Legislative Update, week five

Equal pay for equal work. This is a simple and powerful practice that appeals to our sense of fairness. HB 2005 seeks to achieve pay equity in Oregon. It directs that people who engage in “work of comparable character” do not get paid differently due to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age. At the bill’s public hearing on Wednesday, DRO testified that another minority, often forgotten, not only experiences twice the level of unemployment of others but endures a 37% wage gap. Yes, according to the American Institutes for Research, workers with disabilities are paid, on average, 37% less than their non-disabled peers for the same work. DRO is supporting an amendment to HB 2005 that will recognize that workers with disabilities should have an equal opportunity to climb the stairs (or ramp) to success.

The week in review

Public Hearing in the Senate Committee on Human Services:
SB 263  Limits when a school district can require a student to participate in an abbreviated school day program to situations involving safety and medical needs. Bars districts from reducing a student’s school day without considering measures such as functional behavioral analysis, behavior support plans, and use of expert behavioral support and consultation.  Directs districts to review any decision to shorten the school day of a student periodically, consider other placements and supports, create a plan for the student to return to a full school day, ensure that the student has access to needed services and supports while receiving a short school day, and collect data regarding such students.  Parents Hannah Pullen, Lana McMichael and Danielle Biege provided compelling testimony showing the need for SB 263 to preserve families.  This is a DRO bill.

Public Hearing House Committee on Business and Labor:
HB 2005 Provides definitions relating to comparable work for purposes of pay equity.  DRO requested that people with disabilities be added as a protected class.

Public Hearing in the House Committee On Early Childhood and Family Supports:
Invited testimony about Early Intervention in Special Education.  This very informative hearing can be viewed at: http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=22598

Upcoming

Monday

Public Hearings in the Senate Committee on Human Services, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room D
SB 819 Expands the responsibilities of the Critical Incident Response Team assigned by DHS upon becoming aware of a fatality of a child that was result of abuse or neglect.
SB 820 Directs DHS to conduct a statewide study regarding screening and assessment of child abuse no later than July 1, 2018.
SB 268 Requires DHS and law enforcement agencies to investigate reports of abuse that occurred at school or in educational setting or that are made by school employees. DRO supports this bill.

Public Hearing in the House Committee On Business and Labor, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room E 
HB 2856 Creates a Community Outreach and Labor Education Program within the Bureau of Labor and Industries to promote awareness of employee rights.

Tuesday

Public Hearing and Work Session in the Senate Committee on Judiciary, 8:00 am, Hearing Room 343
SB 487
Restricts the limitation on awards of non-economic damages to claims in actions for wrongful death.  DRO supports this bill.

Public Hearings in the House Committee on Judiciary, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room 343
HB 2776
Authorizes appointment of a guardian for a person with disability who is in need of guardianship.
HB 2630 Makes changes to Oregon guardianship laws to assure adequate safeguards for respondents and protected persons. This is a DRO bill.
HB 2217  Adds protections against a guardian or conservator restricting a protected person’s right of communication, visitation or interaction with other persons.

Public Hearing in the Senate Committee On Health Care, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room B
SB 817
Limits the scope of physician practice with respect to providing treatment for life-threatening emergency conditions.

Wednesday

Public Hearings and Possible Work Sessions in the House Committee On Transportation Policy,8:00 am, Hearing Room D.
HB 2482 Removes hours of operation restriction on self-service at filling stations, service stations, garages and other dispensaries in low-population counties. Thus far contains no provisions protecting access to gas for drivers with disabilities.
HB 2458 Allows nonretail facilities located in low-population county to permit self-service retail sales of Class 1 flammable liquids. Thus far contains no provisions protecting access to gas for drivers with disabilities.

Public Hearings in the Senate Committee On Judiciary, 8:00 am, Hearing Room 343
SB 57
Prohibits courts from appointing a deputy public guardian and conservator as a fiduciary and requires courts to appoint the Oregon Public Guardian and Conservator as fiduciary.
SB 501 Requires courts to appoint legal counsel for a respondent or protected person in protective proceeding under certain circumstances. DRO supports this bill.
SB 502 Requires that courts hold a hearing on a petition to appoint a fiduciary filed by the Oregon Public Guardian and Conservator or county public guardian and conservator. DRO supports this bill.
SB 503 Directs Judicial Department to establish uniform visitor policies. DRO supports this bill.

Friday

Public Hearing in the House Committee on Health Care, 8:00 am, Hearing Room E
HB 2116
Creates a Help In Cutting Costs for Unusual Pharmaceuticals program in the Oregon Health Authority to reimburse high costs incurred by persons to purchase certain pharmaceutical products.
HB 2387 Requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to reimburse payers for the cost of prescription drugs that exceeds a specified threshold.
HB 2300 Requires the cost of mental health drugs to be taken into consideration in determining global budgets for coordinated care organizations.

More information

HB – House Bill     SB – Senate Bill
Hearing Schedule
Bills
Streaming for hearings and events

Support our work

If you value our work to promote disability rights in state law, please consider a tax-deductible donation. Here’s how your donation can support our work:

  • $35: One face to face meeting with a legislator
  • $50: One DRO staff member can travel to the Capitol
  • $100: One Legislative Update
  • $500: One full day of advocacy during the legislative session

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