On this day, January 28, 2003, Oregon voters defeated a proposed three-year income tax hike designed to forestall $310 million in cuts to schools and social services.
Post an Event
|School Choice movie "Miss Virginia" |
|Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm|
|Free, fun, family-friendly afternoon to watch the movie to learn how it is possible for parents, grandparents and other ordinary folks to stand up for their children and give them the opportunity and financial means for a great education. Live Q&A with Ms. Virginia herself. |
|When: Jan 28, 2023
Where: Hillsboro, The Hillsboro Cultural Arts Center
527 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Time: noon to 3 pm|
Free ticket registration
|Western Liberty Network Leadership and Activist Training Conference|
|Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 9:00 am|
|The year's premiere grassroots activist and leadership conference! Get what you need to be successful in 2023!|
|Portland Airport Embassy Suites Hotel 7900 NE 82nd Avenue|
|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|View All Calendar Events
|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.|
For some, there is a trust issue
A Marion County woman exposed an election problem
in Marion County. Marion County Elections never answered her question as to why she kept getting sent ballots to vote when she was not a US citizen. Legal immigrants come to this country understanding the value and strength in the United States Constitution that generations of Americans do not know now due to the government public school system run by the teachers’ unions. This story is valuable because this woman has documents, it is not just her word.
2021 is the year United States citizens and legal immigrants across the nation peer into the election process that probably has not happened in one hundred years. Oregonians are meeting, talking, they are on social media including platforms that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube CEOs cannot take down. The more corporate Tech America and mass media America (six corporations own most of the media companies) attack Americans and legal immigrants the more determined constitutional justice warriors get.
Most concerning in Oregon’s Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s run for this office which morally and constitutionally should be managed in a non-partisan manner, but her campaign doorhanger made it look like she was running against the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
What many found appalling was the lie on Fagan’s doorhanger, that in spite of the numerous rallies Trump held that turned out hundreds of thousands of citizens from all political parties and legal immigrants, Shemia’s doorhanger said Trump did not want Americans to vote. Much of the funding for her campaign was provided by public employee unions, such as SEIU 503. Many have a question in Oregon whether unions like SEIU and PAT, the Portland Association for Teachers, are the real candidates and not the candidates themselves.
For some, there is a trust issue with Oregon state government that must be resolved before the 2022 election.
|Post Date: 2021-07-23 08:54:49||Last Update: 2021-07-21 21:15:12|
A convention of Precinct Committeepersons will be called
State Representative Gary Leif (R-Roseburg) died today after a battle with cancer.
Oregon House Republican Leader Christine Drazan released the following statement following the news of Oregon Representative Gary Leif’s passing:
“I am deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of our friend and colleague Gary Leif. Gary’s sense of humor, his commitment to bipartisanship and his love of family and community marked his service in the Oregon Legislature.
I am grateful for my time working directly with Gary. His energy and enthusiasm accomplished great work for his district, and he will be sorely missed.
Not only was he a valued colleague, but he was also a mentor and supporter within our caucus. He would frequently check on members to see how they were doing and provide helpful advice. His patient and humble demeanor was a constant and positive presence, especially for freshmen legislators looking for guidance in their new roles.
On behalf of the House Republican Caucus, we send our deepest condolences to Gary’s wife Carol and his family.”
Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) issued the following statement:
“It was an honor and a privilege to work with Representative Leif over the last several years. It was a pleasure to serve with him on the Ways and Means committee this last session. He was an honest and hard-working representative for the people of Southern Oregon. His common-sense approach to issues was a bright spot in the legislature, one that will not be easily filled. I am praying for his wife, family, and friends during this difficult time.”
A convention of the Republican Precinct Committeepersons living in House District 2 from the counties of Douglas, Jackson and Josephine will be called by the Oregon Republican Party to nominate between three and five nominees to present to those county commissioners for the appointment of his successor.
|Post Date: 2021-07-22 15:20:53||Last Update: 2021-07-22 15:46:07|
This is the latest in an attempt to turn an industry advocate into an environmental group
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has released an audit of the Oregon Forestry Resources Institute. The Secretary of State has been criticized by many for putting her partisan thumb on the scales and this audit is seen by them as a partisan attack on the industry.
