SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

April 06, 2005                                                                                                      Hearing Room 343

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                      Tapes 96 - 97

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ginny Burdick, Chair

Sen. Charles Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Vicki Walker

Sen. Doug Whitsett

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Joe O'Leary, Counsel

Dale Penn, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

SB 844 – Work Session

SB 304 – Public Hearing

SB 220 – Public Hearing

SB 106 – Work Session

 

 

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 96, A

003

Chair Burdick

Calls the meeting to order at 1:13 p.m. and opens a work session on SB 844.

SB 844 – WORK SESSION

010

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Senate District 14.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 844 (EXHIBIT A).  Introduces Kathleen Imel, a survivor of a dog attack.

033

Kathleen Imel

Testifies in support of SB 844.  Advocates responsibility when dealing with animals.

051

Officer Kent Rohweder

Washington County Animal Services.  Testifies in support of SB 844.

060

Sen. Deckert

Introduces and describes the -1 amendment (EXHIBIT B).

102

Chair Burdick

Commends the witnesses on their work.  Closes the work session on SB 844 and opens a public hearing on SB 304

SB 304 – PUBLIC HEARING

111

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 304 relating to reviving certain product liability civil actions for damages resulting from asbestos-related disease claims that are barred solely because the statute of limitations for these claims have expired. 

131

Ron Murray

United Association of Plumbers and Steam Fitters, Local 290.  Testifies in support of SB 304.  Details how the families of affected individuals still suffer from the effects.

167

Ann Samuelson

Plumbing contractor, Astoria, Oregon.  Author of SB 304.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 304 (EXHIBIT C).  Discusses her personal story relating to asbestos poisoning.

233

Gale Bast

United Association of Plumbers and Steam Fitters, Local 290.  Testifies in support of SB 304.

251

Frank Veenker

United Association of Plumbers and Steam Fitters, Local 290.  Testifies in support of SB 304.

284

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 304 and opens a public hearing on SB 220.

SB 220 – PUBLIC HEARING

294

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 220 relating to authorizing the State Board of Higher Education, Chancellor of the Oregon University System (OUS), and presidents of state institutions of higher education to employ or retain attorneys outside the Department of Justice.  Introduces the -3 and -4 amendments (EXHIBITS D & E).

317

George  Pernsteiner

George Pernsteiner, Oregon University System.  Submits written testimony from Daniel Bernstine (EXHIBIT F).

367

Pernsteiner

Continues testimony in support of SB 304 relating to attorneys employed by the university system.

400

Pernsteiner

Discusses his history with attorneys inside the OUS over the past 40 years.

443

Chair Burdick

Asks why their situation is different from other state agencies.

448

Pernsteiner

Stresses that having affordable attorneys at the employ of the OUS would better allow them to serve their students and the campus.

484

Chair Burdick

Points out that the current drafting of the bill would almost give the OUS it’s own law firm.

TAPE 97, A

027

Pernsteiner

Indicates that the bill still allows the OUS to use the Attorney General in most situations, but will allow them to employ outside expert attorneys in order to save money.

045

Sen. Walker

Introduces a news article written by Dave Frohnmayer labeled “Public Interest Comes First”(EXHIBIT H).

048

Neil Bryant

Legal Counsel, Oregon State Board of Higher Education.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 220 (EXHIBIT I).

099

Bryant

Discusses the Attorney General’s role in the legal arena for the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. 

118

Bryant

Talks about the effects resulting from the adoption of the -3 and -4 amendments.  Addresses the earlier question relating to the Oregon University System being different from other state agencies.  Stresses that 35 other states allow their university systems to employ lawyers in this way.

142

Chair Burdick

Asks what relationship the in-house lawyers would have with the Attorney General.

146

Bryant

Responds with information on the institutional relationship between the two groups of lawyers.  Advocates for the adoption of the amendments.

169

Chair Burdick

Inquires if they are opposed to any relationship between the two groups.

171

Bryant

Responds no they are not.

174

Sen. Whitsett

Details a possible scenario involving the public records act and the university system hiring their own lawyers.

192

Bryant

Addresses the question relating to the public records act and the university system.

216

Sen. Whitsett

Asks for clarification on the issue of public records law.

221

Bryant

Replies with information on the issue.

225

Sen. Prozanski

Offers information for clarification on the issue of the university system claiming an exemption under the public records law.

232

Sen. Beyer

Comments on the rules involving campus living requirements.

251

Pernsteiner

Talks about the issue of living requirements, and his willingness to look up the information asked for by Sen. Beyer.

262

Sen. Beyer

Re-addresses the issue of living requirements.

293

Sen. Walker

Asks if other independent state agencies use their own lawyers (Oregon State Lottery, SAIF corporation, and Oregon Health Science University).  Goes on to inquire as to what allows an independent state agency to use their own lawyers.

317

Pernsteiner

Stresses he isn’t familiar with the other state agencies; addresses the need for this system for the OUS.

330

Sen. Walker

Discusses the story written by Dave Frohnmayer in 1989 relating to why state agencies should not have private law firms in their employ (Exhibit H).

359

Bryant

Declares his familiarization with the article and remarks on the reasoning behind it’s arguments.

374

Dave Frohnmayer

President, University of Oregon.  Stresses that the earlier argument was due to a state agency trying to sue the state of Oregon, and talks about how the current bill does not allow such a situation to occur.

