The 2018 short legislative session is underway and the ACLU of Oregon is hard at work on your behalf. However, we need your help! Short legislative sessions are brief and bills move fast. In a time when so much is at stake, we must urge the Oregon legislature to stand up for civil rights and civil liberties. When our civil rights and liberties are at risk and the federal government isn’t willing to step up, we can turn to state and local law and still make a difference in the lives of Oregonians.

2018 Legislative Session Priorities

Chief Sponsors: Representative Williamson, Holvey.
Regular Sponsors: Representative Barker, Barnhart, Clem, Doherty, Fahey, Gomberg, Gorsek, Greenlick, Helm, Hernandez, Keny-Guyer, Kotek, Lively, Malstrom, Marsh, McLain, Nosse, Piluso, Power, Rayfield, Salinas, Sanchez, Smith Warner.
 
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently rolled back important protections for the internet, but the Oregon Legislature can still protect net neutrality at the state level!
 
Why is this important? Businesses need a neutral internet, consumers deserve choices, and a free society depends on access to information.
 
Protecting net neutrality will keep the internet open, free from interference with the flow of information, to ensure that future generations will be able to fully utilize the greatest platform for free expression, democracy, and innovation we have ever known.
 
Chief Sponsors: Representative Williamson; Senator Manning Jr.
Regular Sponsors: Representative Bynum, Greenlick, Hernandez, Holvey, Malstrom, McLain, Nosse, Power, Rayfield, Salinas, Sanchez
 
Criminal defendants in our state are often required to waive a range of rights and even access to rehabilitation programs as a condition of plea agreements and jail release agreements. In some cases, these agreements have included the waiver of constitutional and procedural rights. This is profoundly unfair and undercuts the checks and balances that our justice system needs. 
 
HB 4149 would help ensure that whether people are scared, confused, or getting bad counsel, they should not be presented with an offer to waive crucial rights.
 
Note that HB 4149 was amended in the House Judiciary Committee to only address a smaller range of waivers in these agreements. A work group will be formed in the interim to discuss the remaining portions of the bill and bring it back to this legislature for consideration next year. As amended, HB 4149 will prohibit requiring a defendant to:
•Waive their right to appear at their own trial as a condition of release from jail;
•Waive the prosecutor's obligation to disclose evidence that proves the defendant is innocent;
•Waive the defendant's right to obtain a copy of the recording of grand jury proceedings; and
•Stipulate that a law is unconstitutional. 
Chief Sponsors: Representative Rayfield, Representative Keny-Guyer, Senator Roblan
Regular Sponsors: Representative Evans, Fahey, Greenlick, Hernandez, Nosse, Power, Salinas, Sanchez, Sollman; Senator Frederick, Manning Jr
 
Too often candidates for elected office are forced to rely on big donors to raise the money needed to run for office. Small donor elections programs help break down the financial barriers to running for office, meaning everyday people have a fighting chance to win a campaign. 
 
Our government should be a voice for all of Oregon. A small donor elections system gives candidates for elected office the opportunity to rely on small donors to fund their campaigns and reduces reliance on wealthy special interests.
 
  • Paid Return Postage on Oregon Ballots, HB 4158

At the request of Representative Williamson
 
HB 4158 would give Oregon counties the freedom to provide pre-paid postage envelopes to voters. Counties are technically prohibited by state law from paying for postage for electors if they choose to - even for special format ballots. 
 
Providing paid return postage on ballots will increase access to voting for all Oregonians. Paying for return postage on ballots would be especially impactful for rural voters who may not have a ballot drop box or place to buy a stamp nearby; overseas military personnel; people who live on fixed or low incomes; people with disabilities; and new voters. 
 

Calendar of Events

2/6 - Oregon Let People Vote Webinar
2/8 - Small Donor Elections Hearing 
2/14 - CAUSA Advocacy Day
2/19 - ACLU of Oregon Day of Action at the Capitol
2/23 - Net Neutrality Rally 

Questions? Contact Jazmin Roque, ACLU of Oregon statewide organizer. 

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