BEND, OR -- Deschutes County's Board of Commissioners have chosen which bills they will focus on this Legislative session. what legislation they want to focus on this session. Board Chair Phil Henderson says each bill is rated by priority, "There's a lot on our list and we can't really do that many. We label them ones, twos, threes, fours; fours are basically just monitoring. , and then we say whether we support them or oppose them, so we just kind of track each one. ; some will be just monitored, while Commissioners plan to be actively engaged with others.
Commissioner Henderson says, because so much marijuana is produced here, they're prioritizing Senate Bill 365 and an additional amendment that could change how the county regulates grows. "We charge systems development charges (SDCs) in Deschutes County for grows in rural areas, and there's a bill trying to remove our ability to do that. So, we've opposed that bill. There's also an amendment being offered to do away with our ability to regulate marijuana grows, which was one of the reasons Commissioners, three years ago, opted in to allowing marijuana, was because we had some ability to do some regulation."
Commissioners are also interested in Bend State Representative Cheri Helt's bill that would remove all but medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations. In addition, they're watching several bills that would impact affordable housing, and one that would fund an additional Circuit Court Judge. Henderson tells KBND News, "We haven't had an additional judge for almost, I think it's 15 years, and our population has gone up about 30%. Along with that, though, is trying to get funding for expansion of the courthouse."