SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

April 26, 2005                                                                                                      Hearing Room 343

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                  Tapes 121 - 123

Corrected 10/26/05

 

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:                 William E. Taylor, Counsel

                                                Joe O'Leary, Counsel

                                                Sam Sears, Counsel

Dale Penn, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

                                                HB 2370A – Public Hearing and Work Session

SB 1034 – Public Hearing

SB 965 – Work Session

SB 324 – Work Session

SB 947 – Work Session

SB 495 – Work Session

SB 568 – Public Hearing and 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 121, A

003

Chair Burdick

Calls the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. and opens a public hearing on HB 2370A.

HB 2370A – PUBLIC HEARING

006

Sam Sears

Counsel.  Describes HB 2370A relating to requiring the State Medical Examiner to issue death certificates within 45 days of a receipt of information that a person who is missing at sea and presumed dead and when the State Medical Examiner determines the information is credible.

019

Rep. Alan Brown

House District 10.  Testifies in support of HB 2370A.  Describes the difficulties and hazards with commercial fishing.

045

Chair Burdick

Recites her story of a trip to Newport where a memorial was placed listing all the people who were lost to sea.

049

Rep. Brown

Talks about the need for this bill.  Tells a story of a recent crabbing boat expedition that lost members at sea.

069

Sen. Starr

Details a story involving several of his family members being lost to sea.

093

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing and opens a work session on HB 2370A.

HB 2370A – WORK SESSION

095

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves HB 2370A to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

097

Chair Burdick

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. STARR will lead discussion on the floor.

098

Chair Burdick

Closes the work session on HB 2370A and opens a public hearing on SB 1034.

SB 1034 – PUBLIC HEARING

102

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 1034 relating to establishing the criteria for the court to dismiss the commitment of a ward to the Department of Human Services.

120

Hans Bernard

Legislative Assistant, Senator Brown.  Testifies in support of SB 1034.  States that the bill will build a bridge for foster care children to travel into adulthood.  Expresses their belief that SB 1034 will do much to alleviate crime rates among foster children.

142

Maggie Miller

Executive Director, Citizen’s Crime Commission.  Submits a study labeled “Teens Aging out of Foster Care in Oregon”, and a booklet on the Citizen’s Crime Commission (EXHIBITS A & B).  Testifies in support of SB 1034.

195

Miller

Discusses the costs resulting from criminal acts by foster children.

207

Chair Burdick

Commends the witness on her work with foster children.

211

Julie McFarlane

Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Rights Project.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 1034 (EXHIBIT C).  Talks about SB 808 from the 2003 Legislative session dealing with foster care children.

260

McFarlane

Explains the recommended amendment the Juvenile Rights Commission would like to have added to the bill.  Addresses the study on Teens Aging out of Foster Care in Oregon” (Exhibit A).

288

Chair Burdick

Accepts written testimony from Janet Arenz, Executive Director of the Oregon Alliance for Child Advocacy (EXHIBIT D).

290

Sen. Beyer

Inquires about the state keeping children until the age of 21 instead of releasing them at 18.

296

McFarlane

Replies that there has always been the rule of being able to keep the child until the age of 21.  Explains that some are emotionally ready to be released at 18, but many have developmental problems.

316

Sen. Beyer

Asks if this is an unwritten rule or policy of their agency to keep the kids until age 21.

320

McFarlane

States that statute and policy both allow foster care to keep the children until the age of 21.

330

Chair Burdick

Wonders what happens to those released at 18, and if they can be released earlier.

333

McFarlane

Offers information on those who are released earlier than 21: 18 years of age, and sometimes at 16.

354

Chair Burdick

Asks if they choose to stay in care until 21, if they are entitled.

359

McFarlane

Explains that they aren’t “entitled” to stay until 21, but most individuals who do stay until 21 do so because of developmental problems.

372

Sen. Beyer

Inquires if the state continues to pay for foster care children over 18 years of age.

375

McFarlane

Replies that the state does pay for children up until they are released from foster care.  Points out that the federal government gives money for foster care children at 19.

412

Kevin George

Manager, Foster Care Program, Department of Human Services.  Submits testimony and testifies in a neutral stance on SB 1034 (EXHIBIT E).  Talks about the funding for foster children.

TAPE 122, A

019

George

Says they are funding 350 youths, aged 18-21, from state general fund dollars.  Declares that this is 5% of the overall foster care population.

042

George

Talks about programs and opportunities that his organization offers to foster children. 

066

Sen. Beyer

Asks if the 2003 Legislature approved the funding of foster care children from the age of 18-21.

069

George

Replies with information on SB 808 from the 2003 Legislature session that addressed the issue of foster care children.

084

Sen. Beyer

Wonders if the money paid towards the 18-21 aged foster care children go directly to the child or the foster-parent.

089

George

Responds that the money goes directly to the parents.

097

Sen. Beyer

Asks what occurs when the foster care children are not living in the home.

