November 30, 2017

Oregon eCourt Survey for Practitioners

The joint Oregon Judicial Department/Oregon State Bar Task Force on Oregon eCourt Implementation is looking for feedback. Last spring the task force solicited feedback on Oregon eCourt as a part of the Judicial Department’s quality assurance process. Now that eCourt has been implemented in every district and efiling is mandatory throughout the state, the task force is looking for your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, and concerns regarding electronic filing and document access. The survey can be found here. The survey will close on December 22, 2017.

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Gearing up for the 2019 OSB Law Improvement Program

Is your section or committee interested in the legislative process? Is there a statutory fix that needs to be made? It may feel like the 2017 legislative session just ended, but it’s time to start planning for the 2019 legislative session. 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. In 2017, Bar members advocated for changes to the Uniform Trust Code, an incorporation of electronic technology into the corporate and LLC statutes, and spousal support modifications.

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Board of Governors oversees the Bar’s legislative activities and establishes priorities on public policy issues important to the legal profession. The PAC, chaired by Kathleen Rastetter, is made up of eight members of the Board of Governors. If your Bar group intends to propose legislation for the 2019 legislative session, proposals should be submitted to the board’s Public Affairs Committee through the Public Affairs Department byApril 2, 2018, for approval and presession drafting and filing. Bar legislative activities involve the regulation of the legal profession or the improvement of the quality of legal services available to the people of Oregon.

Over the next few months, members of the Public Affairs Department will be visiting sections and committees to provide additional information, answer questions, and explain more about the process. If you have questions, please contact Public Affairs staff at [email protected] or (503) 431-6376.

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Senate and House Interim Judiciary Committees Meet Jointly during Legislative Days

During the most recent Legislative Days, the Senate and House Interim Judiciary Committees met to discuss a number of issues, including 2018 legislative committee proposals, non-unanimous juries, preliminary hearings, distracted driving, medical marijuana regulations, and failure to perform duties of a driver. The hearing is available online at http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=24294.

For the 2018 session, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees are each proposing three bill concepts for drafting. The House Judiciary Committee is considering an omnibus bill, a consumer protection bill, and a bill dealing with amateur athletes. The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill dealing with data breach and identity theft, an omnibus bill, and a third bill that has not been finalized.

Two of the larger issues addressed during the hearing were an overview of non-unanimous juries in Oregon and an overview of preliminary hearings and the implementation of grand jury recording in Multnomah County.

Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts – Oregon and Louisiana are the only states in the country that allow for non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases. Professor Aliza Kaplan from Lewis & Clark Law School shared research and historical perspective on the use of a non-unanimous jury with the committee. Tim Colahan, Executive Director of the Oregon District Attorneys Association, discussed how the non-unanimous jury process works in Oregon and the distinctions between Oregon and Louisiana.

Preliminary Hearings – Senate Bill 505, which created a grand jury recording pilot program in Multnomah, Jackson, and Deschutes counties, was passed during the 2017 legislative session. Representatives from the Oregon Judicial Department, the Multnomah County Circuit Court, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, and the two public defender groups in Multnomah County testified about the preliminary hearing process as well as the preparations for the implementation of grand jury recording. In response to the passage of the bill, two of the three pilot circuit courts are planning to use preliminary hearings rather than the grand jury process. 85% of criminal cases in Multnomah County are expected to go through a preliminary hearing rather than before a grand jury, while 25% of the criminal cases in Jackson County will be moving to preliminary hearings. Deschutes County, however, is expected to continue with the grand jury process. Once the grand jury recording requirements expand into additional counties in 2019, the Oregon Judicial Department is expecting an additional 20,000 hearings.

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Senate Interim Judiciary Committee and Oregon State Bar Host CLE at the Oregon State Capitol on Procedural Justice

On November 14, Judge Nan Waller, Multnomah County Presiding Judge, and Judge Maureen McKnight, Multnomah County Chief Family Court Judge, presented a lunchtime access-to-justice CLE on procedural justice. The CLE focused on the concepts and theories behind procedural justice and the changes the Multnomah County courts have implemented to better meet the needs of Oregonians using the courthouse and services. Discussion focused on the use of interactive forms, courthouse listening sessions, training and peer review, and structural changes such as the new Multnomah County courthouse and the creation of a Legal Resource Center within the courthouse.

Thank you to Judge Waller and Judge McKnight for participating!

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What’s Next?

January Organizational Days: January 10-12, 2018
Deadline for bill submission: January 16, 2018
Beginning of the 2018 Legislative Session: February 5, 2018
OSB President’s Reception: February 22, 2018
Constitutional Sine die (end of session) for 2018 Legislative Session: March 9, 2018

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Archives



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

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

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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September 27, 2017

Oregon State Bar Presents on the Future of the Legal Profession to Legislative Committees

On September 19, at the request of State Senator Floyd Prozanski (Eugene), Judge Chris Garrett of the Oregon Court of Appeals and Amber Hollister, General Counsel of the Oregon State Bar, attended the Joint Interim Judiciary Committee meeting to present the findings of the OSB Futures Task Force. After a brief overview of the report’s key recommendations, legislators discussed the possible implementation of online court forms and possible cost savings, HB 4128 (2016), which addressed notario fraud in Oregon, and self-navigators (people representing themselves).

Additional information on the recommendations of the Futures Task Force will be provided on September 29 at the Oregon State Bar. The CLE, which will provide two ethics credits, is entitled Leading the Way: The Future of Referral Fee Sharing and In-Person Advertising and will explore the proposed changes to Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct 5.4 and 7.3. Registration information can be found here.

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CLEs at the Capitol return during Fall Legislative Days

After a hiatus during the 2017 legislative session, CLEs have returned to the Capitol. On September 20, the Oregon State Bar and the Interim Senate Judiciary Committee sponsored a CLE on mandatory elder abuse reporting. Daniel Norris, Elder Abuse Resources Prosecutor for the Oregon Department of Justice, and Mark Johnson Roberts, Deputy General Counsel of the Oregon State Bar, presented over the lunch hour to approximately 25 lawyers. Over the course of an hour, the presenters discussed the work of the elder abuse prosecutor and his team of investigators, the types of abuse seen in Oregon, and a lawyer’s reporting requirements.

The next CLE, addressing Procedural Fairness in the Judicial System, will be on November 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Judge Nan Waller, Presiding Judge of Multnomah County, will present a one-hour CLE at the Oregon State Capitol in Hearing Room C.