OFRI has been targeted with increasing scrutiny in recent years from a coordinated effort by political interests seeking to abolish or seize control of the forest industry in Oregon. The audit incorrectly characterized OFRI as a government agency rather than what it is: a body funded by private landowner dollars created to educate the public on the responsible management of Oregon’s largest renewable natural resource.
OFRI provides vital services for the forestry industry, just like other commodity commissions. Included in the audit are overreaching recommendations for legislative changes which exceed the appropriate scope of the Secretary of State’s audit function. These include stacking OFRI’s membership with environmentalists that lack knowledge of practical forestry, limiting the number of people with working experience.
“This audit is just another attempt to give a patina of legitimacy to efforts to remake OFRI into another taxpayer-funded environmental advocacy group,” said Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons). “All one has to do to see through that is read the report. The Secretary of State uses debate around legal language to justify completely reclassifying OFRI as a government agency. That’s simply a power play to get more control over the forest products industry. I will be introducing legislation in the 2022 short session to clarify OFRI’s purpose and ensure that they are treated the same as any other commodities commission. Oregon’s economy depends on a vibrant forestry industry.”
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
“OFRI promotes the responsible management of Oregon’s forests in order to support 50,000 family-wage jobs while reducing the potential for catastrophic wildfires,” added House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby). “This audit is another attempt in a coordinated effort by political interests who want to end the timber products industry in Oregon. They are fundamentally opposed to continuing our legacy as a global leader in sustainable forestry practices. This will put more families and communities at risk from unnaturally large wildfires. Turning our backs on our natural environment by neglecting our forests is not an Oregon value. In fact, it’s the worst thing we could do.”
|Post Date: 2021-07-21 18:44:08||Last Update: 2021-07-22 09:52:47|
Does Oregon have a candidate not easily labeled?
For parents interested in the protection of their children from child sex trafficking, with their concerns about the Oregon public schools and the teachers’ unions, parents may be interested in the breaking news that Nicholas Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with the New York Times, is considering running for governor of Oregon. Parents might want to make a summer reading program out of reading his books. Who is he really?
In 2013 Kristof was named an International Freedom Conductor by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for his work exposing human trafficking and linking it to modern slavery.
In a 2021 New York Times essay, Kristof wrote he favors education reform more than teachers’ unions do, although he expressed some of the best states with good public schools were because of their teachers’ unions. Given that Oregon has one of the worst public-school systems in the nation, how will Kristof speak to that in Oregon?
Kristof who is a self-described Progressive, citizens will want to look at who he associates with and what he writes about which can be illuminating as to whether Oregon citizens might consider him to be a good or not good choice for all the citizens of Oregon. Will Kristof bring his international human trafficking journalistic investigation skills to Portland, Oregon? That would be a story worth following.
Kristof’s newest book Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope
had one reviewer commenting,
“In short, one has one very good book powerfully evoking the lives of the desperate poor together with a boring book of rather tired and banal policy recommendations that could be pulled verbatim from the Democratic 2020 platform.”
With President Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope
, and Bill Clinton’s video The Man from Hope
, some may see Kristof’s book as a kind of strategy for a bigger office as sthe repeat pattern is recognizable as the usual Democratic pattern of the use of hope.
Given that some of Kristof’s focus, his work, his books coincide with President Donald J. Trump’s executive orders and work on child sex trafficking, human trafficking, the working class, and illegal immigration it will be interesting to see how the Democratic National Central Committee reacts to Kristof “considering” a run for governor in Oregon.
Nicholas grew up on a sheep and Cherry farm in Yamhill, Oregon and has been back in Oregon for a few years. Their farm is now a vineyard.
With 38% of Oregonians registered as non-affiliated for voting purposes will the major and minor political parties and candidates do anything different next year to draw those voters to their candidates? Or will the usual playbooks be brought out and repeated?
|Post Date: 2021-07-20 20:46:43||Last Update: 2021-07-20 21:31:26|
For now, at least
The Oregon State Capitol has been closed for 16 months under safety measure against COVID-19. Now, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek are trying to justify the closure.
“Last March, we consulted with infectious disease doctors and public health officials about what changes were needed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the Capitol. In the end, we made the very difficult decision to limit Capitol entry to legislators, essential staff, and members of the press.”
But what has changed? Last March 31 there were 67 COVID-19 cases and 17 hospitalized. On July 12, the day of their statement, there were 251 cases and 97 hospitalized. Have their experts changed their position after 16 months of viewing other states fairing better with no closures?
