April 25, 2019 Daily Clips


Vaccine bill one step closer to legislative approval


On a party-line vote, an Oregon legislative committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would eliminate non-medical vaccine exemptions for students. Oregon currently has an estimated 15,500 school-aged children whose parents used non-medical grounds to exempt their children from being vaccinated for contagious diseases including measles and hepatitis B. If the bill becomes law, such children would be barred from attending public or private schools, licensed day cares and preschools. Online schools and home school would be their only option. All three Republicans on the subcommittee voted no. “I believe this bill, if it passes the House and the Senate ultimately, truly is the beginning of the death of freedom,” said Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Roseburg. “The majority party has always talked about ‘my body, my choice.’ How can that not apply to my child?”

In Oregon’s Vaccine Fight, Some Exemptions Could Become Easier To Get

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Parents seeking a doctor’s permission not to immunize their children against some diseases could have a streamlined process for doing so, under an amendment being floated to a controversial bill dealing with vaccine policy in Oregon. That bill, House Bill 3063, would eliminate the religious or philosophical exemptions thousands of parents in the state use to avoid having their children vaccinated for communicable diseases. Such vaccinations are otherwise required for a child to attend schools. But parents would still have the option of seeking a doctor’s permission to delay or altogether skip vaccinations for medical reasons — typically because of allergic reactions to chemicals in vaccines. Lawmakers are considering ways to make that process easier.

Kids and crime in Oregon: Debate on second chances doesn’t offer much middle ground


Starkly divergent views of a series of proposed reforms to Oregon’s juvenile justice system emerged Wednesday during a packed legislative hearing on the bill. Senate Bill 1008 would end the automatic referral of juveniles facing Measure 11 charges to adult court, allowing judges to decide. The bill has already passed the Oregon Senate and is before the House. Opponents, including victims of violent crimes committed by juveniles, urged lawmakers to reject the bill, arguing that the state’s decades-old system has made Oregon safer.

Oregon House votes unanimously to repeal gigabit tax break


Oregon lawmakers voted unanimously in 2015 to create a tax break for internet service providers. On Wednesday, the Oregon House voted unanimously again – this time to repeal what it had done. The Legislature created the tax break for companies offering internet service at 1 gigabit per second in hopes of luring Google Fiber to the Portland area. But lawmakers badly miscalculated. Google jilted Portland and then, as faster internet speeds became commonplace, other companies moved to capitalize on the tax break worth millions of dollars a year. Lawmakers were close to a repeal last session but the bill mysteriously died in committee despite bipartisan support.

Sen. Sara Gelser presses DHS officials during heated Oregon foster care hearing

Statesman Journal

Oregon lawmakers and child welfare officials went head-to-head in a tense hearing over the state’s beleaguered foster care system, with a top official accusing lawmakers of “public shaming.” It was a rocky start to the first of a planned series of twice-weekly hearings meant to tackle a crisis in the state’s foster care system, which has faced intense scrutiny over the years and recently became the target of a federal lawsuit. Sen. Sara Gelser, a Democrat from Corvallis who has become a vocal child welfare advocate, called the Tuesday hearing for an update on seven children with intellectual and developmental disabilities who were sent to out-of-state residential facilities.

Oregon Sent Foster Children With Disabilities Out Of State, Hearing Reveals

Oregon Public Broadcasting

When news broke that Oregon was sending foster care children to out-of-state facilities at an increasing rate, Child Welfare director Marilyn Jones responded by writing an opinion piece assuring members of the public: “We know where they are every day, we know how they are doing.” Jones also promised the state was working with independent, third-party professionals “to monitor the child’s well-being and conduct, in-person meetings every 30 days.” That’s not true. First, reports surfaced of a 9-year-old Oregon girl who was dropped off at a facility in Montana and then never received a visit from a third-party contractor or Child Welfare official for six months. She was also repeatedly injected with drugs aimed at making her lethargic.

Bill To Expand Jail Data Tracking Clears Oregon House, Heads To Senate

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oregon House passed a bill 55-2 on Tuesday that could help them better understand the rising death rate in county jails. The legislation follows an investigation by OPB, KUOW and the Northwest News Network, which revealed that 306 people have died in Oregon and Washington jails since 2008. Many had not been convicted of a crime. The leading cause of death was suicide. Oregon and Washington do not comprehensively track the number of people who die in jails.


Beaverton School District Faces Big Cuts In Proposed Budget

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon’s three largest school districts have released budget drafts for next year. Of the three — Portland, Beaverton and Salem-Keizer — cutbacks will likely hit Beaverton hardest. With a $35 million deficit to make up, Beaverton projects bigger class sizes and the loss of 300 staff, including more than 200 teachers. Other cuts include professional development resources and support for students learning English. Superintendent Don Grotting presented the budget to a packed house of teachers, parents and community members Monday. “In my 22 years as a superintendent, this is one of the most concerning budgets I put together,” Grotting said.

Oregon’s Air Is Getting Worse, According To American Lung Association

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon’s air is getting worse — according to a new report from the American Lung Association. Every year the association looks at data from federal air monitors in 900 counties. Those monitors track things like ozone and particle pollution, from factories and wildfires. Carrie Nyssen with the American Lung Association said the country has seen a lot of progress over the years, but climate change is now proving a problem.

Need a scorecard to keep up with city’s 2020 election?

Portland Tribune

The recent news that county Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson may run for the Portland mayor’s job in 2020 amounted to an only-in-Multnomah political trial balloon. So far, the race features a potential candidate who can’t declare that she’s running and a seemingly declared incumbent who may not run — along with an activist who’s definitely running, but may not win. Next year’s Portland primary has all the makings of “one of the most interesting and historic elections” in the city’s history, lobbyist and political analyst Len Bergstein said.

Port of Astoria, Astoria Warehousing seek special development rules

The Daily Astorian

Astoria Warehousing and the Port of Astoria are asking for alternative city codes to guide future development at property they own along the riverfront. At a Planning Commission meeting Tuesday, city staff suggested allowing Astoria Warehousing to create a plan district within the Bridge Vista section of the city’s Riverfront Vision Plan, which outlines how development unfolds. The plan district would not be constrained by the same codes that apply to the rest of Bridge Vista, which stretches from Portway Street to Second Street. Jim Knight, the Port’s executive director, asked that the Port also be allowed to create a plan district.

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