Table of Contents
- 3rd Special Session Scheduled for the end of December
- House and Senate Legislative Days Extended to Two Weeks in December
- House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees Meet Remotely
- Oregon State Bar Bills Pre-Session Filed for 2021 Legislative Session
- Racially Restrictive Covenant Forms Finalized and Posted by the Oregon Judicial Department
- Request for Public Comment from the Oregon Judicial Department
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:
Information on the legislative proposals and supporting materials can be found on OLIS under the meeting materials tag for each scheduled public meeting.
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.
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.
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/
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).
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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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