099

George

States that there are some children attending college, with a fund setup by the 2001 Legislature, and those children are getting some direct payments from the state.  Explains that 103 foster children are receiving direct payments, including college students and youths starting off without any assistance other than the money from the state funds.

110

Sen. Beyer

Raises an issue with another bill that seeks to pay money towards family members who accept youths into their homes, under the age of 18, and who are not able to receive monies from the state because of a lack of funds.

149

George

Addresses the policy decisions relating to this issue.  Talks about the funding of these programs.

164

Chair Burdick

Asks if these children aged 19 or above, are developmentally challenged.

166

George

Replies that a large amount of the foster children are developmentally challenged.  Talks about federal laws concerning funding for foster care support.

186

Timothy Travis

Oregon Judicial Department.  Testifies in support of SB 1034.  Stresses that these kids don’t have a support net without the state.  Points out that when you dismiss a dependency case such as these, they don’t get sent “home” because there is no home for them.

230

Travis

Addresses the proposed amendment that Julie McFarlane talked about earlier.  States that most of these kids think they can make it on their own, but points out that, as adults, we know better.  Expresses his belief that these foster kids need our assistance and support even if they don’t believe they do.

270

Travis

Offers his cooperation on working with the drafting for this bill.

288

Dennis L. Morrow

Executive Director, Janus Youth Programs.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 1034 (EXHIBIT F).  Reads testimony on foster care children.

329

Morrow

Discusses his organization, Janus, which focuses on providing assistance and intervention programs for kids.  Talks about the problems he runs into fighting for runaway children. 

380

Morrow

Describes the problems in state children welfare programs: transitional programs available to kids age 17-21.

400

Morrow

Asks a hypothetical situation of the committee: if their own child ran away, would they want them under his program (or a well-funded foster care system), or on the streets.

438

Chair Burdick

Commends the witness on his work and testimony.

443

Jean Lassiter

Oregon Homeless & Runaway Youth Coalition.  Testifies in support of SB 1034. 

TAPE 121, B

021

Lassiter

Discusses the particular needs facing foster children after their matriculation from the program.  Stresses the large amount of support that is needed for these kids.

058

Ed Johnston

Lincoln County.  Declares that the state is responsible for these kids.

102

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 1034 and opens a work session on SB 965.

SB 965 – WORK SESSION

105

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 956 relating to creating a cause of action for invasion of personal privacy.  Introduces and discusses the -6 amendment (EXHIBIT G).

134

Chair Burdick

Asks about liquidated damages.

135

O’Leary

Describes the legal definition of liquidated damages.

150

Chair Burdick

Inquires about examples under this bill would relate to liquidated damages.

152

O’Leary

Details the circumstances and scenarios that fall under the current bill with the -6 amendment.

164

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about the dissemination of the recordings.

169

O’Leary

Replies with information on how the -6 addresses this question of knowingly disseminating the images/recordings.

195

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 965-6 amendments dated 4/25/05.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

196

Chair Burdick

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

198

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 965 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

200

Chair Burdick

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. JOHNSTON will lead discussion on the floor.

205

Chair Burdick

Closes the work session on SB 965 and opens a work session on SB 324.

SB 324 – WORK SESSION

206

William E. Taylor

Counsel.  Describes SB 324 relating to removing an exception requiring confidentiality under certain conditions for terms of settlement or compromise of action involving a public body and terms of mediation agreements involving a public body.  Introduces the -2 amendment (EXHIBIT H).

229

Sen. Walker

Talks about the reasoning behind the creation of the bill.  Discusses several cases of sexual abuse that occurred in the Oregon State Hospital.

255

Sen. Walker

Reads leaked testimony from the assistant attorney general relating to one of the cases discussed above.  Talks about the -2 amendment, and how it doesn’t quite fit her idea of what she wants to occur in the bill.

278

Kevin Neely

Department of Justice.  Talks about the situations behind why this bill was drafted.  Discusses the redacting of information from public record in these cases.

317

Chair Burdick

Explains that she wants to get the bill right before sending it out of the committee.

321

Neely

Details the needed changes for the bill.

326

Sen. Beyer

Inquires about research into legislative intent relating to this issue.  Points out that this bill does exactly the same thing as he believes is supposed to occur in current statute.

345

Sen. Walker

Addresses the problems with the current statute, and the holes in these laws that are able to be driven around.

361

Neely

Discusses the reasoning behind the drafting choices in the amendment.

384

Chair Burdick

Stresses that the redacted information should relate only to the victim and not the case itself.

390

Sen. Beyer

Points out that if Subsection B stays in the amendment, then the bill would be exactly equal to current statute.

403

Taylor

Clarifies the amendment’s effect on current statute.

432

Chair Burdick

Closes the work session on SB 324 and moves SB 881 and SB 324 to Thursday, April 28, 2005.  Opens a work session on SB 947.