Please contact Amy Zubko at 503-431-6317 or [email protected] with any questions.

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Implementation of Oregon’s New Public Records Laws Moves Forward

During the 2017 legislative session, the Oregon Legislature passed three bills to increase the transparency and effectiveness of Oregon’s public records laws.     SB 106 sets up a legislative process to review state-agency public records requests. SB 481 addresses timelines for responding to public records requests, while HB 2101 requires the legislature to review the approximately 500 public records exemptions currently in statute.

Among other things, these bills created new positions. SB 106 created a new position, a Public Records Advocate, housed within the Secretary of State’s office. The Public Records Advocate will provide facilitated dispute resolution services for public records requests and conduct training on the requirements and best practices for processing and responding to public records requests. The Public Records Advisory Board is currently accepting applications for this position.

In addition, the Oregon State Legislature’s Legislative Counsel posted a staff attorney position with a focus on public records. HB 2101 requires Legislative Counsel’s office to prepare “open government impact statements,” which will be the responsibility of the staff attorney. The Oregon Legislature is currently accepting applications for this position.

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Oregon State Bar Releases 2017 Oregon Legislation Highlights

On September 28, the 2017 Oregon Legislation Highlights will be released. Legislation Highlights is the work of Bar members and volunteers who have reviewed and tracked over 1,000 bills during the legislative session. The book provides a brief overview of legislation, including effective dates, identified by Bar members, sections, and committees that will affect the practice of law in Oregon.

In Oregon, the default effective date for a bill is January 1 of the following year. This year a number of bills have effective dates before the default effective date of January 1, 2018.

A number of bills, usually revenue bills have an effective date of October 6, 2017.

Many bills have an emergency clause. An emergency clause makes the bill effective on passage, that is, when the Governor either proactively signs the bill or 30 days have passed and the bill was not vetoed.

Finally, a fourth option is to have a specific effective date identified within the text of the bill.

Please note that in some circumstances, different sections of a bill will have different effective dates.

Of the 698 bills enacted in Oregon this year, 356—or 51 percent—will go into effect before January 1, 2018. This number is inflated by many budget and tax bills, which generally need to go into effect at a specific time to keep state programs functioning. However, even among “policy bills,” many will take effect before the January 1 default date. For example, about 31 percent of criminal law legislation, 43 percent of labor-and-employment-related bills, and over half of health law and administrative law bills will go into effect at some point during 2017.

Thank you to all the volunteers who tracked legislation, submitted feedback, drafted chapters, and edited the 2017 Oregon Legislation Highlights. Without your hard work, publication of this legislative guide would not have been possible.

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After-Hours Electronic Filing and Electronic Access to Oregon Appellate Court Information Unavailable on September 29, 2017 – CANCELLED

Appellate eFiling Upgrade Cancelled — System Will Be Available 9/29 – 10/2

OJD has cancelled the scheduled upgrade to its appellate software, which was scheduled to begin today (September 29) at 5 p.m. and last through the weekend. As a result, there will be no interruption in service to Appellate eFiling or remote access to appellate court information. All services and systems will continue normal operation and availability.

OJD’s testing was not able to demonstrate that the upgrade could be successfully installed. We will re-schedule the upgrade when the software has successfully passed the necessary testing.

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Archives



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

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

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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August 17, 2017

When Does a Bill Actually Become Law? Effective Dates of 2017 Legislation

The 2017 session continued the trend seen in recent sessions of a number of policy bills taking effect before the default date. In Oregon, all bills passed by the legislature take effect on January 1 of the following year. There are two exceptions to this rule: (1) when the legislature specifies a special effective date or (2) when the bill includes a clause declaring an emergency, which allows the legislation to go into effect immediately upon signature by the Governor.

Of the 698 bills enacted in Oregon this year, 356—or 51 percent—will go into effect before January 1. This number is inflated by many budget and tax bills, which generally need to go into effect at a specific time to keep state programs functioning. However, even among “policy bills,” many will take effect before January 1, 2018. For example, about 31 percent of criminal law legislation, 43 percent of labor-and-employment-related bills, and over half of health law and administrative law bills will go into effect at some point during 2017.

A significant percentage of bills will take effect on October 6, 2017 as many bills go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns. The Oregon State Bar and the Professional Liability Fund will be working throughout the fall to make information available on new legislation, including through the Bar’s Oregon Legislation Highlights.

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Legislator and Board of Governors Member Appointed by Governor to Judgeships

On July 11, Governor Brown announced her appointments for a number of judicial seats throughout Oregon. These included vacant seats in Clackamas and Multnomah county circuit courts, as well as the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Clackamas County Circuit Court

      • Ann Lininger
      • Ulanda L. Watkins

Multnomah County Circuit Court

      • Christopher A. Ramras
      • Benjamin N. Souede
      • Katharine von Ter Stegge

Oregon Court of Appeals

      • Robyn E. Ridler Aoyagi
      • Bronson James
      • Steven R. Powers

Included in the list of new judges is the state representative representing Lake Oswego and Southwest Portland, Ann Lininger (District 38), and current BOG member Katharine von Ter Stegge.

Representative Lininger, who took over when Christopher Garrett, now a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals, stepped down in 2014, recently stepped down. Before ascending to the bench, Representative Lininger was a Clackamas County commissioner, a business lawyer, and a public defender.

Four candidates have been chosen by democratic precinct committee persons for the District 38 seat: Joe Buck, Theresa Kohlhoff (BOG Member 2012–2016), Andrea Salinas, and Neil Simon. District 38 includes parts of both Clackamas and Multnomah counties. Now that Representative Lininger has relinquished her seat, Clackamas and Multnomah county commissioners will determine who will serve the remainder of the term.

Katharine von Ter Stegge joined the Board of Governors in 2016 as a representative of Region 5 after serving on a number of Bar committees, including the House of Delegates and the Unlawful Practice of Law Committee. The Bar is currently seeking candidates to complete her term on the Board of Governors representing Region 5. Candidate statements of interest are due by September 26. The representative will serve from October 24, 2017, through December 31, 2019. For more information on the position, visit the Bar’s website at http://www.osbar.org/leadership/bog.

Congratulations to the newest members of Oregon’s bench!

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Oregon State Bar Interim Projects List

At the end of every legislative session, there are bills and concepts that don’t quite make it through the legislative process. The Oregon State Bar and its section and committee members will provide technical support to interim work groups that are working to update proposed statutory fixes for the next legislative session.

