You can tell that the Legislature is getting closer to wrapping up session: they’ve started shutting down committees. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee both wrapped up their business and had their last meetings of the session. Other committees will follow shortly, because with a few exceptions, all bills need to be out of committee by the end of the week.
That means Senate Bill 87, which would have chipped away at veterans’ preferences, is officially dead for this session. (Even though the committee will probably continue to discuss “clarifying” the law and may have a different version introduced in 2016.)
Meanwhile, House Bill 2357, allowing off-duty officers the ability to carry their weapons, is on its way to the Senate floor with a unanimous recommendation from Senate Judiciary. Also heading to the Senate floor is House Bill 2571, which establishes body camera standards – and still includes ORCOPS’ preferred amendments.
House Bill 2704 would allow individuals to record on-duty police officers and was improved earlier this week to prohibit long-range or surreptitious recording. That bill, with those amendments, is heading to the Senate floor for a vote as well.
Two bills supported by ORCOPS are on their way to Governor Brown’s desk to be signed into law: First is House Bill 2208, the public records loophole fix. Once signed, this bill will take effect immediately. Law enforcement can also contact their county to request that their personal information remain exempt from public records requests. Stop by the ORCOPS website to learn more >>> Protect Your Personal Information.
Governor Brown will also sign Senate Bill 943, which provides that a county cannot charge extra fees to a non-resident officer who registers his or her vehicle at a precinct address. However, because the Legislature did not declare an “emergency” with regard to this policy, we can expect it to take effect January 1, 2016.
ORCOPS is still working on several bills that will likely pose a threat right up until the final days. You may recall Senate Bills 822 and 871, both of which contain some acceptable and some unacceptable provisions regarding grand jury processes. These bills are in the Joint Ways & Means Committee, and as such are exempt from most deadlines. However, the Legislature must wrap up ALL business by July 11 – according to the Oregon Constitution. (Although it’s more likely to end a week or so earlier.)
Daryl Turner, President