Legislative Update, week seven

When Anya’s parents discovered that their daughter had a hearing loss, they were told that they needed to act quickly.  Without consistent, clear access to sound, Anya could fall behind in language acquisition, literacy, academics, social skills, and self-sufficiency.  For Anya, access to sound would require initial and ongoing hearing evaluations, hearing aids and related equipment.  This would cost many thousands of dollars during her childhood.  But most health insurance policies don’t provide coverage for these essential needs.  Anya’s mom and many other parents and professionals testified this week on HB 2392 that would require adequate coverage in health insurance policies for children with hearing loss.

The week in review

SB 760 moved out of committee to the Senate floor.  It extends the duty of a public or private official to report abuse from times when the official is working to all hours.

Public Hearings were held on these bills:
SB 363 Directs the Department of Education to conduct a study on methods for improving safety of work environments for staff involved in special education and related services.
SB 711 Makes a policy that DHS employees who are fired for failing to report abuse cannot be rehired by DHS.
SB 231 Creates a Task Force on Student Mental Health Support to investigate how mental health issues impact college students, including in areas of student recruitment, retention, and program completion.
SB 834 Directs DHS to develop a proposal for creating an independent human rights commission, for the purpose of assuring the dignity and basic rights of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Gabrielle Guedon, from the Oregon Self Advocacy Coalition, testified that people are most successful when they control their own lives. They are also successful when they have enough support to feel self‐motivated to reach their goals. Controlling basic things like choosing when to eat lunch or shower matter in everyone’s lives. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are no different. It is important to have a commission make sure that people’s rights are respected when they use IDD services.
HB 2170 Establishes the Office of Oregon Ombudsmen, containing the Long Term Care Ombudsman, the Residential Facilities Ombudsman, the Foster Parent Ombudsman, the Foster Child Ombudsman and the Oregon Public Guardian and Conservator.
HB 2684 Establishes a minimum hourly wage rate of $15 per hour for employees who provide direct care to residents of a residential training facility or a residential training home.
HB 2685 Requires DHS to offer an adult with intellectual or developmental disability who qualifies for comprehensive services at least one placement other than a congregate living arrangement.
HB 2392 Expands requirements for health benefit plan coverage of hearing loss treatments.
HB 2393 Specifies a case manager’s duties in event that case manager receives notice that person for whom case manager provides services may have life-sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn. This is a DRO bill.

DRO joined APANO, Basic Rights Oregon, Family Forward Oregon, Children First Oregon, and other organizations in supporting HB 2005, which will end pay disparity for people with disabilities and other people who belong to protected classes.

DRO submitted testimony on behalf of the following bills:
HB 2392: Requires private insurers to cover hearing services and technology for children
HB 2393: Requires case managers to provide information about known beliefs or preferences of an incapacitated person regarding life-sustaining procedures



In the Senate Committee on Judiciary, 8:30 am, Hearing Room 343
SB 66  Work Session: Requires courts to notify persons found guilty except for insanity of sex crime of obligation to report as sex offender and gun restrictions.

In the Senate Committee on Human Services, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room D
Public hearings

SB 268 Requires DHS and law enforcement agencies to investigate reports of abuse that are reported to have occurred at school or in educational setting or that are made by school employees.  DRO supports this bill.
SB 246 Sets forth circumstances under which DHS may immediately suspend, revoke or place conditions on a license, certification or other authorization of child-caring agency.
Work Sessions
SB 104 Directs DHS to adopt rules designating who may be listed on the registry of persons who provide care in certain facilities.
SB 239 Establishes a process to determine the consent of a resident of a residential care facility or adult foster home to individually-based limitations of certain rights.

In the House Committee on Business and Labor, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room E
HB 2005 Hearing and Possible Work Session: Equal pay for equal work bill.

In the House Committee on Health Care, 3:00 pm, Hearing Room E
HB 2398 Public Hearing: Prohibits health care provider from billing a medical assistance recipient except as provided by Oregon Health Authority by rule.


In the House Committee on Judiciary, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room 343
HB 2776 Public Hearing:
Authorizes appointment of a guardian for person with disability who is in need of guardianship.  An unusual bill that seems to allow appointment of a guardian for an individual who has capacity to make their own decisions.
HB 2630 Work Session: Makes changes to Oregon guardianship laws to assure adequate safeguards for respondents and protected persons.  This is a DRO bill.

In the Senate Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness, 3:00 pm, Hearing Room B.
SB 81 Public Hearing:
Directs the Oregon Director of Veterans’ Affairs to provide statewide expertise, advocacy, coordination and assistance to veterans to assist veterans in navigating federal, state and local health care and mental health care systems for the purpose of obtaining health care and mental health care.


In the Senate Committee on Judiciary, 8:00 am, Hearing Room 343
SB 356 Public Hearing:
Renames the crime of intimidation as bias crime.  States that a person commits a bias crime in the first degree if the person: (a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another person because of the person’s perception of the other person’s race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin; or (b) With criminal negligence causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon because the person’s perception of the other person’s race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.  Also sets out civil remedies that can pursued for a bias crime.

In the Senate Committee on Human Services, 1:00 pm, Hearing Room D
Public Hearings
SB 51
Establishes a Task Force on Behavior Health that shall investigate models for the integration of behavioral health with physical health, best practices for removing barriers to behavioral health care and methods to improve training of physicians.
SB 860 Requires the Department of Consumer and Business Services to conduct investigations into the parity of reimbursement paid by insurers to mental health providers and physicians. Rules are to be adopted to ensure compliance with mental health parity and network adequacy requirements based on the results of department’s investigations.
SB 833 Requires hospitals that discharges patients following attempted suicide to facilitate referral of the patients to peer support programs.

More information

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

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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:

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