397

Sen. Walker

Comments on certain discrepancies within the story (Exhibit H).

413

Frohnmayer

Addresses the questions over conflicts with his earlier story.

445

Chair Burdick

Asks what is different from 1991 when the article was written and the university system today.

460

Frohnmayer

Stresses that the legal environment has changed drastically since the early 90’s.  Talks about court cases over the last 30 years altering the relationship between the university system and the legal system.

TAPE 96, B

032

Frohnmayer

Advocates consistency in the legal system; points out the possible need for a shared database to be accessed by both the university system and the Attorney General’s office. 

077

Chair Burdick

Inquires about a scenario of legal advice from the independent counsels that might be to the detriment of another section (another school) of the university system.

081

Frohnmayer

Replies with information on how the current drafting of the bill will address this issue.

120

Bryant

Talks about the criticism from individuals who say that the university system fears change, and how this legislation addresses this concern.

128

Chair Burdick

Asks how the university system would fill these positions.

132

Frohnmayer

Stresses that this is a cost-saving method, and they will not be promiscuous in their appointment of positions.

150

Ed Ray

President, Oregon State University.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 220 (EXHIBIT G). 

175

Ray

Discusses where most of the funding comes from for the university system, and how they must work with both private sector and state agencies in order to be efficient.

220

Ray

Continues the discussion on legal counsel for the university system.

269

Hardy Meyers

Attorney General.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 220 (EXHIBIT J).  Talks about the problem areas resulting from SB 220.

319

Meyers

Discusses an interagency cooperation he has proposed to provide counsel to the university system.  Comments on Exhibit A from his testimony relating to his refusal to the university system’s own proposals (Exhibit J).

370

Meyers

Addresses the OUS exemption from legal review by the Attorney General in the current bill.  States that the reason the Oregon Health Sciences University has its own legal counsel is due to the fact that it is no longer a state agency.

430

Meyers

Discusses the single-state legal policy that Oregon currently use. 

462

Meyers

Comments on the federal model of legal counsel.

495

Meyers

Talks about a US Senate floor session from the 1800s that addressed this issue.

TAPE 97, B

048

Chair Burdick

Inquires about a legal sufficiency contract.

049

Meyers

Responds with information on legal sufficiency.  Goes on to detail public contract fiascos resulting from the lack of legal control.

099

Meyers

Addresses the exemptions issue cited by the university system. 

152

Chair Burdick

Asks if he is willing to have assistant attorney generals on campus for the major universities, and if his problem is with the exemptions from all legal sufficiency within the bill. 

168

Meyers

Responds yes, and talks about the exemptions within SB 220.

186

Chair Burdick

Inquires about the special training available within the different departments of the attorney generals office.

190

Meyers

Replies with information on the specific training and experience in the different sections of his office.

204

Sen. Prozanski

Comments on the current funding problems with the university system and asks if the special assistant attorney general (SAAG) within the universities have been less than satisfactory.

224

Meyers

Responds with information on the performance of the SAAG.

265

Sen. Prozanski

Asks who would make the decision on whether a SAAG would be appointed.

271

Meyers

Replies that there are multiple avenues of authority relating to establishing a SAAG; discusses the different methods.

292

Sen. Prozanski

Discusses the need for legal decisions to be made on a timely and efficient manner for the universities.  Wonders who the SAAG would finally report to; the university or the Attorney General.

332

Meyers

Addresses the question by talking about his inter-agency proposal, and how it would fix these problems.

375

Sen. Prozanski

Reiterates his earlier concern about who’s authority the SAAG would fall under.

378

Meyers

Responds that the hiring would be under the Attorney General but the firing would be under the university.

405

Chair Burdick

Introduces transcripts of the Senate Education Committee on March 17, 2003 and written testimony from Harvey Matthews of the Associated Oregon Industries (EXHIBITS L & M). Closes the public hearing on SB 220 and opens a work session on SB 106.

SB 106 – WORK SESSION

411

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 106 relating to requiring firefighters and emergency medical technicians to report abuse of elderly persons.  Introduces the -1 amendment (EXHIBIT K).

466

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 106-1 amendments dated 3/28/05.

 

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Ringo, Whitsett

470

Chair Burdick

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

472

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 106 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  5-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Ringo, Whitsett

475

Chair Burdick

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. STARR will lead discussion on the floor.

480

Chair Burdick

Closes the work session on SB 220 and moves SB 401, SB 246, SB 641, and SB 273 onto Thursday, April 7, 2005.

497

Chair Burdick

Adjourns the meeting at 3:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 844, written testimony, Sen. Ryan Deckert, 3 pp
  2. SB 844, -1 amendment, staff, 16 pp
  3. SB 304, written testimony, Ann Samuelson, 9 pp
  4. SB 220, -3 amendment, staff, 1 p
  5. SB 220, -4 amendment, staff, 1 p
  6. SB 220, written testimony, Daniel Bernstine, 2 pp
  7. SB 220, written testimony, Ed Ray, 1 p
  8. SB 220, “Public Interest Comes First”, Sen. Walker, 3 pp
  9. SB 220, written testimony, Neil Bryant, 2 pp
  10. SB 220, written testimony, Hardy Myers, 28 pp
  11. SB 106, -1 amendment, staff, 5 pp
  12. SB 220, Transcript of Senate Education Committee, March 17, 2003, Harvey Mathews, 2 pp
  13. SB 220, written testimony, Harvey Mathews, 3 pp