During the interim, Bar members will be engaged in a number of work groups and task forces. Below is a list of a few of the concepts being considered:

      • Advance directives
      • Child custody
      • Oregon guardianship provisions
      • ORS chapter 63, Limited Liability Companies
      • ORS chapter 65, Nonprofit Corporations
      • Probate modernization

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      The Oregon Judicial Department Request for Comments

      The Oregon Judicial Department is seeking public comment on the following changes to the Uniform Trial Court Rules (UTCR):

          • Proposed 2.150 (confidential financial information) for possible out-of-cycle adoption, with related Forms 2.150.1 and 2.150.2, and with conforming amendments to 2.100 and 2.110
          • New 4.110 adopted out-of-cycle by Chief Justice Order 17-039, effective August 1, 2017
          • 19.020 amended out-of-cycle by Supreme Court Order 17-028, effective June 6, 2017

      These changes and additional information may be reviewed at: http://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/utcr/Pages/currentrules.aspx.

      Comment submission may be done by:

      Please submit comments so that the Oregon Judicial Department receives them by 5:00 p.m. on September 29, 2017. Comments will be reviewed by the UTCR committee at its next meeting, currently scheduled for October 20, 2017.

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      Lunchtime CLEs returning to the Capitol

      Is 2017 your reporting year? This fall the interim Senate Committee on Judiciary and the Oregon State Bar will be cohosting lunchtime CLEs during the September and November Legislative Days. Additional information will be shared closer to the dates.

      For an up-to-date record of your MCLE credits on file, go to the Bar’s website (www.osbar.org) and log on through the Member Login link on the top of the page.

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      What’s Next

      September Legislative Days
      September 18th – 20th

      HOD Resolution Deadline
      September 19th

      BOG Election candidate statement deadline
      September 26th

      HOD Regional Meetings Scheduled
      October 17th – 19th

      BOG Election
      October 23rd

      HOD Annual Meeting
      November 3rd

      November Legislative Days
      November 13th – 15th

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      Archives



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

      2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


      Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
      John Mansfield, Vice Chair
      Guy Greco
      John Bachofner
      Chris Costantino
      Rob Gratchner
      Eric Foster
      Liani Reeves

      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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July 13, 2017

Oregon Judicial Department Receives Funding for Courthouse Construction, Renovation, and Security

This session the legislature funded courthouse upgrades in Lane and Multnomah counties, as well as the Oregon Supreme Court building in Salem for seismic retrofitting. In addition, the legislature allocated funding for security in state and county courts.

Funding for Oregon’s courthouses came through two bills this session. Senate Bill (SB) 5505, which identifies and limits the maximum amount of bond and third-party financing agreements that the state may issue, and SB 5506 establishing an expenditure limitation for capital construction projects.

SB 5505 allows the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) to issue $5.1 million for the Lane County Courthouse, $102.5 million for the completion of the Multnomah County Courthouse, and $6.1 million for the seismic upgrade to the Oregon Supreme Court building in Salem. Under SB 5506, OJD received authority to spend $8.9 million on courthouse equipment and furnishings for the Multnomah County Courthouse and $6 million on the Oregon Supreme Court building renovations.

SB 5529 allocated $6.4 million from the Criminal Fine Account towards state-court security as well as distributions to county-court security accounts. In addition, the bill allocated $3.1 million to the State Court Technology Fund to partially fund the Oregon eCourt system from the Criminal Fine Account (see next article for additional information on Oregon eCourt).

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Filing Fees and Criminal Fines increased to fund Oregon eCourt

In 2016, the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) completed its implementation of Oregon eCourt. The eCourt system is funded through three funding sources: civil filing fees, criminal fines and assessments, and user fees. At the beginning of the legislative session, the OJD identified an $8.3 million shortfall in funding for the Oregon eCourt program and identified four possible funding sources.

HB 2795 increases civil-court filing fees by five percent as of October 1, 2017. This will raise an additional $2.9 million for OJD to fund Oregon eCourt. HB 2797 increases presumptive criminal fines by $5 beginning on January 1, 2018 and will raise an additional $3.1 million to fund Oregon eCourt. In addition, eCourt user fees were increased on July 1 to raise $1.5 million as well.

The fourth proposed funding source is an assessment on governmental entities. Currently, 60% of the total users are public subscribers such as law-enforcement entities, the Oregon Department of Justice, public-defense providers, district attorneys, and legal aid. These entities do not pay to access the Oregon eCourt system. Though the proposal was discussed this session, it was not implemented.

SB 505 passed the Senate by 21-7 and the House by 34-26.

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Legislature Addresses Increase in Women’s Prison Population with HB 3078

At the end of last year, the Oregon Department of Corrections faced a bed shortage for female prisoners. For a number of years, this lack of capacity has been an area of concern for public-safety stakeholders. In response, a variety of solutions were considered including building a second women’s prison in Oregon, sending female prisoners to be incarcerated out of state or working with counties to release county holds so prisoners may be transferred.

Prior to the 2017 legislative session, a work group—chaired by Lane Shetterly and Greg MacPherson and including elected officials, representatives from the District Attorneys, law enforcement, the Partnership for Safety & Justice, the Criminal Justice Commission, and community corrections—met to discuss possible changes to the public-safety system with the goal of reducing the number of prison beds by 880 by the year 2025. Their proposed solutions, HB 3078, instead invests in local communities for accountability and supervision, treatment, rehabilitation, and victim services. The bill includes the proposed changes from the work group to manage the growth of the women’s prison population:

      • Increases the limit for short-term transitional leave from prison from 90 to 120 days
      • Modifies theft in the first degree and identity theft (Measure 57 crimes) to permit shorter presumptive sentences with stricter supervision
      • Expands the number of offenders that may be eligible to participate in the Family Sentencing Alternative Pilot Program

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      When Does a Bill Really Become a Law?

      On Friday, July 7, 2017, the House and Senate adjorned sine die and the legislative session closed after. After the legislature adjourns, there are still a few steps each piece of legislation needs to complete before being published in an updated copy of the Oregon Revised Statutes.

      Governor’s signature. During the legislative session, the Governor has five business days to veto whole bills or “single items in appropriation bills.” For bills that are passed in the last five days of session, the Governor has 30 days to veto a bill. A bill may pass without the Governor’s signature. If 30 days have passed and the Governor has not vetoed the bill, it is presumed signed.

