SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

March 05, 2003                                                                                                   Hearing Room 343

8:00 a.m.                                                                                                                       Tapes 49 - 50

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. John Minnis, Chair

Sen. Ginny Burdick, Vice-Chair

Sen. Ted Ferrioli

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Charles Starr

Sen. Vicki Walker

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Craig Prins, Counsel

Jane Bodenweiser, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:           HB 2426 Public Hearing and Work Session

                                                SB 259 Public Hearing

                                                SB 297 Public Hearing

                                               

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

Tape 49, A

003

Chair Minnis

Calls the meeting to order at 8:10 a.m. and opens a public hearing on HB 2426 that makes technical or advisory committees and task forces for Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research subject to public meeting laws.

HB 2426 PUBLIC HEARING

010

Jim Gardner

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of HB 2426 (EXHIBIT A).

059

Sen. Ringo

Asks what happened to the opposition of HB 2945 from last session.

063

Gardner

Explains it is either a change in administration or a change in policy.

088

Chair Minnis

Closes the public hearing on HB 2426 and opens a work session.

HB 2426 WORK SESSION

092

Vice Chair Burdick

MOTION:  Moves HB 2426 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation and be placed on the CONSENT CALENDAR.

 

 

VOTE:  5-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Sen. Ferrioli

097

Chair Minnis

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. MINNIS will lead discussion on the floor.


 

102

Chair Minnis

Closes the work session on HB 2426 and opens a public hearing on SB 259.

SB 259 PUBLIC HEARING

099

Mark Landauer

City of Portland, Office of Government Relations.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 259 that requires person requesting inspection of public record that person knows relates to claim against public body to notify attorney for public body of request (EXHIBIT B).

124

Ben Walters

City of Portland.  Testifies in support of SB 259.

141

Sen. Ringo

Questions the fairness issue.

157

Walters

Says a public request could fall in the wrong hands.

174

Sen. Ringo

Asks for clarification of the procedure for review of public records.

180

Walters

Explains that some records are routine, but some need review by the city attorney.

202

Andrea Meyer

American Civil Liberties Union. Testifies as neutral on SB 259.

232

Sen. Ferrioli

Talks about procedures set up in SB 259 and wonders if all the steps will be taken.

290

Chair Minnis

Suggests contacting the Attorney General’s office for further clarification of what the law change does.

297

Chair Ringo

Suggests that the city wants an opportunity to see if there is damaging information in the records.

328

Chair Minnis

Closes the public hearing on SB 259 and opens a public hearing on SB 297.

SB 297 PUBLIC HEARING

342

Justin Baxter

Oregon State Bar.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 297 that creates presumption that certain clauses in consumer contract on standardized printed form are void (EXHIBIT C).

TAPE 50, A

047

Chair Minnis

Asks about federal law preemption.

052

Baxter

Explains the federal preemption.

060

Chair Minnis

Asks about the binding nature of arbitration clauses.

063

Baxter

Points out article 1, section 17 of the Oregon Constitution.

074

Chair Minnis

Wonders about states rights and federal preemption.

083

Baxter

Says the evolving law of arbitration points to state law.

098

Sen. Walker

Asks if the national independent auto dealers want arbitration.

108

Baxter

Refers to exhibit C in his written testimony.

136

Sen. Walker

Inquires about the goal of this legislation.

142

Baxter

Responds, it is a matter of free choice.

159

Sen. Walker

Thinks the bill is too broad.

167

Chair Minnis

Wonders if physicians could use consumer contracts.

172

Baxter

Says some states have HMO’s using such contracts.

186

Sen. Ringo

Asks when arbitration is expensive and when not.

192

Baxter

Gives an example of arbitration being expensive.

229

Sen. Ringo

Asks who gets to choose the arbitrator.

233

Baxter

Explains that it is usually the drafter of the contract.

253

Sen. Ringo

Expresses concern about steering by the drafter to a particular arbitrator.

275

Chair Minnis

Asks if line 17 in the bill violates contract law.

279

Baxter

Clarifies his understanding of contract law.

