Here's the latest in AAUW of OR Public Policy. Hope you like our new format. The State Public Policy Committee has also decided that these Public Policy Updates should be sent to all our members rather than just those who have expressed an interest in receiving them. If you are new to the Updates — Welcome aboard!
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN THE STATE PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE. We have a great group, your time commitment depends on your schedule and you will be able to directly impact Oregon's public policy. What a combination!!
1 - LOBBY EVENINGS: Thanks to all of you who attended our Lobby Evenings. We heard from three women legislators: House Representatives WLnsvey Campos, Courtney Neron and Lisa Reynolds. They told us why they decided to run for public office and how they navigate the intersection of politics, policy making and partisanship. While partisanship in particular is not easy to navigate, they each found ways to advance important priorities. We also heard from veteran news reporter and commentator Dick Hughes who talked about how legislators must balance conscience, caucus and constituents in making the trade-offs that result in good public policy.
2 - HEALTH CARE AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT: AAUW of OR signed onto a coalition letter backing voter referral of an amendment to the Oregon Constitution -- the HOPE Amendment -- which establishes a state obligation to ensure every Oregon resident has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate, and affordable health care. Stay tuned for your chance to vote on this Amendment in November's election.
3. - OVER 25 AAUW of OR MEMBERS WRITE LETTERS OF SUPPORT FOR LEGISLATION: These members took the time to write letters supporting House Bill 4002 which mandated paid overtime for farm workers. These letters weren't just copycat, form letters and each expressed a personal reason for taking this action. You can read them at: AAUW of OR Letters of Support. The bill passed at the last minute. Yay! I have noted media commentary that the proponents of this bill refused to compromise. To correct the record -- the payment requirement is phased in over a number of years so that it is only in 2027 that the workweek is defined by 40 hours. Farmers and employers were also granted the right to claim tax credits -- not just deductions -- in the amount of these payments. The legislation also authorizes the Joint Farm Worker Committee to consider making any needed adjustments to the credit structure. MANY THANKS TO ALL 25 MEMBERS WHO MADE AAUW OF OR PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES A REALITY!!
4 - AAUW of OR'S SUCCESS IN THE 2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION: Other than the farmworker overtime bill mentioned above, here are outcomes for the bills that AAUW of OR officially supported during the 2022 Session. For a Short Session it was a most productive, and generous, one, and AAUW of OR was there in force.
HB 4092 PASSED: Provides financial and administrative support for state-wide Broadband governance. IMPORTANT NOTE: In addition to official AAUW of OR testimony, NINE MEMBERS OF THE ASHLAND BRANCH sent in letters of support (See: Ashland Branch Testimony). That number constituted about a third of all letters filed with the House Committee on Economic Recovery and Prosperity. JOB WELL DONE TO ASHLAND MEMBERS!!
HB 4013 PASSED: Department of Education is to establish a pilot program in which certain school districts will make one-time distributions to families of students to assist with unpaid rent, past-due utilities or move-in expenses.
HB 4110 NOT PASSED: Establishes procedures by which certain crime, abuse or sexual assault victims may request and receive copies of law enforcement agency records concerning cases.
HB 4146 NOT PASSED: Department of Corrections is to designate a corrections gender-responsive coordinator.
SB 1521 PASSED: Authorizes district school boards to terminate superintendents without cause only if certain conditions are met.
SB 1522 PASSED: Expands educational opportunities for youth that have been placed in corrections or juvenile detention programs, provides additional resources to Oregon Promise students and authorizes the development of a plan to bring online equipment, connectivity and infrastructure to adults in custody at the Coffee Creek and Snake River Correctional Institutions.
SB 1556 PASSED: Department of Human Services is to establish a certification process for home care and personal services workers.
SB 1572 NOT PASSED: Higher education institutions must provide services to survivors of sexual assault regardless of whether they wish to make a formal report. It also clarifies definition of “consent" and provides for campus-wide surveys about campus sexual assaults.
THAT'S IT FOR NOW!! THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF AAUW OF OR PUBLIC POLICY!!
Trish Garner, AAUW of OR State Public Policy Chair email@example.com