      Effective Date. In Oregon, the default effective date for a bill is January 1 of the following year. This session, a bill without a specifically noted effective date in the text of the legislation will have an effective date of January 1, 2018. 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 on passage, that is, when the Governor either proactively signs the bill 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. The fourth option is to have a specific effective date identified within the text of the bill. Please note that in some circumstances, different sections of a bill will have different effective dates.

      Resources. Information on a bill can also be found in the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). For bills passed during the 2017 legislative session, click on the “Bills” icon on 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 2017 issue of Legislation Highlights which will be published this Fall.

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      2017 – 2018 Interim Schedule

      August 23, Revenue Forecast

      September 18 – 20, Legislative Days
      September 21, Task Force Day

      November 7, Election Day
      November 13 – 15, Legislative Days
      November 16, Task Force Day
      November 29, Revenue Forecast

      January 9, Task Force Day
      January 10 – 12, Legislative Days
      January 16, Bills submitted to Secretary of Senate/Clerk of House for 2018 Legislative Session

      February 5, 2018 Legislative Session Begins
      February 16, Revenue Forecast

      March 11, 2018 Legislative Session Ends, Constitutional Sine Die

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      Archives



      Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
      We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

      2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


      Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
      John Mansfield, Vice Chair
      Guy Greco
      John Bachofner
      Chris Costantino
      Rob Gratchner
      Eric Foster
      Liani Reeves

      Public Affairs Department


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

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July 10, 2017

Three Public-Records Bills Pass the Legislature

This session, three public-records bills have made their way through the legislative process. Senate Bill (SB) 481 passed earlier in the session and has an effective date of January 1, 2018. The bill establishes a specific timeline for responses to public-records requests as well as outlines how smaller agencies and commissions with limited resources can respond to requests. In addition, the bill would also require the creation of a list of the disclosure exemptions to Oregon’s public-records laws.

The second bill, SB 106, creates a Public Records Advocate as well as a Public Records Advisory Council to assist in disputes between public bodies and persons who request public records. The third bill, House Bill (HB) 2101, creates the 15-member Oregon Sunshine Committee. The committee is tasked with reviewing all exemptions to the disclosure of public records, identifying areas for improvement, and reporting back to the legislature.

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Grand-Jury Recording Bill Passes Legislature

Senate Bill 505 requires county district attorneys to instruct grand jurors to electronically record all grand-jury proceedings. These recordings are then stored on servers provided and maintained by the Oregon Judicial Department. The legislature will appropriate $1.5 million to pay for staff as well as the purchase and maintenance of recording equipment. Recording will begin on March 1, 2018 in three counties: Multnomah, Jackson, and Deschutes. The remaining counties must begin by July 1, 2019. Concerns have been raised that the recording requirement may lead to an increased use of preliminary hearings and protective orders. If necessary, an additional $8.5 million has been earmarked for the program.

The bill requires the Public Defense Services Commission, the Oregon Judicial Department, and each county that begins grand-jury recording on March 1, 2018 to report back to the legislature.

SB 505 passed the Senate by 21-7 and the House by 34-26.

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HB 2355 addresses racial profiling in Oregon and modifies possession of controlled substances sentencing

On Thursday, July 6, 2017, HB 2355 passed out of the Legislature and is on the way to the Governor for her signature. HB 2355 does two things. First, the bill requires the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) to develop and implement a process for law enforcement to record traffic-stop data. The collected data will then be reviewed by the Commission to identify profiling patterns and practices. The Commission is required to report back to the Governor, the Oregon Legislature, and the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training by December 1, 2019.

Second, it reduces the classification of unlawful possession of controlled substances, for both Schedule I and Schedule II, from a felony to a misdemeanor. It should be noted that there are exceptions to this change. For example, if the amount is a “useable quantity” and is a commercial drug offense, or if the person has a prior felony conviction, the felony classification remains (see the bill for the full list of exceptions).

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Legislature Passes Bill to Allow for Greater Oversight of Shell Corporations in Oregon

Over the last decade the legislature has examined the use of fraudulent shell corporations in Oregon. HB 2191 provides the Secretary of State with the ability to investigate corporations and limited liability corporations for possible violations of business registration statutes and to inform law enforcement. Further, the bill allows the Secretary of State to impose civil penalties or, in some situations, to cancel an incorporation or dissolve a business entity. The bill also provides additional oversight authority to the Oregon Department of Revenue and creates a private right of action against fraudulent shell corporations.

The Secretary of State will receive an additional percentage of the business registration fees from the Corporation Division to fund the bill. HB 2191 passed the Legislature and is on the way to the Governor.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


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

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June 30, 2017

Oregon Judicial Department Budget Passes out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

On June 28, 2017, the budget of the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD), HB 5013, passed out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. The bill is now headed to the House and Senate floors for a vote. Although the total funds of $503,751,137 is less that the amount identified as necessary to fund the department at the current service level, the funding does identify earmarked dollars for Oregon eCourt as well as treatment and specialty court programs. Further, the budget in HB 5013 does not include funding for capital construction projects such as the Multnomah County Courthouse. Projects such as courthouse reconstruction may be addressed in another bill later in the legislative process.

The OJD budget includes a 4.4 percent reduction (approximately $14 million) in General Fund dollars for the trial, tax, and appellate courts as well as court administration. Further, there is nearly a $1 million reduction in funding for pass-through payments. These reductions will apply to mediation and conciliation services, law libraries, court security, the Oregon Law Commission, and the Council on Court Procedures.

The Oregon eCourt program, as part of the OJD budget, received approval for a $10.7 million Other Fund expenditure from the State Court Technology Fund. This funding will be directed towards supporting staff positions and to make other payments as necessary for Oregon eCourt. HB 2795 and HB 2797, which will increase filing fees and criminal fine amounts to fund Oregon eCourt, are moving forward as well.

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New Judges for Josephine and Washington Counties

HB 2605, as introduced, would have increased the total number of circuit-court positions in Oregon by adding nine new judicial positions to begin in January 2019. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee and was sent to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

After reviewing the proposal, the Public Safety Subcommittee of the Joint Ways and Means Committee amended the bill to add a total of two new circuit-court judicial positions rather than nine: one in Josephine County and one in Washington County beginning in January 2019, after the 2018 general election. The Oregon Judicial Department received over $600,000 General Fund dollars, in addition to its 2017–2019 biennial budget, for the cost of establishing these two new judgeships. Chief Justice Thomas Balmer testified in support of the new positions during the public hearing on the bill.