294

Chair Minnis

Calls for a 5 minute recess at 9:00 a.m.

297

Chair Minnis

Reconvenes the meeting at 9:15 a.m. and re-opens the public hearing on SB 297.

303

Bruce Rothman

Oregon Consumer League.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 297 (EXHIBIT D).

512

John Powell

Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon, State Farm Insurance, and North pacific Insurance. Introduces Leonard Hagen.

TAPE 49, B

006

Leonard Hagen

Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 297 (EXHIBIT E).  Discusses the need to use standardized contracts.

081

Sen. Ringo

Expresses his understanding of what this bill would provide.

084

Hagen

Says the bill is much too broad.

100

Sen. Ringo

Says he would like to focus on the issue of the arbitration clause.

108

Hagen

Discusses their industry’s policy.

118

Powell

Talks about arbitration in the insurance industry.

137

Sen. Ferrioli

Wonders if a consumer is free to x-out any part of a contract.  Asks how to balance access to legal protection while being bound by a binding arbitration clause.

170

Hagen

Says he does not know where the balance is.

176

Sen. Ferrioli

Expresses his approval of this bill.

192

Lana Butterfield

Safeco Insurance Co.  Introduces Bob Dorband.

198

Bob Dorband

Safeco Insurance Co.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 297 (EXHIBIT F).

224

Chair Minnis

Asks if consumers are aware of the content of contracts.

227

Dorband

Replies that in some instances, they are not.

232

Chair Minnis

Asks about the principal in law with respect to contracts.

234

Dorband

Says there is an assumption that people enter into contracts freely and voluntarily.

240

Chair Minnis

Asks how an insurance company can guarantee that a consumer knows the contents of a contract.


 

244

Dorband

Says policies are highly regulated and are drafted in a simple, consumer friendly manner.

277

Peggy Anet

Health Insurance Association of America.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 297 (EXHIBIT G).

342

Chair Minnis

Asks if her organizations use binding arbitration clauses.

346

Anet

Responds they have deleted binding arbitration clauses and have inserted the appeals process required by Oregon statute.

357

Matt Farmer

Oregon Association of Realtors.  Testifies in opposition to SB 297.  Says arbitration in real estate is essential, and that the bill is too broadly written.

TAPE 50, B

012

Chair Minnis

Expresses concern about binding arbitration clauses and the waiver of a person’s right to a jury trial.

021

Julie Brandis

Associated Oregon Industries.  Testifies in opposition to SB 297.

050

Paul Cosgrove

Oregon Financial Services Association.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 297 (EXHIBIT H).

098

April McVay

Oregon Independent Auto Dealers.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 297 (EXHIBIT I).

114

Chair Minnis

Asks if these are binding arbitration clauses.

121

Justin Baxter

Oregon State Bar.  Explains the law on binding contracts and the ability to appeal.

151

Vice Chair Burdick

Asks if binding arbitration requires consent of both parties.

155

Baxter

Responds that either party can enter into arbitration.

187

Chair Minnis

Asks if federal law addresses binding and non-binding arbitration.

191

Baxter

Responds that it addresses arbitration in general.

207

Chair Minnis

Closes the public hearing on SB 297 and adjourns the meeting at 10:04 a.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 2426, written testimony submitted by Jim Gardner, 3 pp

B – SB 259, written testimony submitted by Mark Landauer, 2 pp

C – SB 297, written testimony submitted by Justin Baxter, 115 pp

D – SB 297, written testimony submitted by Bruce Rothman, 22 pp

E – SB 297, written testimony submitted by Leonard Hagen, 1 p

F – SB 297, written testimony submitted by Robert Dorband, 1 p

G – SB 297, written testimony submitted by Peggy Anet, 1 p

H – SB 297, written testimony submitted by Paul Cosgrove, 1 p

I – SB 297, written testimony submitted for Monty King by April McVay, 1 p

J – SB 259, written testimony submitted for the League of Oregon Cities by staff, 1 p

K – SB 259, written testimony submitted for Seth Karpinski by staff, 1 p