What is the most pressing issue facing Oregon today?
Transportation infrastructure
Big government
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Search Articles

On this day, February 6, 2002, The Oregon Health Division released statistics on assisted suicides for the previous year. 44 people received prescriptions for lethal medication but only 21 actually took their lives.

Post an Event

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 7:00 pm
First of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Second of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Third of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

We Are Stronger Together
Monday, March 27, 2023 at 10:00 am
Oregon's Natural Resources & Industries (ONRI) is sponsoring the rally to meet legislators and influencers to bring light on legislation affecting natural resource industries, their families, and their communities. https://onri.us/events
Rally at the State Capitol, Salem.

View All Calendar Events

Veterans Memorial Wall Defaced
Wall of Honor Memorial in Eugene park

"I refuse to glorify imperialism" was found written in graffiti on a veterans Memorial Wall at Skinner Butte Park in Eugene, Oregon on May 30th, 2021.

On Sunday, May 30, at 9:20 a.m. Eugene Police received reports that someone had defaced the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial wall, which is along the park’s bike path, and which includes the names of people who have died serving the country.

The 12-foot granite memorial wall is inscribed with the names of 451 Lane County veterans who were killed in the war from World War I through Operation Desert Storm. It was dedicated May 30, 1996 and again September 11, 2010. The base reads, “Many millions of men, women and children have perished in war. May there be an end to war.”

Included in the criminal mischief was an anarchy symbol.

When police arrived, an unknown person was cleaning most of the paint off of it.

Eugene Police has alerted staff to pay extra attention with patrol checks near the memorial this weekend. If anyone has tips in the case they are asked to report those to the Eugene Police Department.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-05-31 13:17:39Last Update: 2021-06-01 13:22:53

Pay Per-Mile Road Usage in Oregon
Republicans and others are opposing the bill

Recently passed out of Oregon's Joint Committee On Transportation, HB 2342 is a bill that will mandate a Road Usage Charge on Oregonians that would be paid per-mile driven.

The bill is sponsored by Representative John Lively (D-Springfield) and will be headed next to the Ways and Means Committee for further discussion. The language of the bill proposes the following: Republican legislators and others, including the company Tesla, are opposing the bill, citing several issues with it. Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) has raised additional concerns about the privacy of Oregonians in the future during the Joint Committee On Transportation meeting on May 25th, 2021.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-05-31 11:43:03Last Update: 2021-06-05 17:46:34

Columbia County Tries to Weaken Sanctuary Ordinance
The 2nd Amendment initiative recently passed

The Columbia County Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance, recently adopted by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners is seen by many as an attempt to undermine the Sanctuary Ordinance initiative which was passed by the voters in November 2020.

Citizens of the county passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance” in 2018 and the “Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance” in 2020, and the county has now passed its own ordinance and the whole matter is in the hands of Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove for ‘Judicial Examination and Judgement of the Court as to the Regularity, Legality, Validity and Effect’ of the ordinance via a petition for validation of local government action.

Everytown For Gun Safety, a Bloomberg funded anti-gun-rights organization, has intervened in the case along with a New York law firm. While apparently Everytown knew this ordinance was going to be referred for review, and may have even requested the review, the chief petitioner for both initiatives, Chris Brumbles was never informed about this action. The county eliminated two Second Amendment ordinances passed by the people and created their own that stripped out important safeguards built into the ordinances. The Oregon Firearms Federation and Gun Owners of America have petitioned the court to intervene in the review. It may even be possible that the county commissioners actually violated the ordinance they were seeking to “review” just by demanding the review.

Under ORS 33.710, the Columbia County Circuit Court is authorized to conduct an examination of the ordinance and to provide a judgement as to the legality of the authority of a county governing body to enact the Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance.

Though the County claims they have filed the petition to clear up several important legal questions about what firearm regulations can be enforced in Columbia County, it is seen by many as an attempt by the County Commissioners to weaken -- and effectively eliminate -- the Sanctuary ordinances.

“To be clear, the County is not seeking to invalidate the Ordinance, only to get answers to the many legal questions raised by it,” County Counsel Sarah Hanson said. “As an example, Oregon law generally does not permit the County to regulate within the City limits without consent. We have asked the Court to inform us whether the cites have consented."

