January 14, 2019

Oregon Legislature Gears Up for 2019 Legislative Session

The 2019 legislative session begins Tuesday, January 22, 2019, and the legislature is gearing up.  Committee membership has been published, committee schedules have been released, and pre-session filed bills have been posted on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS).

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

As bills are introduced, the Public Affairs Department 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 the Public Affairs Department 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 the Public Affairs Department. Proposed legislation will be posted on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS).

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Proposed Changes to the UTCR – Request for Public Comment

The Uniform Trial Court Rules committee met on October 5, 2018, to review proposals to amend the UTCR and to make preliminary recommendations to the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. A description of the proposals and action taken by the committee is posted at: http://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/utcr/Pages/currentrules.aspx.

Proposals of special note address the certificate of document preparation; translations of exhibits; consumer debt-collection cases; exhibits in juvenile cases; filing of the DMV record; extreme-risk protection orders; notice of filing expedited matters; electronic signatures on declarations; and statewide postconviction-relief rules.

The committee encourages all interested parties to submit comments on the proposals. Comments can 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 97301-2563; or emailed to [email protected]. In order to be considered by the committee, public comment must be received by the UTCR Reporter by 5:00 p.m. on February 22, 2019.

The committee will make final recommendations on these proposals at the next UTCR meeting on March 8, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

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Oregon State Bar Adopts 2019 Legislative Priorities

On January 11, 2019, the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors met in Tigard. As part of their meeting, the Board adopted their 2019 Legislative Priorities. The Oregon State Bar looks forward to supporting its partners in the judicial branch in advocating for adequate funding for Oregon’s court system, civil legal aid, and indigent defense, as well as supporting the bar’s law improvement priorities.

  1. Support Court Funding. Support for adequate funding for Oregon’s courts.
      • Citizens Campaign for Court Funding. Support the statewide coalition of citizens, businesses, and community groups formed to ensure adequate and stable court funding.
      • Court Facilities Funding. Work with the legislature and the courts to make critical improvements to Oregon’s court facilities.
      • Judicial and Staff Resources. Support the request for additional judges and staff to ensure access to justice.
  1. Support Legal Services for Low-Income Oregonians.
      • Civil Legal Services. Increase the current level of funding for low-income legal services.
      • Indigent Defense.
          • Public Defense Services. Constitutionally and statutorily required representation of financially qualified individuals in Oregon’s criminal and juvenile justice systems:
            • Ensure funding sufficient to support adequate compensation for publicly funded attorneys in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
            • Support reduced caseloads for attorneys representing parents and children.
            • Support efforts to ensure the right to counsel for adults at the trial level in Oregon.
  1. Support OSB 2019 Law Improvement Package and Continue to Engage with Ongoing Legislative Work Group and Task Force Proposals.

Additional information on the budgets of the Oregon Judicial Department and the Public Defense Services Commission can be found on their websites.

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Oregon Law Commission Completes Report on Workplace Harassment in the Legislature

In the spring of 2018, the Oregon Legislature requested that the Oregon Law Commission “advise the Legislative Assembly on how best to revise its laws and policies related to workplace harassment.” Led by the chair, P.K. Runkles-Pearson of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, and a member of the Oregon Law Commission, the work group  conducted a review of the legislature’s process and policies for addressing workplace harassment. During the December 2018 legislative days the Oregon Law Commission submitted its final report from the Oregon State Capitol Workplace Harassment Work Group to the legislature for consideration.

After review of the legislature’s process and procedures, the work group organized its recommendations into two spheres: cultural change (Training and Culture) and enforcement (Workplace Harassment Policy). In addition, the work group provided a suggested definition of “workplace harassment” for consideration by the legislature and suggestions on implementing the work group’s recommendations.

The Oregon Legislature is expected to respond to the report during the 80th Legislative Assembly, which begins on January 22, 2019, and runs through June 2019.

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

2018 Public Affairs Committee Members

Eric Foster, Chair
Eddie Medina, Vice Chair
Whitney Boise
John Bachofner
Kate Denning
Kamron Graham
Bik-Na Han
Michael Rondeau 

Public Affairs Department

Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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