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Bizarre legislative bills eventually died in Salem

Back in January, you ran a story about a bunch of weird bills that were before the Oregon Legislature, including one about banning the use of Oregon Trail cards to buy junk food and something about cheaters as criminals. Could you give us an update on how those bills fared in the Legislature?

— Ben, Medford

Each year, Ben, the Oregon Legislature deals with a bunch of bizarre bills, often entered by senators and representatives on behalf of constituents. We did air a list of some of the odder ones, and we at Since You Asked Central join your interest in how they fared.

A search of the Oregon Legislature's legislation website shows that none of the bills passed, though a couple did come close. Also, none have pending hearings, which is code for having died a quiet death in a Senate or House committee.

So here are the bills we highlighted in January, and where they died.

Senate Bill 489 sought to ban use of Oregon Trail cards to purchase "junk food." What could be considered the Healthy Munchies Bill died in the Senate Committee on Human Services and Early Childhood.

House Bill 2281 would have directed the Oregon Department of Transportation to look into developing uniform standards for speed-bump heights and markings. This Speed Bump Sanity Bill actually passed out of the House but died in the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation.

House Bill 2267, which would allowed certain all-terrain vehicles and off-road motorcycles to operate legally on highways, crashed and burned in the House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development.

Senate Bill 171 sought to make it legal for drivers already towing a travel-trailer to also tow a trailered boat at the same time. It died in the same Senate committee that shelved the speed-bump bill.

Senate Bill 459 would have increased the maximum speed on Interstate highways to 70 mph and bump up the maximum speed on state highways to 60 mph. It lost traction in the Senate Rules Committee.

Senate Bill 344 — In a nod to the notion that a state is judged by how it treats its cheats, the bill would have reduced the crime of "cheating" in legal or illegal gambling activity from a Class C felony to a Class A misdemeanor. Early odds had it at 3-to-1 for passing, but it folded in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.