They seem to be relying on a vaccine to stop the spread, even though there is developing evidence that the vaccine doesn’t prevent a person from getting COVID-19. Still Senate Courtney and Representative Kotek say: “Over 70% of Oregonians 18 and older are now vaccinated against COVID-19 and community spread has reduced considerably. We are extremely grateful to Oregonians for stepping up to help beat this pandemic. With new guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and the lifting of county risk levels, we are excited to expand entry to the Capitol today to include members of the public.”
Oregonians are to be congratulated for enduring the lose of life, jobs, homes, and a good education for their children. And please don’t look at us for your lose. “The last year has been extremely hard on our state. Oregonians have suffered devastating wildfires, an ice storm, a historic heatwave, and extreme drought. Through it all, we have battled a global pandemic that has dramatically changed our daily lives,” say Courtney and Kotek.
Due to the ongoing Capitol Accessibility, Maintenance and Safety project, certain areas in the Capitol will continue to be under construction during the coming months. Access to the Senate and House wings will be limited to construction personnel only until December 2021. The State Street entrances and front steps will also be temporarily closed for construction. Visitors can use the North ADA entrances to enter the building.
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 Oregon State Capitol Visitor Services
staff will be bringing back many of the services they provide for visitors over the next few weeks:
- The Capitol Store will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. for the next few weeks. Visit their website or Facebook page for updates.
- Capitol tours will be self-guided for the week of July 12th.
- Guided tours will be offered daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. beginning July 19th. Beginning mid-August, guided tours will be expanded to four tours per day.
- Tower tours will resume in 2022.
With such a promise, and without another ‘emergency’, we can look forward to full access for the 2022 legislative session.
|Post Date: 2021-07-20 18:15:21||Last Update: 2021-07-20 18:22:58|
Up to 60 vehicles and 40 tents per site
The City of Eugene has been working on identifying and creating new, temporary managed homeless zones
across the city where people who identify as homeless can park their vehicles or sleep in tents.
The City and Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce staff have been working the last few months on outreach to those neighborhoods and adjacent property and business owners around potential sites to gather input on those possible locations.
On April 28, the City Council approved an ordinance that allows “Safe Sleep Sites”
to accommodate more tents or vehicles than previously allowed by City Code, up to 60 vehicles and 40 tents per site.
Working with Lane County and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Eugene staff have been conducting a comprehensive review of potential locations for sites including publicly owned property and private land.
In all, staff have reviewed more than 300 potential locations. Potential locations were generated by reviewing properties currently owned by the city and county, properties listed for sale or lease on public real estate sites and submissions from community members and elected officials. Criteria including accessibility, site size, shape, natural features, proximity to social services, public transit and other community resources were used to narrow the sites to the most suitable. A list of 12 privately owned sites was further refined based on the criteria. Locations currently being considered include:
- 11th and Garfield
- W. 11th and Greenhill
- 151 River Ave
- 6th and Chambers
- 6th and Filmore
- 2nd and Cleveland
- Hwy 99 and Roosevelt
- 422 Stevenson Way
The City is also considering sites on publicly owned land including Chase Commons Park at Garden Way and Commons Drive, 2nd and Garfield, and River Road Station at River Rd. and Beltline. Additional sites will continue to be vetted.
With the outreach phase having begun, staff have collecting additional information on these sites from the community. Working with the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, the City will continue reaching out for input from adjacent neighbors and businesses, service providers, and neighborhood associations. More information on the Safe Sleeping sites is available on the City’s website
. There is also an email address, email@example.com
where community members can share their input on the pros and cons of potential sites.
City staff have held a series of meetings and work sessions
with social service providers to discuss site management, site amenities and layout, referral processes, and services for new sites. The Eugene City Council on Monday, April 26, unanimously approved a plan and strategies to address vehicle camping through parking restrictions in commercial/industrial areas.
Once Council approves a site, another round of outreach will be conducted to share information with neighbors and stakeholders on the site’s selection, its management plan, steps being taken to address concerns heard from the community, and contact information for the site.
Currently, the City anticipates opening the safe sleep sites by fall 2021. People staying at the two large temporary camps, 13th Avenue and at Washington Jefferson Park, will be prioritized and have the option to move into the new safe tent sites once they’re established. People living in their cars in industrial areas will have the opportunity to move into the safe vehicle sites.
