Legislative Wrap-Up: Week 3

A person in a wheelchair holding onto a horse in a stable.Equine therapy can be a life-changing treatment for kids and adults who experience physical disabilities, intellectual and developmental disabilities, or mental health conditions. The nearly 20 centers across our state serve a diverse group of Oregonians – from veterans who experience PTSD to young children who experience behavioral issues linked to their disability.

But, Oregon law isn’t clear on whether owners of equine therapy centers can operate them on land zoned for exclusive farm use. SB 1533A allows facilities providing equine and equine-affiliated therapy or counseling to be established in area zoned for exclusive farm use if certain conditions are met.

Jeff and Penny Campbell of Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center in Bend, brought the need for this bill to the legislature’s attention and are helping to lead advocacy efforts. In explaining the far-reaching benefits of this bill, Jeff said: “Thousands of Oregonians across the state will continue to be effectively and seamlessly served in our centers thanks to this valuable legislation.

A little girl smiling as she rides a horse with three adults by her side.

Our gratitude to the Campbells and to Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) and Representative Duane Stark (R-Grants Pass) for their leadership on this issue. The Senate unanimously passed SB 1533. It passed out of committee and now moves to the House floor for a vote next week.

You can call or write to your state representative and Governor Kate Brown asking them to support SB 1533.

 


A head shot of Bob wearing glasses and smiling at the camera.Week in Review

 

Kids

  • HB 4104: Would benefit Oregon children with hearing loss and their families by: requiring ongoing evaluations, fittings and equipment; mandating that insurance companies help parents navigate the complexities of the insurance system; and addressing the limited number of pediatric audiologists by expanding access to care with more doctors. If you missed Gavin’s story and why he’s advocating for the bill, you can read the Q&A here.
  • Status: Last week, it passed the House. On February 26, HB 4104 passed the Senate 25-2.

Parents

  • SB 1526A: Unfortunately, our state parental termination statutes give the impression that parents with disabilities are disfavored. Discriminatory attitudes and beliefs are hard enough to overcome without a statute that can be read to encourage them. This bipartisan bill will make sure that parents who experience intellectual or developmental disabilities are equal in the eyes of the law by prohibiting the termination of a person’s parental rights for the sole reason that the person has a disability.
  • Testimony: We submitted testimony in support of the bill.
  • Status: It passed the Senate. It passed out of its House committee to the House floor.

Workers

  • HB 4041A: Would expand state government job opportunities to workers with disabilities by creating a Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities.
  • Status: In the Ways and Means Committee awaiting action.

Education

  • HB 4067A: Designates children with developmental delays in the third grade or lower as eligible for special education services.
  • Status: Passed the House. Passed out of its Senate committee to the Senate floor.
  • SB 1522A: Requires school districts to allow students who have received a modified diploma to receive additional educational and transition services. Also makes modified diploma recipients in Youth Corrections Educational Program eligible for transition services and allows modified diploma recipients to be eligible for the Expanded Options Program.
  • Status: Passed the Senate. Hearing set in the House Committee on Education on February 26.
  • HB 4150A: Directs the State Board of Education to adopt requirements for school district policies on sexual harassment by staff members and students that occurs on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop.
  • Status: Passed the House. Now on to the Senate.

Advanced Directives

  • HB 4135: Many people think of health care directives as only addressing end-of-life decision-making. But these directives are also used to make medical and placement decisions when a person becomes incapable as the result of stroke, dementia, or traumatic brain injury. Decisions regarding nursing home and other restrictive placements, admission to psychiatric facilities, and treatment with psychiatric drugs may all be delegated through an advance directive.
  • These are decisions that a person may have to live with for years and decades to come. Because enhancing adults’ ability to control their own care is central to our mission, we’ve been involved in this issue for more than two decades. We contributed to efforts to pass the existing advance directive law in 1989 and the Declaration for Mental Health Treatment law in 1993.
  • We then helped to amend the Declaration law to make its form more usable and intuitive. HB 4135 would do the same for the Health Care Directive by making it easier to use and creating a committee to recommend additional changes.
  • Testimony: We submitted testimony in support of the bill.
  • Status: Passed the House. Passed out of committee to the Senate floor.

Healthcare Access

  • HJR 203A: Proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution establishing an obligation of the state to ensure every resident of state has access to effective, medically appropriate, and affordable health care. Refers the proposed amendment to voters for their approval or rejection at next regular general election.
  • Status: Passed the House. Scheduled for a Work Session in the Senate Committee on Health.

Mobility Devices

  • SB 1532A: Permits four-wheeled motor assisted scooters to be treated the same as motorized wheelchairs for the purpose of motor vehicle laws.
  • Passed the Senate and House.

Personal Support/Home Care Workers

  • SB 1534A: Most Oregonians want to stay in their homes for as long as they can. If the person experiences limitations in functioning, this may require a well-trained in-home care worker. These workers must also understand that the person receiving the services gets to direct their care and has fundamental rights of safety and privacy. This bill requires the Department of Human Services to establish minimum training standards for in-home care workers.
  • Testimony: We submitted testimony in support of this legislation on February 6 and also on February 26.
  • Status: Passed the Senate. Hearing set in the House Committee on Business and Labor on February 26.

Abuse Reporting

  • SB 1540A: Modifies abuse reporting and investigation standards for people with “severe and persistent mental illness” and residents of the state hospital.
  • Testimony: We submitted testimony in support of the legislation.
  • Status: Passed the Senate and passed out of its House committee to the House floor.
  • Floor letter: Floor letter in support of SB 1540A. Floor letters are handed out to legislators when there is a floor vote.

Mental Health Conditions

  • SB 1543A: Sets forth how a person under PSRB jurisdiction may be returned to custody if the person violates a term of their conditional release.
  • Status: Passed the Senate. Hearing set in the House Committee on Judiciary on February 26.
  • SB 1549A: Allows the continuation of medical assistance for up to a year following admission to state hospital.
  • Status: Passed the Senate. Passed out of its House committee to the House Floor.

Residential Care Facilities

  • HB 4129A: Requires licensing of residential care facility administrators.
  • Status: Set for a hearing in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services on Monday, February 26.

Concussions

  • SB  1547A: Expands list of health care professionals who can provide medical release to youth athlete who is suspected of having a concussion. Prescribes requirements for health care professionals to be qualified to provide medical release.
  • Status: Passed the Senate. Passed out of its House committee to the House Floor.

More Information:

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

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