Hanson said this and many other questions arising from the two voter-passed initiatives and the Ordinance implementing them put the County and its residents in legal “limbo,” so the Ordinance has been put before the Court for answers. The statutory process will enable the County to get binding decisions from the Court which will allow the Ordinance to move forward in a form that is legal. It will provide the Sheriff and District Attorney with certainty as to what can and cannot be prosecuted.

“This proceeding will also inform residents of the County what firearm laws do apply to them so that no one is unwittingly found to violate a federal or state firearm law that they believe doesn’t apply because of the initiative measures,” Hanson said. “We don’t think anyone would want that result.”

The County expects a briefing schedule to be approved by the Court soon and hopes to have a hearing before the end of June, 2021.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-05-30 17:28:01Last Update: 2021-05-31 13:30:41

Kids in Control
Is there any relevance to best practices?

Involving kids into pollical decisions has been a priority for Governor Brown. So much so that HB 3363 establishes a Racial Equity and Justice Student Collaborative, which is directed by a work group of at least 6 students and 3 adults to filter prospective members of the Collaborative for the Governor’s selection. The majority of the members of the Collaborative must be students between the ages of 11 to 18. The Collaborative duties are to set goals, success criteria and progress measures related to student leadership and engagement in the policymaking process in this state.

The Collaborative gives students ages 11 to 18 a lot of power to be heard on policy for the state. But where they are considered an asset for their critical thinking, they aren’t trusted in other areas. Some laws proposed have a basis in the science of brain development and the permanent damage caused: Then there are those bills that take no account for brain development and the effect of real life experiences: Judicial treatment indicates a pattern of forgiveness: Consent and disclosure are at odds. SB 792 protects disclosing child’s identifiable information under 16 years of age when applying to State Fish and Wildlife Commission for license and tags.

However, parents should be aware of HB 3284, which allows 14-year-olds to give consent to collect, use or disclose personal health data. “Personal health data” is protected data and not for sharing without expressed consent, which your 14-year-old can give under this bill. This includes information that is collected to track, monitor or trace exposures to infections caused by or related to COVID-19 that can be used to identify a resident individual or others.

One thing seems clear, age is being used to the advantage of the issue at hand and has no relevance to best practices.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-05-30 12:05:20Last Update: 2021-05-30 17:40:03

Yamhill County Strikes at Gov. Brown
“Unsupported by science”

In a show of bipartisan unity, all three Yamhill County Commissioners prevailed upon Governor Brown to rescind her order to make vaccine police of those who operate places open to the public. The Board of Commissioners' letter opposes Governor driven mandates by Oregon Health Authority and Oregon OSHA requiring churches and businesses to verify vaccination for COVID-19, or require mask wearing before allowing entry. The mandate includes required training for employees in determining authenticity of medical records and knowing the protocols for the different vaccines available. Any mistakes by these employees could result in a fine. The other option is to require 100% wearing of masks until further notice.

In the letter, the commissioners point out that:

As a practical matter, requiring busine3sses and churches, and the employees of those businesses and churches, to verify a person's vaccine status is only going to lead to conflict between employees and customers...the last thing that any of these businesses and churches need is a yet another, unsupported by science, mandate from the State of Oregon that is only going to lead to conflict and these businesses and churches and their employees begin the long and arduous task of attempting to rebuild what they have lost.

This mandate is not supported by requirements from the White House, CDC or any federal agency. With both the federal government and Oregon’s Governor claiming the high ground in following the science on mask efficacy who’s right? A comparison to recent results in mask free Texas and Florida versus California ought to answer that one. Or is this not a matter of following the science but just a matter of exerting control over citizen’s lives? Oregon’s Governor has survived two recall efforts. Clearly there are many who question her judgement in balancing the needs of all citizens. The federal agencies stance may indicate a wish to avoid a challenge in court over violations of HIPPA laws.

According to many, Yamhill County Commissioner Kulla is a leader in Progressive Yamhill. He typically supports policies that favor Democrat control in all things regardless of Constitutionality. Fresh from his latest focus group, Kulla’s signature on this letter is significant in that it may signal even more progressive leaders and habitual critics of conservative commissioners, are becoming cautious of aligning with the Governor’s heavy-handed measures.



