fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

List of bills pared down in Salem

The 2020 legislative session is in its third week, and the Legislature has passed its second deadline for bills to remain viable.

Thursday, Feb. 13, was the last day for a bill to be scheduled for a vote in the legislative chamber it originated from.

A big exception is for bills referred to the Rules Committee in the House or Senate or to a financial committee. This is a lifeline for some bills that legislators think need a little more work. But for other bills, being sent to one of these committees means they don’t move at all or undergo substantial revisions.

Bills need to next pass out of the other chamber by Thursday, Feb. 20, in order to have a shot at becoming law.

Here’s where things stand:

The issue: In some parts of the state, towing companies operate with little oversight, leading to complaints that they engage in predatory practices.

What it does: Establishes a state board empowered to investigate complaints and crack down on shady towing companies.

The bill: Senate Bill 1569

Status: Still moving. Referred to Ways and Means.

***

The issue: Because of a court ruling, drivers with blood alcohol content above the legal level can’t beat a driving under the influence charge if they undergo a Breathalyzer test two hours after drinking.

What it does: Drivers who have at least 0.08% blood alcohol content two hours after getting behind the wheel would still face driving under the influence charges.

The bill: Senate Bill 1503

Status: Still moving. Passed the Senate and is the House Judiciary Committee.

***

The issue: More delivery services have sprung up allowing people to order take-out on their phones. But couch potatoes still can’t order beer or wine.

What it does: Allows delivery of beer, wine or cider.

The bill: House Bill 4117

Status: Spiked. The bill stalled in committee.

***

The issue: Federal changes to the tax code set up “opportunity zones,” which provide incentives to invest in economically depressed areas. Critics say it’s a way for wealthy investors to avoid taxes by parking money in areas that would develop anyway.

What it does: Prevents investors from getting a similar tax break under Oregon’s tax code.

The bill: House Bill 4010

Status: Still moving. The bill has been in the House Revenue Committee.

***

The issue: Some nonprofit hospitals require low-income patients to apply for Medicaid as part of their process for determining whether that person is eligible for financial aid. A Trump administration policy would make it harder for immigrants on government assistance programs to get legal status. That has some worried they’ll forgo medical care.

What it does: Prohibits nonprofit hospitals from requiring patients to apply for Medicaid when asking for financial aid offered to low-income patients.

Bill number: House Bill 4029

Status: Still moving. Passed out of the House and is scheduled for a vote in the Senate.

***

The issue: Firearms left unlocked by their owners have been blamed for suicides and as well as other shootings.

What it does: Requires gun owners to lock up their firearms when not in use or face penalties as well as liability if their guns fall in the wrong hands.

Bill number: House Bill 4005

Status: Still moving. Referred to the House Rules Committee.

***

The issue: Oregon currently has no effective limits on the amount of money that can be donated to political campaigns. A court case and a constitutional amendment that will go before voters could allow limits.

What it does: Would establish a task force to propose campaign finance regulations.

Bill number: House Bill 4124

Status: Still moving. Referred to Ways and Means Committee.

***

The issue: Contests to kill coyotes have drawn criticism that such events are inhumane.

What it does: Makes it illegal to hold coyote-killing competitions.

Bill number: House Bill 4075

Status: Still moving. Referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

***

The issue: Mattresses are difficult to dispose of.

What it does: Requires mattress manufacturers or retailers to register with a “stewardship organization” that will collect and recycle unwanted mattresses, similar to existing programs for paint and electronics.

Bill number: Senate Bill 1564

Status: Still moving. Referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

***

The issue: Kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia, is thought to have medicinal uses but there are fears it’s addictive.

What it does: Creates regulations for Kratom and ups the age to buy it to 21.

Bill number: House Bill 4013

Status: Still moving. The bill is scheduled for a vote in the House.