SALEM, OR -- The 2019 legislative session has already seen its first "witching hour" deadline. Policy bills not scheduled for a committee work session by the end of last week are not allowed to advance. State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) says he's disappointed his school threats bill didn't make the cut. It would have made it a felony to make a terroristic threat, "[It] just kind of died in the Judiciary Committee. So, we're going to have to continue the discussion on that, probably another session, because I think that's important to create more penalties for threats to students and teachers." He's also frustrated his fellow lawmakers failed to take action on PERS reform, "Some bills that we put in didn't make it through the process, which is unfortunate. Maybe those will get revived somewhere down the line, in Ways and Means. But, right now, those appear to be dead."
Some of Knopp's top priorities survived the initial cut, "Kaylee's Law; [it's] really important to get that passed, and that's scheduled for a work session. The Redmond affordable housing bill is coming out of the Senate Housing Committee; I'm going to carry that on the floor next week. And then we have the workplace sexual harassment bill that I think we're going to get through the Senate committee." And, he plans to fight some bills that did make it into committee, especially those he thinks would damage Oregon's small business community, "There's some significant tax increases that, I think, are going to be unproductive for our economy, and for employees of small businesses."
The next deadline is April ninth, when bills need to have been discussed in a work session, followed by voting deadline at the end of May.