â€œThis year, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the constitutional right to abortionâ€
n what some consider to be a new height in politicization of the office of Oregon Secretary of State, Secretary Shemia Fagan has extended the reach of the audits department to perform audits on "Sexual and Reproductive Health Care, Gun Safety and Environmental Regulations."
According to a release from her office, "In response to emerging state and national trends, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced additions to the 2022-23 Audit Plan. The additions include audits of Oregon's sexual and reproductive health care services and the Department of Environmental Quality, in addition to an advisory report on the state's 'Red Flag' gun safety policy. The additions seek to strengthen public services and improve outcomes for Oregonians."
The Oregon Constitution outlines the duties of the Oregon Secretary of state. They do not include audits in "response to emerging state and national trends."
Article VI, Section 2. Duties of Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall keep a fair record of the official acts of the Legislative Assembly, and Executive Branch; and shall when required lay the same, and all matters relative thereto before either chamber of the Legislative Assembly. The Secretary of State shall be by virtue of holding the office, Auditor of Public Accounts, and shall perform such other duties as shall be assigned to the Secretary of State by law.
â€œThis year, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the constitutional right to abortion, and families in Oregon and across the nation have been heartbroken by gun violence. I can do something about it,â€ said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. â€œThatâ€™s why I have directed the Audits Division to evaluate access to safe and legal abortions in Oregon and determine how effective Oregonâ€™s red flag gun safety law is at keeping Oregonians safe.â€
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The new additions include an audit of Oregonâ€™s sexual and reproductive health care services. The U.S. Supreme Courtâ€™s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has significant, wide-ranging impacts on state governance. Oregon has made substantive investments in reproductive health care services and is now operating in a new landscape. The audit will examine the risks to Oregonâ€™s sexual and reproductive health care services, with a focus on potential inequities and public health outcomes.
Auditors will also complete an advisory report examining Oregonâ€™s â€œRed Flagâ€ policy, which allows courts to take weapons away from people who are at risk as a danger to themselves or others. In response to increasing gun violence in our communities -- including a deadly shooting at a Bend supermarket in late August -- this project aims to provide state leadership with timely, high-quality analysis and information related to red flag programs.
Oregon Firearms Federation Executive Director Kevin Starrett offered that "Secretary of State Fagan has a well known and extreme animosity towards law abiding gun owners, even once denouncing the Oregon Firearms Federation as an 'extreme organization.' Oregonâ€™s red flag law deprives people who have not even been accused of a crime, let alone convicted of a crime, of their rights and property with no due process.
But even more outrageous, it does this without even the pretense of making anyone safer."
According to Starrett, "Under the law, a person can have his firearms stolen from him by the state based on an unproven allegation by an unqualified accuser. But if the accused person really is experiencing a mental health crisis, no help is offered or available and that person is still free to do harm to themselves or others. And if that person is not a danger, they must somehow prove that in court, at their own expense."
The law, passed during the 2017 Legislative session as SB 719
includes, as reasons to take someoneâ€™s firearms away, the recent lawful purchase of a firearm or the use of legal marijuana.
Additionally, if the accused person is examined by a qualified mental health professional, and found to be perfectly normal and a danger to no one, he is forbidden by the law from using that assessment in his defense.
Starrett Concluded, "We fully expect Fagan to further weaponize an already dangerous and faulty law."
Finally, the Audits Division will be executing an audit of the Department of Environmental Quality with a focus on enforcement activities and community relations. The timing of this audit is ideal in terms of providing new DEQ leadership with valuable, objective, and actionable information to assist them with moving the agency forward. Secretary Fagan received a written request from the Senate Republican caucus on September 23 to perform this audit.
|Post Date: 2022-10-11 15:10:41||Last Update: 2022-10-11 23:03:07|