The deaths of six one hundredths of 1% of Oregonians have been attributed to COVID-19. The number of new cases reported nationally is at its lowest point since cases first rose in April of 2020. The curve has not only flattened, it is soon a candidate for the endangered species list. Maybe the Governor is concerned we’ve arrived at a point where Oregon’s counties may discontinue funding the salaries of hundreds of COVID-19 trackers.

Maybe she’s waiting for the teachers union to give her the green light.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-30 10:31:24Last Update: 2021-05-30 12:05:20

Another Government Employee Union
Just what Oregon needs

In a 75 to 31 vote (total eligible voters estimated at 180), Oregon Legislative staff -- the people who work for the State Senators and Representatives -- voted to unionize.

However, the union conversation is not new. SB 759 introduced by Senator Dembrow (D–Portland), Senator Gorsek (D–Portland) and Representative Wilde (D–Eugene) this session aimed to direct the Legislative Administrator to represent legislative departments in collective bargaining negotiations with legislative department employees, i.e., legislative employee unions.

However, after the bill passed the Senate on a party line vote, it was assigned to the House Rules committee where it has received just one hearing. This is possibly due to waiting for the outcome of the Legislative staff vote. During initial testimony on the bill, The Freedom Foundation testified that,

“Following recent attempts to organize a union of legislative employees, the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed multiple objections with the Employee Relations Board (ERB) on behalf of the Legislature arguing that such efforts would violate both the Oregon Constitution and the state’s collective bargaining laws.”

The pending outcome of the latest round of objections by Legislators themselves, however, did not stop a few other Legislators from continuing the conversation.

The union vote was organized by IBEW Local 89, located in Washington state. IBEW Local 89 represents workers in numerous industries including: Telecommunications Installation and Repair, Telecommunications Network Construction, Satellite installation and Repair, Warehouse and Logistics, Manufacturing, Clerical and Campaign workers. However, currently most state employees are unionized under SEIU 503. Staffers selected the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 89 to represent them, in part, because the IBEW does not actively lobby in state politics and SEIU 503 does.

In an email sent to Legislative staff from IBEW Local 89 they announced:

We are happy to announce the results of this morning’s union election. Through an overwhelming showing of bipartisan support, you and your coworkers have voted “UNION YES”!

This is a monumental win for every staffer in Oregon as well as those watching across the country. Through your solidarity, strength and determination, you all are leading the way for legislative staff everywhere to have a legitimate voice in their workplace and the power to make a difference.

What is interesting about the statement is that they said, “Through an overwhelming showing of bipartisan support”. However, the balloting process was portrayed to staff as a secret ballot. How does the IBEW know it was bipartisan?

The announcement from IBEW was quickly followed by a joint press release from House Speaker Kotek (D- Portland) and Senate President Courtney (D – Salem) saying:

“We are committed to supporting the needs of the Legislature’s dedicated staff. The people’s work could not be done without them. Today, Oregon legislative aides took the historic step of becoming the first union of legislative staff in the country. We respect their decision, hear their voices and look forward to bargaining in good faith with their new union.”

Several issues may still be unresolved even after the vote. Department of Justice lawyer Tessa Sugahara, was quoted in a February OPB article saying, “Legislative Branch employees are exempt from, and generally not subject to, the State Personnel Relations Law”. She went on to add “The collective bargaining policy objectives of the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act are irreconcilable with the policy objectives of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and This situation raises both conflict and loyalty considerations that the PECBA policy did not anticipate.”

When the union movement gets to a point of actual negotiations, it may also be the solution to a bill that Rep. Wilde (D- Eugene) brought forth this session but that has yet to be heard in the House Rules Committee. HB 2220 removes the ability for member of Legislative Assembly to appoint or employ relatives or members of their household as their legislative staff unless relative or member of household serves as unpaid volunteer.



