The ACLU of Oregon often takes positions on state, city, and county proposals that would have an impact on civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU is strictly non-partisan; we never support or oppose candidates for elective office.
Oregon’s 77th Legislative Session is underway. This session presents exciting opportunities to make positive advancements in each of ACLU of Oregon’s strategic priority areas and we will need your support to make it happen. Sign up for our email Action Alerts to stay informed.
Update: June 10, 2013 - Today the Senate approved HB 2710 with strong bipartisan support. It is expected that the bill will be sent to an additional joint committee in order to work out a couple of small drafting issues, after which the legislature will send the bill to the Governor for his signature.
May 30, 2013 - Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – aka “drones” – in Oregon present the opportunity for unprecedented levels of surveillance of innocent Oregonians. Unlike helicopters, which impose natural limitations on use such as cost and size, drones and the technology with which they can be matched can travel to more places and do so without detection.
The ACLU has been working closely with Oregon legislators to draft and advance HB 2710, a bill to update our state privacy laws to address use of this new technology by our government, and today the Senate Committee on Judiciary sent the bill to the Senate floor and one step closer to final passage. The version of the bill that is moving forward represents our compromises amongst a long list of stakeholders, including those representing law enforcement, criminal defense attorneys, the Department of Justice, and agricultural groups.
Update: June 3, 2013 - Governor Kitzhaber signed HB 2654 into law on May 22, 2013. Today, the House took final action on the companion bill to HB 2654, SB 344, which protects privacy of social media accounts for students and applicants to Oregon institutions of higher education. SB 344 heads to the Governor for signature.
May 16, 2013 - Today the Oregon Legislature took final action on HB 2654, sending the bill to the Governor with strong bipartisan support. The Legislature’s approval of this bill signals to Oregonians that policy makers value online privacy and that we should not have to give up our rights to privacy as many of our social interactions move online.
HB 2654 takes a stand against practices we have seen in other states where a growing number of employers are demanding that job applicants and employees hand over the passwords to their private social networking accounts such as Facebook. Such demands constitute a clear invasion of privacy. Private activities that would never be intruded upon offline should not receive less privacy protection simply because they take place online.
May 7, 2013 - ACLU supports the proposals in HB 3194 because we believe they have the potential to limit the growth incarceration in Oregon without sacrificing public safety and allow for reinvestment of prison savings into proven community justice alternatives that can lower recidivism rates.
The Oregon Legislature is considering recommendations, in HB 3194, to bring changes to parts of the state’s criminal sentencing scheme. Over the past 20 years, the number of people incarcerated in Oregon’s prisons has risen steadily and, therefore, so has the need for additional prisons, staff and other resources to maintain the state’s inmate population.
May 1, 2013 - Today, as part of a May Day Rally on the Capitol steps, Governor Kitzhaber signed into law a bill to restore access to driver licenses for immigrants in Oregon. The ACLU of Oregon applauds the Legislature and the Governor for this important step forward.
Since 2007, when then Governor Ted Kulongoski signed an Executive Order to require proof of lawful presence as a condition of receiving a driver license, thousands of people in Oregon have been faced with the terrible choice between not driving to school, work, and medical appointments, or driving unlicensed with an ever-present fear of being pulled over. With the harmful and ongoing entanglement between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement, a routine traffic stop could lead to deportation proceedings, making this choice for unlicensed Oregonians even more high-stakes.
Update: April 22, 2013 - HB 3014 passed the House (42-16). It now goes to the Senate.
April 8, 2013 – In Oregon, schools districts are required to give students the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance once a week. HB 3014 would expand the requirement to at least once a day and also require each classroom to display the United States flag. The ACLU opposes HB 3014 since it would heighten existing concerns about the free expression and religious freedom implications of the current law. We believe the current law is flawed, not only because of the requirement that public schools provide students with the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on a weekly basis, but that it also requires the “One Nation under God” version in the state law.
The ACLU of Oregon strongly opposes SB 470, a proposal to expand the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
Update: March 21, 2013 - Passed the Senate (22-8), referred to the House Health Care Committee on March 27.
March 12, 2013 - The Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) was passed in 2009 over ACLU’s strong objection. The ACLU has always believed that information we provide in exchange for a specific purpose, service or benefit should only be used for that purpose unless we consent to an additional use of our personal information. Any data collected, maintained and stored by the government, especially data about our private medical history should be as secure as possible and access to the data strictly limited. SB 470 would expand the PDMP in some significant ways, as it would collect more information about patients and disclose private records to more people. For more information about the bill, read the ACLU of Oregon's testimony opposing SB 470.
February 25, 2013 - The Public Safety Committee meets on Wednesday evening to consider for the first time legislative proposals for smart public safety reform. For almost two years, a group of legislators, judges, and criminal justice officials and stakeholders has been meeting as the Public Safety Commission to examine ways that Oregon can control anticipated growth in the prison population and public safety spending. In December 2012 the Commission submitted its report to the Governor, which outlined several options for policy changes in 2013.
UPDATE: April 2, 2013 - Governor Kitzhaber signed HB 2787 into law.
Oregon's Tuition Equity bill, HB 2787, received its first public hearing on February 13in Salem.
Introduced with strong bi-partisan support from members in both the House and the Senate, HB 2787 would enable Oregonians who are unable to prove lawful presence in the country to still apply for in-state tuition at Oregon colleges and universities.