Through the City’s partnership with Lane County, a number of other actions are also underway, including expanding rapid rehousing programs, and tenancy supports.
|Post Date: 2021-07-20 15:42:47||Last Update: 2021-07-20 16:17:10|
OLCC to implement new regulatory responsibilities
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)
has approved penalties in several stipulated settlements for violations committed by recreational marijuana licensees, placed restrictions on three recreational marijuana licenses, and approved a temporary rule adjusting a Cannabis Tracking System requirement.
Oregon lawmakers approved a series of bills that will continue the transformation of the OLCC’s regulatory responsibilities from an agency focused on oversight of the alcohol industry to a regulator engaged in consumer protection of alcohol and cannabis products, control of adult intoxicants, and upholding public health and safety laws.
The agency’s evolving mission is reflected in a law changing the agency’s name to the Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission that takes effect August 2, 2021.
The OLCC also provided technical support to legislators working to curb illegal hemp and marijuana production and bring hemp produced intoxicating products under stricter control.
Currently Delta-8-THC, which is chemically extracted from hemp, can be sold to anyone regardless of age at neighborhood convenience stores.
House Bill 3000
requires the OLCC to keep THC products away from kids. HB 3000 also directs OLCC to work the Oregon Department of Agriculture and other state and local government agencies to crack down on illegal cannabis grows.
“What’s going on in southern Oregon with the cartel takeover of cannabis growing through the guise of hemp and our role in being able to enforce that is all incredibly important,” said OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks. “We and our partners are poised to begin eradicating this illegal activity, to bring stability to disrupted communities starting in Jackson and Josephine counties, and to ensure that our legal, licensed, tax-paying cannabis licensees aren’t being undermined by illegal market activity.”
The legislature approved the OLCC’s plan to modernize its licensing system and alcohol distribution and tracking infrastructure, approving funding for information technology upgrades and a new consolidated warehouse. Even before the pandemic distilled spirits sales have grown steadily year-over-year straining the existing capacity at OLCC’s two warehouses. The OLCC has been laying the groundwork to acquire a new warehouse for more than a year.
”Where this agency has to go, we really have to help all of our licensees,” said Marks. “The hospitality industry, alcohol and cannabis move on to post-Covid recovery. We’ve got a lot of challenges there for the industry next two years. To make sure Oregon’s economy is strong and we do our part with that with the resources given to us.”
Commissioners ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found on the OLCC website
|Post Date: 2021-07-19 12:52:28||Last Update: 2021-07-19 13:06:40|
Confederated Tribes and Federal government working together
After twelve years of collaboration, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has completed a land exchange
with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (CTWSRO), with support from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The Pine Creek/Spring Basin Land Exchange was authorized in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
, to consolidate both tribal and Federal lands.
As part of the exchange, the BLM conveyed approximately 4,200 acres to the CTWSRO. The BLM acquired roughly 4,500 acres, adding over 2,700 acres to federal ownership within the Spring Basin Wilderness Area (SBWA) and over 2.25 miles of federally managed river frontage along the John Day River.
The CTWSRO owns and manages the 34,012-acre Pine Creek Conservation Area (PCCA) adjacent to the newly designated SBWA. The Federal lands being conveyed to the CTWSRO are within the 10 million acres ceded to the United States by the CTWSRO in their 1855 Treaty
. With this exchange, the CTWSRO will be able to incorporate the BLM parcels, currently scattered throughout the PCCA, into their conservation area and manage them for fish, wildlife, and watershed mitigation purposes in collaboration with the BPA under an approved conservation easement and management plan.
The completion of this exchange seems to show a coordinated effort by the BLM, the CTWSRO, and the BPA to work together toward the goal of providing for more efficient land management for all agencies and an increased benefit to the public who enjoys these lands.
|Post Date: 2021-07-19 10:08:31||Last Update: 2021-07-19 10:39:08|
The event is expected to generate $11 million in economic impact
More than 2,000 athletes and their supporters from around the world are heading to Salem for Ironman’s latest endurance competition.
Ironman 70.3 Oregon will take place on Sunday, July 25, 2021, beginning at 6:00am in Riverfront Park.