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Public Defense Services Commission Budget Passes out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

On June 28, 2017, the budget of the Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC), HB 5033, passed out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. The bill is now headed to the House and Senate floors for a vote. The recommended budget for the 2017–2019 biennium is $303,877,532 total funds, an increase from the legislatively approved budget. However, similar to a number of other agency and commission budgets passing through the legislature, this budget is below the current service level of funding, in this case by $1.6 million.

Although the budget is below the current service level, the legislature did add $4.7 million in General Funds to the PDSC budget. This funding addresses an ongoing shortfall in the current service level and should decrease the need to request appropriation of additional funds at the end of the biennium. In years past, the PDSC has found it necessary to petition the legislature for additional funds towards the end of the biennium to address a funding shortfall.

The Parent Child Representation Program, which began as a pilot program in 2014, will continue in those counties where the program has been established (Columbia, Linn, and Yamhill). But additional funding to expand the program was not added to the PDSC 2017–2019 budget.

Some policy bills that could affect the PDSC budget have been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee but have not yet been scheduled. If those bills pass out of committee, they will be addressed in the end-of-session reconciliation bills.

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Bills of Interest

      • HB 2004 – During first nine months of occupancy, prohibits landlord from terminating month-to-month tenancy within 60 days of receiving from tenant request for repairs to correct certain building, health or housing code violation or uninhabitable condition.
      • HB 2101 – Directs Legislative Counsel to prepare open government impact statement for measures that affect disclosure, or exemption from disclosure, of public records.
      • HB 2191 – Authorizes Secretary of State to investigate alleged or potential violations of business entity statutes and to require business entity to provide list of shareholders and respond to interrogatories
      • HB 2356 – Establishes requirements under which a debt buyer may bring legal action to collect a debt.
      • HB 2600 – Transfers authority over court appointed special advocates.
      • HB 2605 – Increases number of circuit court judges in certain judicial districts.
      • HB 2795 – Increases certain filing fees, motion fees, settlement conference fees, trial fees, fees for writs of garnishment, and marriage solemnization fees.
      • HB 2797 – Increases the presumptive fine for violations, including traffic violations occurring in certain locations.
      • HB 3357 – Increases amount of fees charged and collected by county clerks to record or file certain real property documents.
      • HB 5006 – Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Emergency Board for allocations during biennium.
      • HB 5013 – Appropriates moneys from the General Fund to the Judicial Department for biennial expenses.
      • HB 5033 – Appropriates moneys from the General Fund to the Public Defense Services Commission for certain biennial expenses.
      • SB 106  – Creates the Public Records Advocate and Public Records Advisory Council.
      • SB 481  – Establishes time frames for public body responses to public records requests.
      • SB 496  – Directs presiding judges of judicial districts within state to ensure proceedings before grand jury are recorded.
      • SB 505 – Directs district attorney to ensure proceedings before grand jury are recorded.
      • SB 5506 – Limits for six-year period beginning July 1, 2017, payment of expenses from fees, moneys or other revenues, including Miscellaneous Receipts, but excluding lottery funds and federal funds, collected or received by various state agencies for capital construction.

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      Archives



      Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
      We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

      2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


      Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
      John Mansfield, Vice Chair
      Guy Greco
      John Bachofner
      Chris Costantino
      Rob Gratchner
      Eric Foster
      Liani Reeves

      Public Affairs Department


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

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May 31, 2017

Day at the Capitol Brings Lawyers to Salem in Support of Judicial Branch Funding

On May 23, members of the Bar traveled from all over the state to participate in the Bar’s Day at the Capitol. Fifty Bar members took time out of their schedules to meet with 23 legislators throughout the day to discuss the Bar’s legislative priorities: funding for the court system, legal aid, and indigent defense, and the Bar’s law improvement proposals.

Over the lunch hour, legislators, as well as representatives from the Oregon Judicial Department, Public Defense Services Commission, and legal aid, discussed the challenges the judicial system is facing. Justices Martha Walters and David Brewer, introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney, focused on the need to fund Oregon eCourt and the state’s courthouses, and on ensuring that the court system stays at the current funding level. John Potter, vice chair of the Public Defense Services Commission, discussed the need for pay parity between public defenders and deputy district attorneys and the need for consistent and stable funding, while Amy Edwards, president of the Oregon Law Center board, spoke about the importance of funding legal aid services in Oregon. In addition, Senator Floyd Prozanski and Representatives Phil Barnhart, Duane Stark, Karin Power and Richard Vial all discussed the importance of stable funding for the judicial system. Thank you to our speakers, legislators, and to each of the volunteers who traveled to Salem to share the Bar’s support of judicial funding with legislators.

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Bills of Interest in the Joint Ways and Means Committee

The Joint Ways and Means Committee reviews and votes on legislation that needs state funding as well as the budgets of state agencies, boards, commissions, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch. Including the agency budget bills, there are approximately 400 bills assigned to the committee. Below are some of the bills the Bar is tracking. A full list of measures assigned to the Ways and Means Committee is posted here.

      • HB 2191 – Authorizes Secretary of State to investigate alleged or potential violations of business entity statutes and to require business entity to provide list of shareholders and respond to interrogatories
      • HB 2171 – Requires the Oregon Volunteers Commission for Voluntary Action and Service to maintain a volunteer staff of court appointed special advocates sufficient to meet the statutory requirement to appoint a court appointed special advocate in every juvenile dependency proceeding.
      • HB 2356 – Establishes requirements under which a debt buyer may bring legal action to collect a debt.
      • HB 2561 – Directs the Public Defense Services Commission to adopt policies providing for compensation of appointed counsel at a rate commensurate with compensation of the equivalent position within the office of the district attorney.
      • HB 2605 – Increases the number of circuit court judges in several judicial districts.
      • HB 2636 – Modifies annual salaries of judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Oregon Tax Court, and circuit courts.
      • HB 2795 – Increases certain filing fees, motion fees, settlement conference fees, trial fees, fees for writs of garnishment, and marriage solemnization fees.
      • HB 2797 – Increases the presumptive fine for violations, including traffic violations occurring in certain locations.
      • HB 5013 – Appropriates moneys from the General Fund to the Judicial Department for biennial expenses.
      • HB 5033 – Appropriates moneys from the General Fund to the Public Defense Services Commission for certain biennial expenses.
      • SB 11 – Modifies annual salaries of judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Oregon Tax Court, and circuit courts.
      • SB 106  – Creates the Public Records Advocate and Public Records Advisory Council.
      • SB 503 – Directs the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to establish uniform visitor policies.
      • SB 5535 – Appropriates moneys from the General Fund to the Department of Revenue for biennial expenses.

