How the Issues Fared in Oregon's Legislative Session
After 31 days and one and a half snow days, Oregon’s 2014 Legislative session came to an end at 5 p.m Friday.
Here’s how some of the session’s biggest issues fared.
Gun control: Senate Bill 1551 would have expanded background checks for firearm sales to include all transfers except for a few between certain family members, but it died in the Senate Rules Committee for the second session in a row. Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, said he will be back in 2015 with a slightly different approach.
He hopes to pass legislation giving judges the option of prohibiting patients ordered into outpatient mental health treatment the option of prohibiting their access to firearms, and allowing the Oregon State Police to alert local authorities when a person’s background check is denied.
Marijuana dispensaries: Cities and counties will have until May 1, 2014 to decide whether they want to impose one-year moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries. SB 1531 also placed additional restrictions on the packaging of marijuana infused food products. Marijuana businesses that applied for a license from the Oregon Health Authority this week will be eligible for a full refund of the $4,000 fee if their local city or county vote to for a temporary ban.
Marijuana legalization: A bill that would have referred a vote on legalizing recreational marijuana for people 21 or older failed to get out of the Senate Rules Committee this session. Marijuana legalization advocates plan to pick up where lawmakers left off by bringing their own initiative to the 2014 ballot.
Cover Oregon: HB 4154 directs Cover Oregon to seek more time from the federal government for Oregonians to obtain health insurance and take advantage of tax credits. The website still cannot be used as intended, with weeks left in the open enrollment period. It also extends whistle-blower protection to Cover Oregon employees and specifies the governor’s authority to remove board members.