For decades, Ironman events have attracted athletes to compete against each other and the grueling course itself. This year’s Ironman 70.3 Oregon consists of a 1.2-mile swim down the Willamette River from Minto-Brown Island Park to Riverfront Park, followed by a 56-mile bike ride South on River Rd. S. towards the Ankeny Natural Wildlife Refuge, and finishes with a 13.1-mile run from Riverfront Park through Minto-Brown Island Park and back.
The city and their partners in tourism, including Travel Salem, are hosting Ironman 70.3 Oregon, which is expected to generate approximately $11 million in economic impact for the Salem region. Details about the course, including maps, volunteer opportunities, and information about park and street impacts, can be found at Ironman 70.3 Oregon
The areas surrounding the more than 70-mile race course will remain open to the public but significant crowds and limited parking should be expected. Several road closures are planned and signs are posted in these areas warning drivers of the traffic impacts that may occur throughout the day.
|Post Date: 2021-07-19 09:35:27|
The result should make it harder for Democrats to bring knee-jerk lawsuits
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan released an emotional audio statement
on the official Secretary of State website where she decried the US Supreme Court’s decision without citing what Brnovich vs DNC entailed.
The National Review presented some details
on what the decision entails:
“The decision is a positive step for the rule of law and a setback for lawsuits that hamstring states from running efficient elections.”
“The two Arizona laws were challenged under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, 52 U.S.C. § 10301, and under the 15th Amendment’s ban on intentional race discrimination in voting. The result should make it harder for Democrats to bring knee-jerk lawsuits over every change in voting laws without showing that they present a genuinely discriminatory obstacle to the overall opportunity to vote. The Court also made clear that a Section 2 case cannot be based on attacks on the purpose or intent of the legislators without showing that there was, in fact, a discriminatory effect on the opportunity to vote.”
The Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School notes the gains
made by the State of Arizona:
“Helen Purcell, in support of Arizona, argues that over the years Arizona has taken considerable steps in their voting rights laws to assure ease of voting and equal opportunity for all citizens. From absentee voting, early voting, accommodations for those with disabilities, and emergency voting, Purcell maintains that Arizona has done its duty to assure accessible voting for all its citizens. The Republican Governors Public Policy Committee, in support of Arizona, agrees that Arizona’s laws serve to make voting easier and secure, and do not result in discrimination of any particular racial group. Indeed, RPPC claims that as Arizona’s population has increased, its voter turnout has steadily kept pace which shows that voter disenfranchisement is not an issue. But allowing third-parties to collect votes, RPPC contends, would take away the integrity of secure voting and serve to devalue the system”
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s passionate statement gave no details as to how this US Supreme Court decision effects or impacts citizens voting in Oregon. Some citizens believe the Secretary of State’s office should not be a partisan office but should be managed for the benefit and rights of all Oregonians.
Oregon counties have yet to weigh in as to how this will affect or will not affect how each county runs their elections.
|Post Date: 2021-07-19 09:13:18||Last Update: 2021-07-19 09:35:27|
As of the end of 2020, there were 636,000 active recipients
Oregon again swims upstream passing the Sanctuary Promise Act. In its wake, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in favor of nine states against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Judge Hanen said President Barack Obama exceeded his authority when he created the program without providing a pathway to citizenship. The DACA 2012 memo enables certain young immigrants who are in the country illegally and were brought to the U.S. as children to live and work in the country for two-year periods and allows renewal. The ruling halted new applicants but allows immigrants currently protected to keep their status allowing DACA renewals while the case goes through the appeals process. As of the end of 2020, there were 636,000 active recipients. That doesn’t nearly cover the fate of 11 million undocumented people. Plaintiff states were able to successfully prove that the DACA program has increased states’ costs associated with health care, education and law enforcement.
The Sanctuary Promise Act, HB 3265
waiting for the Governor’s signature, ensures public bodies and Oregon law enforcement agencies cannot deny services, benefits and other opportunities due to immigration status or federal immigration action, or inquire about one’s immigration status, unless a criminal investigation is ongoing. The bill clarifies guidelines around Oregon’s interaction with federal documentation requirements in order to improve access to public entities and social services.