As most Legislators do not live in Salem year-round, they often employ their spouse or family member as a way to spend more time together and to supplement their legislative / household income. In addition, having a family member as their Chief of staff is often important to maintaining confidentiality and consistent communications with their constituents. After all, who know them better than their family. Also, many of the Legislative staff positions are limited duration positions, meaning they work only during the actual legislative session and not during the “off season”. By hiring family, the Legislator is also able to maintain some historical knowledge from session to session. This becomes even more important if they are a long serving member. Institutional knowledge of past legislation and actions can help make them more successful in the representation of their constituents.

One thing is certain, for better or worse, Oregon is once again a trailblazer in the political world as the first in the nation Legislative Staff union. However, there are still potential legal challenges surrounding the separation of powers clause in the Oregon Constitution, and unanswered questions about how the union will operate with the potential conflicts with the PECBA policy objectives. But what mostly remains is the potential problems that will arise when political leaders must bargain with the very employees who possibly share the same household with them.

--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-05-30 09:14:37Last Update: 2021-05-30 17:54:22

Oregon County Clerks Ask for a Piece of the Pie
“We believe these would be truly transformational investments”

The May 2021 revenue forecast was rosy, and with the influx of federal assistance, Oregon has an opportunity to make critical investments. Oregon Association of County Clerks is asking for $40 million to update and improve the aging election infrastructure.

They request consideration to fund targeted investments to help secure and improve our election systems that Oregonians rely upon: Bobbi A Childers, President of Oregon Association of County Clerks stated, “We believe these would be truly transformational investments and improvement to our election system across the state.”

Our county election officials are trying to do a good job. Still, No one can deny that there is a problem with election data being corrupted in our country. But Oregon still lacks an in-depth investigation into what types of voter fraud has taken place. Oregon received Election Security Funds from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to provide states with additional resources to secure and improve election systems. In 2018 Oregon received $380 million and in 2020 Oregon received $425 million, which doesn’t include funds to cover costs for the pandemic incurred by county election offices. Shouldn’t we ask them to account for these funds?

Janice Dysinger, Oregonians for Fair Election, is probably one of the most knowledgeable on Oregon’s voting systems. She says, “the weakest system in Oregon is the thumb drive transfer to the Election Night Reporting (ENR) system. Our data is obtained by querying the county election equipment tabulators and writing that information on a USB thumb drive then taking it out of the secure counting area and inserting it into another computer that is connected to the internet to send to the ENR system. A flaw in this system was recently reported in Douglas County in the May 18th, 2021, election which reported 5000 more voters than Douglas County sent.”

Until the investigation is completed over the 2020 election, new equipment from the same vendor connections with the same algorithms will solve nothing. Dysinger says, “Until we can see that there are no algorithms inserted into election tabulators and computers, that the programing is open source for all to see the computer's operations, by all parties and no interference with the data transfer routing through other countries to the Election ENR system, we need to hold off on spending more money on equipment. A more honest approach would be to fund a back-up plan to count ballots by hand in the precincts and posting the results with the signatures of witnesses at the precinct level and a second copy with real witness signatures sent with the ballots and posted in the county elections office window and on their website. Then securely faxing the results to the Secretary of State to post on their website. Until then the American people will not feel secure in the results."

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-05-29 21:52:46Last Update: 2021-05-29 22:11:07

Your Friendly Local Neighborhood Felon May be Voting
He’s still impacting your community

Senators Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis), Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Chris Gorsek (D-Portland), Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton), Representatives Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas), Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego) have sponsored SB 571, a simple bill which would let incarcerated felons vote from the comfort and safety of their own jail cell

The bill did not poll well.

Strongly Support 18%
Somewhat Support 18%
Somewhat Oppose 16%
Strongly Oppose 37%
Don't Know 10%

The bill provides that the incarcerated felon's place of residence -- for the purpose of identifying what districts they vote in -- will be their last voluntary residence. So, not only does the felon get to impact the community through crimes committed, but once incarcerated, they get to impact that same community through a vote:

Section 5, (2) The Secretary of State shall by rule establish a process for identifying, for an individual confined in a jail, prison or correctional facility, including a local correctional facility as defined in ORS 169.005 or youth correctional facility as defined in ORS 420.005, the last voluntary residence of the individual prior to the confinement for the purposes of the individual registering to vote or updating the individual’s voter registration.