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      Senate and House Propose Modifications to Corporate Taxation in Oregon

      This year both the Senate and the House have developed legislation to modify the corporate taxation system in Oregon. Both proposals would move away from the current corporate income tax and replace the tax with a corporate activities tax.

      The proposal from the House, championed by House Speaker Tina Kotek, Representative Nancy Nathanson, and Representative Phil Barnhart, is called the Oregon Education Investment Initiative. Like the Senate proposal, the House proposal would eliminate the corporate income tax. In its place would be a 0.95 percent corporate activities tax on Oregon sales above $5 million. The proposal also includes personal income tax reductions to low- and middle-income households, which have not yet been finalized.

      The proposal from the Senate, championed by Senator Mark Hass, would also eliminate the corporate income tax. In its place would also be a corporate activities tax on all businesses. Those businesses with annual gross receipts of less than $150,000 would not be required to file a corporate activities tax return. Businesses with gross receipts greater than $150,000 but less than $1 million would be required to file a return and pay a $250 flat amount. Those businesses with annual Oregon gross receipts greater than $1 million would be subject to a corporate activities tax equal to $250 plus an undetermined percentage of gross receipts greater than $1 million.

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      What’s New with the OJD /eCourt?

      • The circuit court eFiling system (OJD eFiling) now accepts electronic checks (eCheck) as a payment method. You can setup an eCheck payment account through your OJD eFiling account. Using eCheck will help keep costs down and limit future increases in filing fees.
      • The Oregon Judicial Department now offers interview-based forms (iForms) to file and respond to dissolution, separation, and child support/custody cases. A new parenting plan iForm is also available. These forms help self-represented litigants ensure that complete and legible information is provided in their cases. For more information go to http://www.courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OnlineServices/iForms/Pages/index.aspx.
      • New website incoming! The Oregon Judicial Department is redesigning its website to be mobile friendly, have a consistent appearance, and be easier to navigate. More information coming soon.

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      Legislative Schedule Approaches Second Major Deadline

      June 2, 2017, is the second major deadline in the Oregon Legislature’s 2017 session. All bills currently in policy committees must have moved out of the committee in the second chamber by the end of the day on June 2. Bills that have not moved out of committee and to the floor, or to Rules, Revenue, a joint committee, or the Ways and Means Committee will be dead.

      Before the beginning of the session, House and Senate leadership identified June 23 as their goal for completing the legislative session. The constitutional close of session is July 10.

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      Senate Announces One-Hour Notice for Committee Meetings

      As of May 31, 2017, the Senate requires, at a minimum, one-hour notice prior to a committee meeting. While the expectation is 24 hours notice, one hour notice is available with the Senate President’s approval.

    • Prior to May 31, committees were required to provide either 48 or 72 hours’ notice before a committee meeting. If you are currently tracking legislation, please note this new timeline.Back to top

      Archives



      Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
      We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

      2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


      Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
      John Mansfield, Vice Chair
      Guy Greco
      John Bachofner
      Chris Costantino
      Rob Gratchner
      Eric Foster
      Liani Reeves

      Public Affairs Department


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

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May 1, 2017

May 23rd – Join us for Day at the Capitol

Please join the Oregon State Bar for the biannual Day at the Capitol on May 23, 2017. This is an opportunity to meet your legislators; advocate for court funding, indigent defense, and civil legal services; and develop an in-depth understanding of the legislative process.

There will be a program at noon with remarks by Justice Martha Walters and Justice David Brewer from the Oregon Supreme Court, John Potter from the Public Defense Services Commission, and Amy Edwards from Legal Aid. Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Public Affairs Department at [email protected] to RSVP.

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Oregon Judicial Department testifies on court facilities and funding for Oregon eCourt

On April 24th and 25th, the Oregon Judicial Department returned to the Joint Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee to provide additional information on two projects: (1) court facilities and (2) additional funding for Oregon eCourt.

The court-facilities presentation focused on the courthouse replacements and improvements completed during the 2015–2017 biennium as well as the expected efforts for the 2017–2019 biennium. A complete list of possible court-facility funding requests can be found in the Chief Justice Report on Potential Courthouse Replacement Funding Requests submitted to the Legislature’s Emergency Board in October of 2016. Below is a list of possible projects for the 2017–2019 biennium.

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2017–2019 Proposed Courthouse Capitol Construction and Improvement Projects

  • Multnomah, Clackamas, and Hood River Counties – Courthouse replacement
  • Douglas County – Plumbing
  • Benton County – Roof repair and boiler replacement
  • Clatsop County – Security upgrades, courtroom AV, elevator
  • Columbia County – Dry rot, safety-alert system, backup generator, HVAC
  • Grant County – Window replacement
  • Jackson County – Blower fan, HVAC controls, backup generator/switch
  • Wasco County – Window replacement
  • Wheeler County – Roofing

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Oregon eCourt Funding

The discussion of Oregon eCourt funding on April 25th focused on possible plans to make up for the expected funding shortfall of approximately $8 million for the 2017–2019 biennium.

Currently, approximately 60 percent of the subscribers of the Oregon Judicial Case Information Network (OJCIN)—which includes Oregon eCourt and the file and serve system—are public, nonpaying members. Public members include the Department of Justice, Public Defense Providers, law enforcement, and the Department of Human Services. The remaining 40 percent of subscribers, such as attorneys and law firms, media, and title companies, are considered private subscribers and pay a one-time registration fee and subsequent monthly fees to receive access to documents.

Funding sources currently being discussed include a 5-percent increase in filing fees, a $5 increase in criminal fines and assessments, an increase in OJCIN user fees, and a state agency assessment on the public subscribers.

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Legislative Session passes first deadline

On April 18th, the Legislature hit its first scheduling deadline of the 2017 session. Unless a bill was in the Rules, Revenue, or one of the Joint Committees, the bill must have passed out of committee in its chamber of origin by April 18th. This session, a number of bills that the Bar is tracking passed out of committee before the deadline and are on their way to the second chamber. The next chamber deadline for moving a bill out of committee is June 2nd.

