Multnomah County tightens its gun control laws
April 25, 2013 – The Multnomah County Commissioners unanimously adopted a proposal to enact a gun control ordinance in the county. It is very similar to the ordinance that was adopted by the City of Portland in 2010. Multnomah County’s proposal was supported by County Sheriff Dan Staton, District Attorney Rod Underhill and several pediatricians.
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Legislative Report for May 3, 2013
The calm before the storm
The fever pitch ambiance of the past several weeks continued into this week as legislators and lobbyists explored ways to resurrect lifeless policy concepts or discover vehicles to maneuver new or struggling bills. While it has been several weeks since the Chamber of Origin deadline, strong sentiments continue to drive the actions of all players – both publicly and behind closed doors. The leadership from both chambers have been reluctant to move forward on most contentious bills, in part to give time for the general temperature of the body to cool down.
Although legislative action this week was limited to only a handful of issues, it was by no means a calm or quiet week. On Monday, the Oregon State Building Trades Council (OBTC) hosted its Day at the Capitol in Salem, featuring booths in the Capitol Galleria and listening to legislators discuss the outlook of their policy agenda. Legislators and lobbyists could be seen learning the tools of the trade with the Sheet Metal Workers’ virtual welder and the Painters’ virtual painter. Tuesday, the resonance of the May Day demonstrations could be heard throughout the halls of the Capitol. In front of a crowd of thousands, Gov. Kitzhaber signed into law SB 833, a bill providing driver’s licenses to undocumented residents. While demonstrators attended Tuesday’s rally for a wide array of reasons, the steps of the Capitol largely evolved into a celebration. On Thursday, film and media advocates from across the state held a rally on the footsteps of the Capitol advocating for the legislature to proceed on HB 2267, a bill that would double the Oregon Production Investment Fund from $6 million to $12 million, creating a greater incentive for film and television production in Oregon.
The fiscal forecast, scheduled to be announced on Friday, May 17, is one of several reasons why the leadership of both chambers have delayed votes on the respective floors and why several key committees – namely the budget writing Ways & Means Committee – have postponed moving many bills. Once the fiscal forecast is released, we expect the return of rapid pace politics from both chambers.
Firearms Legislation Still Held Up In the Senate
The gun-related bills that passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 18 remain in a holding pattern in the Oregon Senate. The prospects for the bills were not favorable from the beginning. This was complicated by news that Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) was injured in a car accident. Her injuries were serious and surgery was required, but word in the Capitol is that she is doing well and ready to transition back in to work as soon as possible. With 14 Republicans locked up against the bills, Senator Johnson is the key 15th vote that keeps the bills from moving on to the House of Representatives. The bills were pushed to their procedural edge this week, being signed out of committee on the last day that is legislatively allowed. As of Friday afternoon the bills had not been scheduled for a third reading in the Senate.