materials regarding the proposals considered. To review the public testimony and materials from the public hearings, please go here .

The Joint Committee on the Third Special Session of 2020 considered six policy and budgetary proposals. Five of the six proposals passed out of committee and passed both chambers to be signed by the Governor.

      • HB 4401 – Eviction moratorium and landlord assistance fund
      • HB 4402 – School liability protection
      • SB 1801 – Restaurant package
      • SB 1803 – Healthcare liability protection (did not pass out of committee)
      • SB 5731 – Transfer of state funds to the Emergency Board for COVID-19 and wildfire costs
      • SCR 231 – Adjournment

While SB 1803 did not move out of committee, the issue of healthcare liability, as well as general business liability, is expected to be discussed further during the 2021 Legislative Session.


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New Database for Chief Justice and Supreme Court Orders

The State of Oregon Law Library (SOLL) has launched a new searchable and publicly available database for Chief Justice Orders and Supreme Court Orders (non-case related). Searches can include text or metadata, such as order number, subject, and description. The database currently includes all orders from 2019 and 2020, and will include new orders going forward. Older orders are being added based on resource availability. The orders are posted as PDFs at this link: https://cdm17027.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p17027coll10.

For more information, contact Amanda Duke at SOLL: [email protected].


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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2021 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



David Wade, President, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Liani Reeves, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Katherine Denning, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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December 18, 2020

3rd Special Session Scheduled for the end of December

This week, Governor Brown announced that she was calling a third special session. Public Hearings will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2020 and Saturday December 19, 2020. The Third Special Session is scheduled to last one day and will open on December 21, 2020.

The legislature, through the Joint Interim Committee On The Third Special Session of 2020 is expecting to address four pieces of proposed legislation. These are:

      • LC 10 – Restaurant package
      • LC 18 – Evictions moratorium and landlord assistance fund
      • LC 21 – School liability protection
      • LC 28 – Transfer of state funds to the Emergency Board for COVID-19 and wildfire costs

Information on the legislative proposals and supporting materials can be found on OLIS under the meeting materials tag for each scheduled public meeting.


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House and Senate Legislative Days Extended to Two Weeks in December

This December, the Oregon House and Senate have extended legislative days from three days to two weeks. This has allowed committees to meet for longer periods of time and provide a greater opportunity for questions and discussion. The Senate committees and some joint committees met the week of December 7, 2020. The House committees and the remaining joint committees are scheduled to meet the week of December 14, 2020. For video access and written materials, go to the Oregon Legislature’s website at: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/Pages/CommDays.aspx.


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House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees Meet Remotely

On December 10, 2020, the Oregon Senate and House Interim Judiciary Committees met jointly in a public remote hearing. The two committees heard invited testimony on a variety of issues, and the Senate Interim Judiciary Committee pre-session filed a number of legislative concepts for the 2021 legislative session. Video and audio of the hearing can be found here: : https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/mediaplayer/?clientID=4879615486&eventID=2020121051.

Discussion topics included:

Court Operations in COVID from the Oregon Judicial Department. Walters from the Oregon Supreme Court, Judge Melvin Oden-Orr from the Multnomah County Circuit Court, and Valerie Colas and Nancy Cozine from the Oregon Judicial Department testified on the courts’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers focused on the courts’ response to COVID-19; equity, diversity, and inclusion; the use of technology to provide court access; and OJD’s strategic plan. For additional information, the Oregon Judicial Department’s presentation can be found here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019I1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/227307.

Oregon Youth Authority Sexual Assault Reporting Update. The Director of the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA), Joe O’Leary, presented to the House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees regarding the 2018 National Survey of Youth in Custody. The original report identified two youth facilities where there were initial reports of abuse. The December presentation was a follow-up on a presentation that Mr. O’Leary provided the committees in January of 2020, discussing the steps OYA had taken to clarify and identify the problem, protect the youth in custody, and gain more detailed information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Materials from the most recent presentation can be found here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019I1/Committees/SJUD/2020-01-15-14-00/MeetingMaterials.

Public Safety Task Force Report on Pretrial Release Reform. Ken Sanchagrin, the Interim Executive Director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC), and Bridget Budbill, formerly of the CJC and now the Legislative Director for the Office of Public Defense Services, presented to the committee on work done by the Public Safety Task Force and the CJC in response to HB 2238 (2017). The bill tasked the Task Force and the CJC with exploring security release in Oregon with a focus on racial and ethnic disparity in pretrial incarceration. The presentation can be found here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019I1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/227331.

Ballot Measure 110 Overview. Legislative Research Policy and Legislative Fiscal staff provided an overview of Measure 110, passed by Oregon voters in November 2020. Measure 110 decriminalizes possession of some types and amounts of controlled substances and directs costs savings towards treatment programs. Staff discussed the Governor’s Proposed Budget for 2021–2023, which would delay the implementation of Measure 110 to July 1, 2022, to minimize the budget impact of the initiative. Measure 110 is expected to be reviewed for policy and budget implications during the 2021 Legislative Session.

