January 31, 2020

Judiciary Committee Provides Overview of Bills for 2020 Session

On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees met jointly to receive reports, introduce legislative concepts, and discuss policy issues.

The meeting was packed with presentations, including discussion of the Indian Child Welfare Act, an overview of the Oregon Public Guardian and Conservator Program, a review of the Juvenile Expunction Work Group, and an introduction and overview of the House and Senate Judiciary Committee bills, among others. Of particular note are SB 1546, which relates to Public Safety; SB 1547, which relates to courts; and HB 4004, which relates to the Office of Public Defense Services.

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Bills of Interest

HB 4004 Expands membership of Public Defense Services Commission from seven to nine members. (Relating to the Public Defense Services Commission; declaring an emergency).
HB 4040 Directs Judicial Department to establish Family Treatment Court Program in certain counties to improve outcomes in child welfare cases resulting from parent’s or caregiver’s alleged substance use disorder. (Relating to family treatment courts; declaring an emergency).
HB 4148 Declares Oregon policy regarding Indian children. (Relating to Indian children).
SB 1547 Creates exception to requirement that court proceeding involving person in custody be transferred from court facility in Gresham to Portland if defendant is not in custody and certain warrants have been vacated or executed. (Relating to courts; declaring an emergency).
SB 1575 Defines terms related to fitness to proceed. (Relating to fitness to proceed).

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Introduction of Committee Bills during January Legislative Days

In mid-January the Oregon Legislature met to prepare for the 2020 legislative session. Over four days, committees met to receive reports, introduce legislative concepts, and discuss policy issues.

This year, bills were submitted to either the Chief Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate to be filed by the end of day on January 17, 2020, with the exception of bills submitted by the Senate President, the House Rules Committee, and the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

The majority of legislative committees have the opportunity to each submit three committee legislative concepts. This year, each state senator has the opportunity to submit one personal bill, each state representative has the opportunity to submit two personal bills, and the Governor and Judicial Department have the opportunity to submit five bills. There are exceptions to these limitations; for example, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means and the Revenue Committees are not limited by the internal deadlines.

On January 27, 2020, the bills were posted and are now available for review. To review 2020 legislative concepts that have been pre-session filed, go to the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) and click on the 2020 Legislative Session.

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2020 Committee Membership

Senate Committee on Judiciary
Senator Floyd Prozanski, Chair
Senator Kim Thatcher, Vice Chair
Senator Michael Dembrow
Senator Sarah Gelser
Senator Dennis Linthicum
Senator James Manning Jr.
Senator Alan Olsen

House Committee on Judiciary
Representative Tawna Sanchez, Chair
Representative Janelle Bynum, Vice-Chair
Representative Sherrie Sprenger, Vice-Chair
Representative Jeff Barker
Representative Mitch Greenlick
Representative Akasha Lawrence Spence
Representative Rick Lewis
Representative Raquel Moore-Green
Representative Carla Piluso
Representative Karin Power
Representative Duane Stark

Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety
Senator James Manning Jr., Co-Chair
Representative Carla Piluso, Co-Chair
Senator Denyc Boles
Senator Lew Frederick
Representative Janelle Bynum
Representative Akasha Lawrence Spence
Representative Gary Leif
Representative Duane Stark

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President’s Reception in Salem – February 6, 2020, at the Salem Convention Center

Please join Oregon State Bar President Liani Reeves, the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors, and the Oregon Supreme Court’s Council on Inclusion and Fairness at the Salem Convention Center from 5:00pm-7:00pm on Friday, February 6, 2020, for the OSB’s annual President’s Reception.

To RSVP, please email Cassandra Dyke at [email protected].

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Innovations in Technology Meets in Portland

In Mid-January, the annual Innovations in Technology Conference was held in Portland. This conference, which is now in its 20th year, began as an offshoot of the Legal Services Corporation’s Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) Program, which provides limited funding to legal services providers for technology projects. The LSC describes the conference’s purpose as “expand[ing] access to justice by promoting technological innovations in legal services delivery and pro se assistance.” Many in the legal community believe the mission is important because funding for low income legal services has historically fallen so short of what is needed to provide legal assistance to all who qualify. Some see the use of technology and alternative service delivery models as a partial solution to meeting the needs of some clients.

This year’s conference brought together legal services providers from around the United States and Canada, as well as IT professionals working on technology projects that aim to facilitate the provision of legal services to those in need. While much of the conference was focused on the legal needs of those who qualify for low income legal services, many of the programs and technologies discussed are equally applicable to meeting the legal needs of other clients.

One of the major focuses in 2020 was on IT projects that court systems and the legal services community have undertaken to assist the public both in understanding that they may have a legal problem and in finding legal services that are available in their area.

The Justice for All Summit was held in conjunction with the LSC Conference and was co-hosted by the Oregon Supreme Court, the Oregon State Bar, and Oregon’s legal aid providers. The one-day summit looking at ways to coordinate Oregon’s online legal self-help resources. Speakers included Angela Tripp, the Director of the Michigan Legal Help Program; J. Singleton, from the Legal Services State Support program in Minnesota; and Stacey Marz, the Administrative Director of the Alaska Court System.

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

2020 Public Affairs Committee Members

Eric Foster, Chair
Katherine Denning, Vice Chair
Kyra Rohner
Ryan Hunt
Michael Rondeau
Joseph Hesbrook
Joe Piucci
Rob Milesnick

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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