The bill passed out of a Senate Committee on a partisan vote, and was sent to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, where it will most likely not be passed out.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-29 16:36:54Last Update: 2021-05-29 17:22:49

Gun Storage Bill Awaiting Brown’s Signature
SB 554 may be unenforceable

Currently awaiting the signature of Governor Kate Brown, Oregon seems about to adopt a very controversial and likely unenforceable law with SB 554. The bill has passed in both legislative chambers. It mandates gun storage requirements on all Oregonians.

Representative Boomer Wright (R-Coos Bay) made the following statement upon it's passage in the House:

SB 554 includes a mandatory storage component to hold victims of theft liable if their firearm is stolen and used in a crime before they can report it missing after a short time. In some parts of Oregon, reasonable access to a firearm is the only immediate form of defense that homeowners have against intruders, while it may take more than 30 minutes for law enforcement to arrive after a 911 call.

This proposal would criminalize law-abiding citizens by making it a felony for individuals with concealed carry permits to bring their form of protection to an area near a public building. SB 554 would make felons of responsible gun owners.

Meanwhile, suicidal ideation among children continues to climb, and numerous studies have tied this to distanced learning.

SB 554 does nothing to provide them with support and resources, failing to address the mental health issues that are often at the root of unwanted firearm usage. “This is certainly a bad bill for Oregonians, and I wish blocking this proposal was as simple as walking out,” said Representative Boomer Wright (R-Coos Bay.)

“This tool has been successfully used in the past to stop other harmful proposals and save Oregon nearly $1 billion. Unfortunately, walking out is not a realistic option to prevent SB 554 from passing."

Under the current “State of Emergency”, Governor Brown can (and will) issue an Executive Order in response to a walk out that would create a special session with NO quorum rules. If this occurs, the super-majority will pass anything they want.

The House Speaker enacted a $500 fine per day, per person for any unexcused absence. This money would be required to come out of each legislator’s own pocket, and could exceed $500,000 for all Republican members.

“Unfortunately, the supermajority has made it clear that they have zero regard for constitutional rights to personal safety,” added Representative Wright.

“This misguided proposal will make people less safe in their homes while criminalizing responsible and law-abiding gun owners. It does not address the root of the problem, but instead makes felons of responsible gun owners, levies misplaced accountability, and will have ZERO impact on criminal violence. We should be focusing on the root of the problem, not criminalizing citizens or putting them in danger.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-29 10:17:38Last Update: 2021-05-29 19:15:30

Vaccine Lottery In Oregon
To shoot or not to shoot?

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said that the Red Cross was not accepting blood donations from vaccinated people. This is untrue. We regret the error.

How much is your health worth? Would you play Russian roulette with your own health? There have been many concerns about the coronavirus, and now concerns have surfaced about the safety of the covid vaccines.

However, it seems Governor Kate Brown doesn’t care about the shortage of blood supply. She announced the launch of the Take Your Shot Oregon Campaign for all vaccinated Oregonians. Her aim is to get 70 percent of Oregonians vaccinated so it seems that leaves just 30 percent potential donors to give blood for surgeries and other situations where antibodies are needed in blood replacement.

It’s a double lottery one must play to win. Oregonian’s 18 and older will have the chance to win $1 million or one of 36 $10,000 prizes––with one winner in each county in Oregon. Oregonian’s age 12 to 17 will have a chance to win one of five $100,000 Oregon College Savings Plan scholarships. All Oregonians who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the draw date will be entered to win.

Who approved the $1.86 million used from the federal Coronavirus Relief Act funds Oregon received? Is this the best way for funds to be used for economic relief and recovery? How many having reactions to the shots will have a case to sue over manipulation? How many still-born babies will be casualties?

The lives of America’s youth may also now be at risk over an experimental injection for a virus which is 99.97% survivable and 99.998% for children 17 and under, and those number are before current medications have been proven effective. While all children are capable of getting the virus that causes COVID-19, they don't become sick as often as adults. Most children have mild symptoms or no symptoms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association, and in the U.S. children represent only about 13% of all COVID-19 cases.

Children are not severely affected by COVID-19, so why should they receive an experimental vaccine? CDC admits that no completed experiments have been performed to know if there may be long term effects. Now our children are being pressured to take a shot in order to return to their old, normal lives (school, sports, friends).