Cannabis Equity Act Overview. Representative Akasha Lawrence Spence (D – Portland), Jeannette Ward Horton (Executive Director of the NuLeaf Project), and Geoff Sugerman (Chief Compliance Officer of Groundworks Industries and a board member of the NuLeaf Project) presented on the proposed Oregon Cannabis Equity Act. The Oregon Cannabis Equity Act would encourage Black, Indigenous, and Latinx persons to invest and engage in Oregon’s cannabis industry as well as create a process to expunge eligible cannabis crimes, and would provide community investment dollars to mitigate Black, Indigenous, and Latinx community-health and education inequities. Legislation will be introduced during the 2021 legislative session.

Advance Directive Work Group Report. During the 2018 session, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 4135, which updated Oregon’s Advance Directive form and directed a work group to update other aspects of the form in preparation for the 2021 legislative session. The work group, including lawyers Stephanie Carter, Christopher Hamilton, and Mike Schmidt, who provided legal and technical expertise, submitted proposed language to the Judiciary Committees for consideration and review.

Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform Work Summary and Transition. Senator James Manning (D – Eugene) and House Judiciary Chair Representative Janelle Bynum (D – Happy Valley) provided an update on the Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force. The committee provided a final report on its work and shared a number of legislative concepts.


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Oregon State Bar Bills Pre-Session Filed for 2021 Legislative Session

During the Joint House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees meeting, seven Oregon State Bar law improvement legislative concepts were introduced for pre-session filing through the Senate. The Oregon State Bar Law Improvement Program is an avenue for Bar sections and committees to participate in the legislative process. Law improvement legislation includes proposals to clarify statutory ambiguities, to modify unforeseen “glitches” in major legislation passed in previous sessions, and to codify case law as necessary.

This year proposals were submitted by the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors, the Consumer Law Section, the Estate Planning & Administration Section, the Indian Law Section, the Military and Veterans Law Section, and the Nonprofit Organizations Law Section. For additional information on the proposals, please visit the Oregon State Bar’s Public Affairs webpage: https://publicaffairs.osbar.org/2021-law-improvement-package/


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Racially Restrictive Covenant Forms Finalized and Posted by the Oregon Judicial Department

In October a work group made of legislators, lawyers, and a representative from the Oregon Judicial Department reported on efforts to implement House Bill 4134 (2018) to the Senate Interim Housing Committee. The bill allowed for the creation of a procedure for removal of discriminatory restrictions on the use of real property by reason of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. A judgment resulting from this process will reaffirm that such restrictions are null and void under Oregon law.

After review of the language, the Oregon Judicial Department has approved the statewide forms for removing discriminatory restrictive covenants under ORS 93.274. The packet is now available in the OJD online forms center (under “civil” forms, at www.courts.oregon.gov/forms).


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Request for Public Comment from the Oregon Judicial Department

The Uniform Trial Court Rules committee met on October 2, 2020, to review proposals to amend the UTCR and to make preliminary recommendations to the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Following the fall meeting, the Chief Justice approved some amendments to the UTCR out-of-cycle. A description of the proposals, out-of-cycle amendments, and action taken by the committee is posted at: https://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/utcr/pages/currentrules.aspx.

Proposals and out-of-cycle amendments of special note prohibit attorney logos, watermarks, or similar images from appearing on pleadings, motions, orders, judgments, or writs; exempt a proposed order allowing a motion for attorney withdrawal from the early service requirement in 5.100(1); create requirements for captions in probate and protective proceedings; adopt new rules governing juvenile dependency cases; and repeal the UTCR Forms Appendix.

The committee encourages all interested parties to submit comments on the proposals and out-of-cycle amendments. Comments may be:

      • posted at the web address mentioned above,
      • mailed to the UTCR Reporter at the Office of the State Court Administrator, Supreme Court Building, 1163 State Street, Salem, Oregon 97301, or
      • emailed to [email protected].

In order to be considered by the committee, we must receive your public comment by 5:00 p.m. on February 12, 2021.

The committee will make final recommendations on these proposals at the next UTCR meeting on March 5, 2021. Those proposals approved by the Chief Justice will become effective August 1, 2021.


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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2020 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



Liani Reeves, President, Oregon State Bar
David Wade, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Christine Costantino, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Eric Foster, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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November 11, 2020

Election Results 2020: Legally Trained Legislators and Statewide Officials

This election cycle, a number of legally trained candidates successfully ran for office. In the State Senate, Senator-elect Kate Lieber (Beaverton/Aloha) will join Senate President Peter Courtney (Salem), Senator Betsy Johnson (NW Oregon), and Senator Floyd Prozanski (Lane County) in January. Senator-elect Lieber replaces Senator Mark Hass who will have been a member of the legislature for 20 years when he steps down.

