The Legislature is looking to make this the last week of the 2015 Legislative Session. They will work throughout the Independence Day weekend in an effort to complete their business by Sunday, July 5th. What that means for us is that our bills are starting to pass as the Legislature tries to finish up its business. Here are a few of the ORCOPS-supported items moving this past week:
HB 2002, the profiling bill, passed the Legislature earlier last week and is expected to be signed shortly by Governor Brown. ORCOPS was very involved in its crafting, along with other stakeholders, advocates, and lawmakers. On Thursday on the Senate Floor, ORCOPS was specifically thanked for our work on this measure.
HB 2357, to allow officers to carry weapons while off-duty, passed the Legislature unanimously last week after several technical adjustments to address concerns with another part of the bill.
HB 2463, which will facilitate the removal of derelict structures from public waterways, was briefly in limbo when the Senate and House both passed different versions of the bill. ORCOPS attended the “conference committee” hearing (where both House members and Senators try to work out a compromise), and urged legislators to come to a consensus. The House opted to adopt the Senate version and the bill is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.
And HB 2621, which authorizes the City of Portland to operate photo radar on certain high-crash corridors, passed the Senate late last week after a close House vote lastTuesday.
In terms of other bills, SB 822 (providing for recording of grand jury proceedings) is not moving this session. ORCOPS opposed this bill because there is a clause that subjects police officers’ proceedings to special release provisions that the general public is not subject to. We believe this creates a double-standard. However, this concept will probably be re-attempted next year. We have reached out to supporters of the measure in the hopes that the 2016 version will not include that double standard.
It’s been a banner first Legislative Session for ORCOPS, but there’s still a lot of ground to cover. As the 2015 session winds down we’re already planning for 2016 and beyond!
Daryl Turner, President