Below are some of the bills that the Bar and its sections have been following over the last few weeks.

Public Records Bills
HB 2101: Sunsets certain exemptions from disclosure for public records.
SB 106: Creates Public Records Advocate and Public Records Advisory Council.
SB 481: Establishes state policy regarding public access to public records.

Grand Jury Bills
SB 496: Directs presiding judges of judicial districts within the state to ensure that proceedings before a grand jury are recorded.
SB 505: Directs district attorneys to ensure that proceedings before a grand jury are recorded.

Budget Bills
HB 5013: 2017–2019 Oregon Judicial Department Budget.
HB 5033: 2017–2019 Public Defense Services Commission Budget.
SB 5535: 2017–2019 Oregon Department of Revenue Budget.

Judicial Compensation and Number of Judges
HB 2605: Increases the number of circuit-court judges in several judicial districts.
HB 2636/SB 11: Modifies annual salaries of judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Oregon Tax Court, and circuit courts.

Oregon eCourt Funding
HB 2795: Increases certain filing fees, motion fees, settlement-conference fees, trial fees, fees for writs of garnishment, and marriage-solemnization fees
HB 2597: Increases presumptive fine for violations, including traffic violations occurring in certain locations

Representation in Juvenile Proceedings
HB 2345: Extends sunset on provision authorizing Department of Human Services to appear as a party in juvenile-court proceedings without appearance of Attorney General.
SB 525: Extends sunset on provision authorizing Department of Human Services to appear as a party in juvenile-court proceedings without appearance of Attorney General.

Other Bills of Interest
HB 2191: Requires a person to obtain or renew license from the Secretary of State in order to serve as a commercial registered agent in this state (Business Law Section).
HB 2356: Establishes requirements under which a debt buyer may bring legal action to collect a debt (Debtor-Creditor and Consumer Law Sections).
HB 2793: Requires a person convicted of commercial sexual solicitation to disclose to the court all Oregon licenses, certificates, permits, and registrations that the person holds (Administrative Law Section).
SB 131: Modifies provisions relating to telephonic testimony in certain proceedings.
SB 722: Provides that debt management service provider may charge a fee of not more than $100 for service in which the debt management service provider improves or preserves, or offers to improve or preserve, a consumer’s credit record, credit history, or credit rating but does not conduct a budget analysis for the consumer, act as broker for another debt management service provider, or otherwise engage in other activity that constitutes debt management service.
SB 898: Establishes Task Force on Custody and Parenting Time (Family Law Section).
SB 931: Provides that the court has discretion over the selection of alternate jurors and when alternate jurors are informed of alternate status.

This is a partial list of bills that the Bar is currently tracking. If you have questions about a specific bill, please contact the Public Affairs Department at [email protected].

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Oregon Court of Appeals Vacancies

On April 12, 2017, Governor Kate Brown announced that she is accepting applications for two openings on the Oregon Court of Appeals. The first vacancy was occasioned by the appointment of Justice Meagan A. Flynn to the Oregon Supreme Court, effective April 4, 2017. The second vacancy will be occasioned by the retirement of Judge Timothy J. Sercombe, which will become effective July 1, 2017. The submission deadline has been extended from May 3, 2017 to May 5, 2017. Details available here.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


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

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April 14, 2017

Oregon State Bar and Citizens Campaign for Court Funding Support Judicial Branch Budget

The Public Safety Subcommittee of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, the budgeting authority in the Legislature, held a week of hearings on SB 5013, the budget of the Oregon Judicial Department’s (OJD). Over the week of hearings, Chief Justice Balmer and OJD staff presented the department’s budget, the expected outcome of possible cuts to the current funding level, and their budget priorities. On the last day of testimony, the subcommittee heard public testimony from the Bar, the Citizens’ Campaign for Court Funding, the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, the Oregon District Attorneys Association, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Multnomah Bar Association among others. Thank you to Ed Harnden for traveling to the Capitol and testifying on behalf of the Bar and the Citizens’ Campaign for Court Funding in support of adequate funding for the Judicial Department.

OJD focused on funding for Oregon eCourt, an increase in judicial compensation, and updating court facilities as its main budget priorities. In addition, OJD described the outcomes of cutting its budget by 15 percent, 10 percent, and 5 percent.

The department is expected to return to the subcommittee for a second round of hearings later in the session.

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Increase in Filing Fees, Criminal Fines, and Document Access Fees Proposed for 2017 – 2019 Biennium

With the implementation of Oregon eCourt complete, the project has moved to maintenance funding rather than implementation funding. Current funding sources are insufficient and OJD is facing an approximate $9 million deficit for the 2017 – 2019 biennium. During the OJD budget presentation, the proposed increases to filing fees, criminal fines and document access fees were shared with the subcommittee.

Under the proposal as it currently stands, civil filing fees would increase 5 percent to raise $3.2 million. Criminal fines and assessments would increase by $5 to raise $3.6 million and Oregon Judicial Case Information Network user fees would increase as well to raise an additional $1.5 million.

The increases to the civil filing fees and the criminal fines and assessments will need a statutory change while the user fees would be modified by an order of the Chief Justice. The details of the increase in user fees are under discussion.  Proposed amendments to HB 2795 and HB 2797, which implement these increases, are available on the legislature’s website under the bill numbers.

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Public Defense Services Commission Presents Budget to Ways and Means Committee

On March 28, the Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) began its budget presentation to the Public Safety subcommittee of the Joint Ways and Means Committee. Adequate funding for PDSC is a Bar priority and Bar president, Michael Lavelle, submitted a letter of support on behalf of the Bar. In addition, Per Ramsfjord, chair of the PDSC and current BOG member, also testified in support of the budget.

The hearings on HB 5033, which lasted three days, focused on the 2017 – 2019 budget as well as priorities for PDSC. This budget cycle, the priorities include pay parity for public defenders, the increase in caseload, and the expansion of the parent-child representation pilot program.

The joint co-chair’s budget for PDSC includes a 3.5 percent reduction from current service level funding for OJD which is approximately a $10.6 million cut.

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Public Records Bills Receive Public Hearing

Over the last two years, the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office, and a number of stakeholders have discussed changes to the way Oregon deals with public records requests. This session, a number of bills were proposed, including SB 106,  SB 481, and HB 2101. SB 106 sets up a legislative process to review state agency public records requests. SB 481 addresses timelines for responding to public record requests are addressed, while HB 2101 requires the legislature to review the approximately 500 public records exemptions currently in statute.

