State Capitol
Press Release
May 27, 2009
Governor signs 68 bills into law - greater protections for every Oregonian and our environment
 
(Salem) -  Governor Ted Kulongoski signed 68 bills into law, representing many ways the state will better regulate those who care for children, protect seniors when confronting guardianship proceedings and prevent invasive species from entering ecosystems throughout Oregon.
 
A summary of some of those bills is below. For the full list, visit: http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/2009_Action.shtml      
 
Children and Families
 
HB 2135 – Requiring Smoking Disclosures to Renters: Renters should be apprised that they may be exposed to secondhand smoke if they are renting in a complex or house where smoking was or is allowed. This legislation requires landlords to disclose the smoking status of rental property as a standard part of the lease agreement. 
 
HB 2206 – Closing Child Care Provider Loophole: Currently an individual may care for up to three unrelated children in addition to his/her own, or conduct a preschool for four hours or less a day, without a license. This ‘exempt care’ currently contains a loophole for those who have lost their ability to provide licensed care. This legislation closes this loophole. Any person who has had their license revoked or suspended or who has been removed from the criminal history registry will not be able to provide exempt care.
 
SB 188 – Increasing Food Safety: Currently the state is only able to seek minor criminal penalties for food safety violations. This legislation changes that by authorizing the Department of Agriculture to impose civil penalties for food safety violations of up to $10,000 for each violation. The authority to impose civil penalties is similar to that exercised by the federal government.
 
SB 238 – Protecting Seniors and Reducing Elder Abuse: States are enacting the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act to require a court in Oregon to cooperate with a court in another state or foreign country in a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding. Allows an Oregon court to request a court outside this state to, among other things, hold evidentiary hearings, order an assessment of the person subject to a guardianship or conservatorship, and order a person to produce evidence or give testimony. The legislation also requires Oregon courts to accommodate courts from other jurisdictions in a similar manner. Defines “home state” as the state in which a person subject to a guardianship or conservatorship is physically present for at least 6 months. Defines “significant-connection state” as a state other than the home state where a person has significant connection other than mere physical presence.
 
SB 110 – Improving Survivor Benefits for On-the-Job Deaths: At the request of the Legislature, a committee studied the adequacy of death benefits in the workers’ compensation system and recommended burial benefits be increased. This legislation increases benefits paid for final disposition and funeral expenses from 10 times to 20 times the average weekly wage, which is to be paid by the workers’ compensation insurer or self-insured employer. It also increases benefits to a child or dependent from the ages of 18 to 23, with no surviving parents, to 66.66 percent of the average weekly wage. It also clarifies that benefits to children continue until the child ceases to attend a higher education program, graduates from an approved institute or program, or until their 23rd birthday, whichever is earlier.
 
 
Consumer Protection
 
HB 2268 – Requiring Full Disclosure of Car Repairs Costs: This legislation requires vehicle repair shops to prepare a cost estimate before starting repair work and preauthorization from vehicle owner or owner’s designee for certain work if estimate is more than $200. The legislation also prohibits vehicle repair shops from charging for work not performed; gives the owner of a vehicle the choice to waive authorization requirement after full disclosure.
 
 
Environment
 
HB 2625 – Strengthening Invasive Species Protections: This legislation provides authorization for the Department of Environmental Quality to board and inspect vessels regulated under ballast water statutes. Ballast water is water taken on by ships in their originating port for stability. Mandatory regulations established by the U.S. Coast guard require vessels entering U.S. waters to conduct mid-ocean ballast water exchanges at least 200 nautical miles from shore where the depth is at least 200 meters. To verify compliance, DEQ is authorized to collect samples of ballast water from ships docking in Oregon.
 
HB 2714 – Task Force on Shipping Transport Aquatic Invasive Species:  This legislation authorizes the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt rules regarding the discharge of ballast water from vessels. It also creates a diverse task force to recommend actions Oregon can take to prevent the spread of invasive species by the shipping industry. The task force, which will focus on ballast water policy, is asked to submit its report to the legislature by June 2010.
 
 
Veterans
 
SB 98 – Task Force on Veterans Transportation: Currently Oregon veterans, many with disabilities, must travel long distances to access federal Veterans’ Affairs health care facilities. This task force will look at this problem to study methods for creating a statewide transportation system to assist veterans.
 
 
To access the full text of the legislation signed into law today, click here.
 
 
Contacts:
Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-6169
Jillian Schoene, 503-378-5040
Rem Nivens, 503-378-6496

Page updated: May 27, 2009


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