Senator Shemia Fagan (SE Portland/Milwaukie) will be leaving the legislature as she moves on to her next challenge as the newly elected Secretary of State. Congratulations to Senator-elect Lieber and Secretary of State-elect Fagan and thank you to all of the legally trained senators.

Senator Courtney is expected to continue in his role as Senate President. A vote of the chamber will occur in January. In addition, Senator-elect Lieber was voted in as a Senate Assistant Majority Leader. The chamber will remain split between Democrats and Republicans at 18-12.

In the House of Representatives, one new legally trained legislator, Jason Kropf (Bend), will be joining in January. Representative-elect Kropf will be replacing Representative Cheri Helt. He will join Representative Ken Helm (NE Washington County), Representative Karin Power (Milwaukie), Representative Dan Rayfield (Corvallis), Representative Kim Wallan (Medford), and Representative Marty Wilde (Eugene), who all won their reelection campaigns this year. Congratulations to all!

Representative Rayfield is expected to continue in his role as Co-Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, and Representative Wallan is the House Republican Whip. In the House, the chamber is now split 36-25 with one remaining race expected to go to a recount.

In addition to the changes in the legislature, four statewide or federal legally trained officials were elected. As mentioned above, Secretary of State-elect Fagan will move from the Senate to the Office of the Secretary of State. In addition, former State Senator Cliff Bentz, who resigned from the Senate in January 2020, will be headed to Washington, DC, to represent Oregon’s Second Congressional District. Congressman Greg Walden, who has served in this role for many years, is retiring. Congratulations to Congressman-elect Bentz. In addition, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici also won reelection this year.

Thank you to all of the legally trained candidates who ran this year.

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Board of Governors Approves Proposals for Submission to 2021 Legislature

On November 20, 2020, the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors and its Public Affairs Committee met remotely to consider the proposed 2021 law improvement package. After discussion in both the committee and the full board, 10 proposals will be submitted to the Oregon State Legislature for consideration during the 2021 legislative session.

This year the following sections and committees will be submitting legislation for consideration:

      • The Oregon State Bar Board of Governors
      • The Oregon State Bar Consumer Law Section
      • The Council on Court Procedures
      • The Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section
      • The Oregon State Bar Estate Planning & Administration Section
      • The Oregon State Bar Indian Law Section
      • The Oregon State Bar Military and Veterans Law Section
      • The Oregon State Bar Nonprofit Organizations Law Section

To view a list of proposals, please visit the Oregon State Bar Public Affairs Department web page.

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Chief Justice Walters Releases Guidance in Response to Increasing Spread of COVID-19

On November 17, 2020, Chief Justice Walters issued Chief Justice Order (CJO) 20-047, which encourages remote proceedings and imposes restrictions on in-person court operations during this time of increased spread of the COVID-19 virus. The CJO is effective on November 19, 2020, and will continue through at least December 4, and until further order; it is available here.

In simple terms, CJO 20-047 provides:

      • Courts may conduct any proceedings or operations they determine are appropriate as long they do so by entirely remote means—meaning that case participants appear by remote means and not in the courtroom
      • Circuit courts may conduct specified proceedings in person, including criminal trials subject to speedy-trial requirements, other criminal jury trials if the presiding judge approves on a case-by-case basis, juvenile delinquency adjudications, and Category 1 and Category 2 proceedings (set out in the order). Courts are encouraged, however, to use remote means if reasonably feasible and permitted by law, even when an in-person proceeding is allowed.
      • A presiding judge may, in certain specified circumstances, on a case-by case basis, permit a particular proceeding to be conducted in person.

The CJO reflects the Oregon Judicial Department’s (OJD) advances to date in conducting remote proceedings statewide. OJD is currently reviewing the recommendations from individual Bar members and the workgroups the court formed. Please continue to communicate with OJD through [email protected], as Oregonians work together to improve court access through remote means during the pandemic and beyond.


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Oregon Council on Court Procedures Requests Public Comment

The Oregon Council on Court Procedures has requested public comment on this biennium’s proposed revisions to the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure. This year, they have drafted proposed changes to ORCPs 15, 21, 27, 31 and 55. The Council will meet December 12th to vote on which rules to promulgate. These rule changes will be submitted to the Oregon legislature, and absent legislative action would take effect January 1, 2022.

Council staff have requested that comments be submitted by December 7th. If you would like to see the proposed rules or make comments, please visit the Council’s website at:  https://counciloncourtprocedures.org/proposed-amendments-to-the-orcp/

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Return of CLEs at the Capitol

After a break in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate Interim Judiciary Committee and the Oregon State Bar are pleased to present a virtual CLE at the Capitol in early 2021. Additional information will be shared as dates are finalized.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2020 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair



Liani Reeves, President, Oregon State Bar
David Wade, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Christine Costantino, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Eric Foster, Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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