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-05-28 14:20:23Last Update: 2021-05-29 21:52:46

Early Release For Prisoners
At the heart of the issue is recidivism

SB 819 is proposing prisoners serving time be allowed to go back to court and ask for a sentence reduction. This is another way to break Measure 11 sentencing.

This bill is designed to allow Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt -- known for his "catch-and-release" policies --, and one or two other District Attorneys of like mind, to get together with criminal defense attorneys and petition the county circuit courts to set aside Measure 11 convictions and sentences so as to allow lesser crimes of convictions and sentences -- with no mandatory minimum prison sentence -- to replace the original conviction.

Is this a solution to the Oregon's high prison population? During this time of a slowdown asked for by our head Supreme Court Justice led to 209,122 fewer criminal cases were filed in court statewide, from 2019 to 2020. More than a third lower. It adds cost at the county level by pushing even more cases on the court now -- which even at reduced numbers is 3% slower processing cases through the system. Sadly, it doesn’t equate to less crime -- but to more tickets. There are many crimes that cannot be given a ticket or violation resulted in jail because of COVID rules. We have more crime and less punishment. Less chance for those damaged to collect damages. More repeats.

At the heart of the issue is recidivism. How often do they repeat their crime? This is biggest impact on society. Looking at Oregon statistics showed that 41% committed a new crime within 3 years for a misdemeanor. Rate for felonies is higher, 55% committing new crimes within 3 years.

Thomas Paine, a founding father who wrote about effective government said: When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he doesn’t believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.



Carolyn Leaf, PhD, brain expert and writer of Who Shut Off My Brain, exposes the real issue. Are we effectively changing the strongholds in the minds of those with a pattern of crime? The mind develops our response to any given situation by our past reaction. If we allow a certain response and act on it, it becomes a tree built in our mind. The next time the same situation comes up we do the same thing prompted by our mind.

Here’s some bright spots liberals ought to notice: Private rehab organizations have recidivism rates as low as 7%. Bridges for Change, SE Works, PEP, Prison Entrepreneurship, Delancey Street Foundation, Safer Foundation, and The Last Mile, are all examples. These programs show we do know what does work. Why are we ignoring this?

--Liz Turner

Post Date: 2021-05-28 09:46:41Last Update: 2021-05-30 10:22:52

Brown Vetos Motorcycle Bill
Bill approved limited lane splitting

Governor Kate Brown has vetoed SB 574, a bill that would allow motorcycle traffic to "filter" into traffic under certain conditions. As required by Article V of the Oregon Constitution, she notified both chambers of the legislature of her reasons for doing a veto.

This bill would allow a person operating a motorcycle to travel between lanes of traffic, under certain conditions and in specific circumstances. Some of the conditions set forth in the bill include the requirement that traffic is either stopped or has slowed to a speed of ten miles per hour or less, that the motorcyclist travels between lanes at no more than ten miles per hour above the speed of traffic, and that the motorcyclist does not impede normal movement of traffic. This practice, known as "lane filtering," is currently unlawful-as it is in many other states-due to legitimate public safety concerns.

While I appreciate that SB 574 is more tailored than previous attempts to legalize lane filtering, I have several concerns with the bill as currently drafted, particularly related to public safety and noncompliance with the proposed conditions, which prevent me from approving it. First, many stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies and members of the public, remain concerned that lane filtering is unsafe for both the motorcyclists and the drivers sharing the road, due to the serious injuries and death that commonly result from motorcycle-involved accidents. Second, although the bill proposes conditions with which a motorcyclist must comply (such as a maximum speed at which motorcyclists can travel between lanes), I remain worried that some will not adhere to these conditions.

Based on these concerns, I am returning SB 574 unsigned and disapproved.

According to the Oregon Constitution, if two-thirds of the members present in each chamber vote to override the veto, it becomes law, but most insiders think that this is unlikely, despite the fact that it passed by more than a two-thirds vote in the House, and might be expected to garner a two-thirds vote in the Senate, if all of the Republicans and Independents show.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-27 14:45:22Last Update: 2021-05-28 09:46:41

Read More Articles