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Chief Justice Edwin J. Peterson Portrait Unveiled

On April 5, the Oregon Supreme Court hosted a portrait unveiling of Chief Justice Edwin J. Peterson.  Chief Justice Peterson was elected to the position in 1983 and served as the Chief Justice until 1991, ultimately retiring from the Oregon Supreme Court in 1994.

Chief Justice Peterson is perhaps best known for his leadership to combat bias in the judicial system and to ensure procedural fairness for all people involved in the court system.  In 1992, he was appointed to chair a task force investigating racial issues in the court system. The task force released its report, Report of the Oregon Supreme Court Task Force on Racial/Ethnic Issues in the Judicial System  in 1994 which found that racial bias existed in law enforcement and the court system. This report continues to be a touchstone and its recommendations and findings are still cited.

Judge Douglas Tookey, Gena Johnnie, Ed Harnden, Mark Comstock, Mary Zeek, and Hunter Emerick spearheaded the portrait commission.

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Bills of Interest

HB 2191 – Among other things, requires a person to obtain or renew a license from the Secretary of State in order to serve as a commercial registered agent in Oregon. The bill will have a work session on April 14.

SB 95 – Requires certain financial professionals to report suspected elder abuse. The bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Human Services and the Senate Judiciary Committee and is on its way to the Senate Floor.

SB 494 – Establishes the Advance Directive Rules Adoption Committee and updates statutory forms. The bill will have a work session on April 18.

SB 5535 – Sets the 2017 – 2019 budget for the Oregon Department of Revenue. The department’s budget went through four days of testimony in the General Government Subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


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

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March 10, 2017

Law Improvement Bills Move out of the First Chamber

After the first month of the legislative session, six of the Oregon State Bar law improvement bills have either passed out of their first chamber or are on the way to a floor vote. The two Board of Governors bills, SB 490, which implements administrative changes, and SB 491, which implements the changes from the Bar’s Discipline System Review Committee, have passed the Senate and been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. The Estate Planning and Administration Law Section’s bill, HB 2608, which modifies the Uniform Trust Code, and the Business Law Section’s bill HB 2610, which allows for electronic signatures, have passed the House and been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On March 1, the two bills from the Family Law Section, SB 492 and SB 522, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 492, which simplifies the spousal support modification process, passed out of committee without amendment on a 3–2 vote. SB 522, which allows courts to allow a claim for life insurance proceeds from a third-party beneficiary in specific situations, passed out of committee with a 5–0 vote. The two Family Law Section bills passed the Senate by a 16–13 vote and a 31–0 vote respectively on March 7.

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75th Anniversary of Japanese American Internment Recognized by Legislature

Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 14 passed out of the Senate on February 16, 2017. The resolution acknowledges the 75th anniversary of Japanese American internment during World War II and recognizes the national Day of Remembrance.

The resolution was brought forward by the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Representatives from the Oregon Nikkei Endowment, the Commission, as well as Oregonians who lived in the internment camps, were invited to sit on the Senate floor during the vote.

The resolution received bipartisan support in the Senate. Senators Dembrow, Thomsen, Monnes Anderson, Prozanski, and Ferrioli all spoke in support of SCR 14. On March 7, 2017, SCR 14 was amended in the House Rules Committee. The House will vote on it in the coming week.

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Oregon State Bar Day at the Capitol – May 23, 2017

Please join the Oregon State Bar for the biannual Day at the Capitol on May 23, 2017. This is an opportunity to meet your legislators; advocate for court funding, indigent defense, and civil legal services; and develop an in-depth understanding of the legislative process. Additional information will be released in the next few weeks.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Public Affairs Department at [email protected] for more information.

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Bills of Interest

Over the last few weeks, Bar sections and committees have continued to engage on a variety of pieces of proposed legislation. Not only has the Bar expressed support for judicial compensation and increasing the number of judges, the Consumer Law Section and the Administrative Law Section have also submitted testimony regarding proposed legislation.

HB 2605 – Increases number of circuit court judges in certain judicial districts. The Oregon State Bar submitted testimony in support of this bill.

HB 2636 – Modifies annual salaries of judges of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Oregon Tax Court, and circuit courts. The Oregon State Bar submitted testimony in support of this bill.

SB 98 – Requires certain persons that service residential mortgage loans in Oregon to obtain or renew license. The Consumer Law Section submitted testimony in support of this bill.

SB 131 – Modifies provisions relating to allowance of telephone testimony in certain proceedings. The Public Affairs Committee directed the Bar to engage in a work group to ensure the bill addressed the use of telephone testimony in both civil and criminal cases.

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Citizens’ Campaign for Court Funding Hosts Breakfast with the Chief Justice

On February 21, Mike Haglund, Ed Harnden, and Peter Bragdon hosted Chief Justice Thomas Balmer and members of the Corporate Counsel and Business Law sections, as well as a number of interested attorneys, to discuss the importance of funding Oregon’s court system in the current budget cycle. The Citizens’ Campaign for Court Funding was founded in 2011 in response to the budget cuts and subsequent furlough days the courts experienced during the 2009–2011 biennium.

The Governor’s proposed budget, released just before the legislative session began, suggested that the courts’ current-service-level funding should be cut by 3 percent. Taking into consideration the constitutionally and statutorily mandated payments, this would result in an approximately 5 percent cut to Oregon’s court budget for the 2017–2019 budget. These cuts could result in fewer staff and delays in court scheduling.

To find out more about the Citizens’ Campaign for Court Funding, please contact Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director. Additional information on this important project can be found at https://publicaffairs.osbar.org/court-funding/.

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Ways and Means Road Shows

Thank you to the Bar members who participated in the Ways and Means Roadshows over the last month. We appreciate your commitment to funding Oregon’s courts, indigent defense, and civil legal services.

Vanessa Nordyke – Salem, OR
Eric Foster – Ashland, OR
Steve Corey – Hermiston, OR
Gerry Gaydos – Eugene, OR
Steve Bryant – Madras, OR

If you are interested in advocating for the Bar’s legislative priorities, please let us know who represents you in the state legislature. The Oregon State Legislature provides a search tool: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html.

Please e-mail [email protected] if you need help identifying your representatives. We look forward to working with you.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


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

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