The Department of Justice estimates the need of $905,074 of General Funds. The Department of Corrections indicates that the provisions of this bill may endanger the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program grants. The grant funds are intended to partially offset the cost of incarceration relative to the actual undocumented population in the prison system. DOC estimates the grants at $2.5 million Federal Funds per biennium. The grants require that certain information be provided to the U.S. Department of Justice concerning adults in custody and it would appear this measure would prohibit disclosing this information. This may put in jeopardy the Department of Correction’s ability to apply for these grants.
prohibits local law enforcement and other public entities from gathering and sharing immigration information with federal immigration authorities or otherwise assisting immigration law enforcement. The bill also ensures that immigration detention centers cannot operate in Oregon and prohibits federal immigration authorities from carrying out warrantless arrests in Oregon’s courthouses and their vicinities. House Bill 3265 also provides an option to hold accountable individuals and entities that violate this policy.
Senator Chris Gorsek (D-Troutdale), co-sponsor stated, “Oregonians value fairness and recognize an individual’s humanity is above documentation status. It’s on us to change our systems and prove that every one of us deserves equal treatment under the law.” Which laws might he be referring to?
|Post Date: 2021-07-19 08:55:20||Last Update: 2021-07-19 09:13:18|
Criminal justice system practices have a significant effect
Twice each year the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis produces the Oregon Corrections Population Forecast which provides projections of the offender populations supervised by the Oregon Department of Corrections. The Department is mandated to use the forecast for budgeting and policy development where the inmate population is concerned.
The report chronicles a steep decline -- based on the reduced ability of the criminal justice system to function due to COVID-19 -- followed by a predicted return to normal, based on normalization of society.
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing dramatic upheaval in the state’s prison system. From April 2020 to February 2021, intakes to prison are 140 intakes below pre-pandemic averages on a monthly basis. This has caused the prison population to drop well below the prior forecast. This forecast assumes that intakes continue to fall short of normal levels, albeit at a decreasing rate, until October 2021. At that point, the criminal justice system is expected to resume functioning in a normal manner. The accuracy of the forecast presented herein is critically dependent on these assumptions and will deteriorate if any or all of them fail to hold.
The report acknowledges that changes in the law and practices within the criminal justice system can impact prison population, but doesn't factor the criminal justice reform bills of the first special session of June 2020 into its forecast:
Criminal justice system practices have a significant effect on the flow of individuals through the court system and into the prisons. Emphasis on specific criminal activity and plea practices, for example, can change based on law enforcement policy and prosecutorial discretion. The amount of discretion in the corrections system, in particular with respect to prosecution of crimes and punishments sought, introduces a considerable degree of uncertainty to the forecast. Even if there was never a change in criminal activity or laws in Oregon, the prison population could vary considerably based on administrative procedures, policies, and individual discretion exercised in law enforcement, prosecution, plea bargaining, and sentencing by judges.
On the heels of the death -- adjudicated to be a murder -- of George Floyd in Minnesota, the following bills were championed by State Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Portland), passed in June 2020 and have been signed into law by Governor Brown:
- HB 4201 Establishes Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform.
- HB 4203 Provides that peace officer may not use force that impedes normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure on throat or neck, unless peace officer may use deadly physical force.
- HB 4205 Requires police officer or reserve officer to intervene to prevent or stop another officer engaged in certain misconduct, unless intervening officer cannot intervene safely.
- HB 4207 Directs Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to establish public statewide online database of suspensions and revocations of certifications of police officers.
- HB 4208 Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using tear gas for purposes of crowd control except in circumstances constituting riot.
- HB 4210 Repeals driving privilege suspension and eliminates imposition of driving privilege restrictions for failure to pay fine.
- SB 1604 Restricts arbitration award from ordering disciplinary action that differs from disciplinary action imposed by law enforcement agency if arbitrator makes finding that misconduct occurred consistent with agency's finding of misconduct, and disciplinary action imposed by agency is consistent with provisions of discipline guide or discipline matrix adopted by agency as result of collective bargaining and incorporated into agency's disciplinary policies.
None of these so-called reforms will drive a spike in prison population, but collectively they could drive an increase, especially if backed by the winds of political forces.
Meanwhile, as crime increases -- especially in the Metro area -- the Mill Creek Correctional Facility near Salem and Shutter Creek Correctional Institution in North Bend are both going to be closed within the next six months, marking a loss of over 300 beds. Prior to COVID-19, the ongoing riots and basic lawlessness in the Metro area, and the prison reform bills of the 2020 First Special Session, prison forecasting was easier. We will have to see how the forecasts turn out in the next few years.
|Post Date: 2021-07-18 16:22:33||Last Update: 2021-07-18 17:04:20|
Read More Articles