Senate and House Interim Judiciary Committees Meet during Legislative Days
For the first time since February 2020, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees met in person to receive updates and review legislative concepts for the upcoming legislative session.
Senate Interim Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Committee
In the Senate Judiciary Committee, the invited testimony ranged over a variety of topics including consumer data privacy, the Public Defense Services Commission, juvenile expunction, and aid-and-assist efforts. Of particular interest was an update on the Oregon State Bar and the Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners (BBX). Kamron Graham, OSB President, and Joanna Perini-Abbot from the BBX shared updates on the work the bar is doing to expand access to the courts and protect the public. Topics of discussion included bar admissions, licensed paraprofessionals, as well as the recently implemented comity rule. To view the draft legislative concepts introduced through the committee, visit the committee’s Meeting Materials page.
House Interim Judiciary Committee
In the House Interim Judiciary Committee, the invited testimony included many of the topics discussed in the Senate with the addition of a presentation on the legislative proposals from the Oregon District Attorneys Association and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers. In addition, committee members and other House members spoke about draft legislation they may introduce during the 2023 legislative session. To view the draft legislative concepts introduced through the committee, visit the committee’s Meeting Materials page.
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Construction Continues at the State Capitol
This year the December Legislative Days were held from December 7 to 9, 2022, and, for the first time since February 2020, legislators held committee meetings in person at the State Capitol. Unlike years past, however, extensive yet necessary construction limited access to certain parts of the building.
During the 2022 Legislative Session, the legislature voted in support of a third round of building renovations with a focus on seismic rehabilitation. This phase of the renovations, referred to as CAMS III, began in July 2022 and is expected to wrap up by January 2025. The original building, built in 1938, needed updates to its mechanical and electrical elements; fixes for life-safety issues; and restoration of historic elements.
Currently legislator offices, housed in the Capitol wings, are open as well as committee hearing rooms A through F along the south side of the building. Members of the public may access the building through the State Street entrance. Due to the limited space and the amount of construction, there may be a wait time to enter the building. This level of access is expected to last through the 2023 Legislative Session.
For more information on public access to the Capitol, please visit the Oregon Legislature’s website.
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Legislature Begins Bill Filing Process for 2023 Legislative Session
During Legislative Days, committees have the opportunity to vote to file legislative concepts with the Secretary of the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House for pre-session filing before the beginning of a legislative session. This year a number of committees have submitted draft legislative concepts for consideration. While many of the concepts are “placeholder” bills that are expected to be amended once the legislative session begins, there are a number of more substantive bills as well.
Unlike during the legislative session when bills may be reviewed through the Oregon Legislature Information System (OLIS), pre-session filed legislative concepts are viewed through a committee’s meeting materials. For example, to see a list of concepts that the Senate Interim Judiciary Committee has submitted, visit https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021I1/Committees/SJD110/2022-12-07-08-30/MeetingMaterials, which includes a list of the pre-session filed bills in that committee. It should be noted that additional legislative concepts may have been added after the list was published; however the text of each concept is posted in its entirety in the meeting materials. The majority of committees will have a similar list posted on their “Meeting Materials” page.
Once the legislative session begins, each legislative concept that was pre-session filed will receive a First Read in either the Senate or the House and will be searchable on OLIS. When the database is populated with 2023 session bills, there will be a follow-up article on the legislative process.
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Oregon State Bar Adopts Legislative Priorities and Session Guidelines
The Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors (BOG) met from November 17 to 19 for its annual retreat and board meeting. On the agenda of both the Public Affairs Committee and the BOG were proposed 2023 Legislative Priorities and Legislative Session Guidelines. Both the Public Affairs Committee and the BOG adopted the Legislative Priorities and Guidelines for the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session.
2023 Legislative Priorities
- Support Court Funding. Continued support for stable funding for Oregon’s courts.
- Advocate that the Legislative Assembly improve funding to provide needed court services, support suitable and sufficient court facilities, work to attract and retain high quality judges, and support the goals of the Judicial Department Strategic Campaign.
- Oregon Campaign for Court Funding. Support the statewide coalition of citizens, business, nonprofit, and community groups formed to ensure adequate and stable court funding.
- Support legal services for low-income Oregonians.
- Civil Legal Services. Legal assistance and representation for financially qualified individuals in Oregon’s civil justice system.
- Request that Congress and the President of the United States make a genuine commitment to equal justice by adequately funding the Legal Services Corporation, which provides federal support for statewide integrated civil legal aid;
- Work with Oregon’s legal aid programs, the Campaign for Equal Justice, and immigration legal service providers to preserve and increase state funding for legal aid and to explore other sources of new funding.
- Indigent Defense. Constitutionally and statutorily required representation of financially qualified individuals in Oregon’s criminal and juvenile justice systems:
- Partner with stakeholders in support of a healthy and functioning justice system for all Oregonians, including a robust public defense system.
- Support the OSB 2023 Law Improvement Package, and track and engage on legislation per 2023 Oregon State Bar Legislative Session Guidelines.
2023 Legislative Session Guidelines
Mission Statement: The Oregon State Bar Board of Governors must at all times direct its power to serve the public interest by (a) regulating the legal profession and improving the quality of legal services; (b) supporting the judiciary and improving the administration of justice; and (c) advancing a fair, inclusive, and accessible justice system.
To that end, the OSB Public Affairs Committee supports the following legislative goals:
1. Protect the public, the administration of justice, and the rule of law.
2. Create meaningful access to justice, and provide information about the law, legal issues, and the civil and criminal justice system.
3. Make Oregon laws more consistent and more uniform.
4. Improve the ability of attorneys to competently serve the interests of Oregonians.
5. Ensure efficient, competent, and ethical delivery of legal services.
6. Foster diversity, equity, and inclusion among legal service providers and in the justice system.
7. Support a fair and effective criminal justice system.
8. Promote the protection of privileged and confidential information while promoting access and education regarding public records.
9. Provide appropriate information and assistance regarding ethical issues to legislators, especially legally trained legislators.
10. Improve the juvenile justice system and encourage better coordination between the different components of the system.
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Legally Trained Candidates Elected in 2022
Last month’s election brought changes to the legislature and the Governor’s office, including new and returning legally trained elected officials. The newly elected officials will be sworn in on January 9, 2023. Please note that because of the 2021 redistricting process completed during the 2021 First Special Session, a number of sitting legislators have moved into new districts.
Legally trained members of the State House of Representatives
||District 6 (Medford)
||District 16 (Corvallis), Speaker of the House
||District 21 (Salem)
||District 30 (Hillsboro)
|Ken Helm (formerly District 27)*
||District 34 (Washington County)
||District 53 (Redmond)
||District 54 (Bend)
Legally trained members of the State Senate
||District 4 (parts of Douglas and Lane Counties)
For a complete list of elected officials, follow the link on the Secretary of State’s candidate search page.
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Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.
2022 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair
Kamron Graham, President, Oregon State Bar
Lee Ann Donaldson, President Elect, Oregon State Bar
David Wade, Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Joseph Piucci, 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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