SB 947 – WORK SESSION

445

William E. Taylor

Counsel.  Describes SB 947 relating to requiring the Department of Human Services to make records concerning reports of child abuse available to any person if the child dies or suffers serious physical injury.  Introduces and describes the -3 amendment (EXHIBIT I).

TAPE 122, B

025

Chair Burdick

Asks about the -1 and -2 being adopted into the -3.

026

Taylor

Replies that the -3 is the amendment they need for the bill.

033

Tom Gallagher

Oregon Newspaper Publishers.  Testifies in support of the bill and the -3 amendment.

037

Sen. Ringo

Inquires how he knows that disclosing the information is in the public’s best interest.

040

Gallagher

Responds that this is a standard commonly used in public records to protect individuals.

048

Chair Burdick

States that if someone is unhappy with the process, there are appeals available through the Department of Justice.

050

Gallagher

Replies affirmatively.

054

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 947-3 amendments dated 4/26/05.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

056

Chair Burdick

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

057

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 947 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

059

Chair Burdick

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. WALKER will lead discussion on the floor.

069

Chair Burdick

Closes the work session on SB 947 and opens a work session on SB 495.

SB 495 – WORK SESSION

070

William E. Taylor

Counsel.  Describes SB 495 relating to allowing grandchildren and grandparents to recover in actions for a wrongful death. 

073

Sen. Ringo

States that John Powell representing the insurers do not object to this bill.

081

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 495 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

084

Sen. Beyer

States his opposition.

 

Chair Burdick

VOTE:  6-1-0

AYE:               6 - Prozanski, Ringo, Starr C., Walker, Whitsett, Burdick

NAY:               1 - Beyer

089

Chair Burdick

The motion CARRIES.

SEN. RINGO will lead discussion on the floor.

091

Chair Burdick

Closes the work session on SB 495 and opens a public hearing on SB 568.

SB 568 – PUBLIC HEARING

092

William E. Taylor

Counsel.  Describes SB 568 relating to increasing fines and imposes suspension of driving privileges for a person who exceeds the speed limit or designated speed by more than 30 miles per hour or who drives 100 miles per hour or greater. 

101

Daniel Swift

State Trooper, Oregon State Police.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 568 (EXHIBIT J).

151

Swift

Declares that new automobile technology has outpaced Oregon law.  Cites a recent traffic stop where a driver was cited going 142 m.p.h. on Interstate 205 at 12:30 in the morning.

176

Chair Burdick

Commends the witness on his testimony.  Asks why 100 m.p.h. was chosen as the limit in the bill.

187

Swift

Replies that the line must be drawn somewhere, and the 100 m.p.h. line is a clean line of demarcation; easy to remember.

197

Sen. Whitsett

Asks if there are emergency conditions that would allow for excessive speeds.

203

Swift

Responds that state first response units are safer and quicker than individuals who decide to drive excessive speeds to arrive at a destination.

222

Sen. Whitsett

States that in eastern Oregon, response won’t arrive for more than 45 minutes in many situations.

338

Sen. Prozanski

Declares that there are options available to the defendant to safeguard their choice to break one law in order to save the life of another individual (“Choice of Evils” plead).

249

Swift

Stresses that there have been times where he has stopped individuals breaking speed laws who have been under extenuating circumstances (giving birth, injured, etc.) and he has yet to actually cite these people.

256

Sen. Whitsett

Asks about those safeguards available to individuals who break the law under certain circumstances.

260

Sen. Prozanski

Talks about the ‘Choice of Evils” defense available in these situations.

272

Sen. Beyer

Cites a recent story involving a medical emergency that required excessive speeds in order to save lives.

287

Sen. Prozanski

States that he would be amazed at the officer who would cite an individual for such a scenario.

318

Sen. Starr

Discusses a family story relating to the issue of excessive speed as a necessity at times in extreme situations.

378

Sen. Starr

Declares his conceptual support of the bill if the judge was offered some form of discretion.

386

Sen. Prozanski

Explains the current drafting of the bill, and how it addresses these emergency purposes.

399

Sen. Ringo

States that the “Choice of Evils” case would allow for these emergency situations.

418

Sen. Prozanski

Reads the “Choice of Evils” act in current statute.

439

Swift

Stresses that this is not a mandate for an officer to cite the driver.

462

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing and opens a work session on SB 568.

SB 568 – WORK SESSION

470

Sen. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 568 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

476

Sen. Beyer

Talks about his hesitance to support the section dealing with the 30 m.p.h. criteria.

TAPE 123, A

031

Sen. Prozanski

Offers clarification on the effects of the bill.

042

Sen. Beyer

Declares his opposition to the bill.

051

Sen. Whitsett

Declares his support for the bill, but reserves the right to vote against it on the floor.

052

Chair Burdick

VOTE:  5-1-1

AYE:               5 - Prozanski, Ringo, Starr C., Whitsett, Burdick

NAY:               1 - Beyer

EXCUSED:     1 - Walker

057

Chair Burdick

The motion CARRIES.

SEN. PROZANSKI will lead discussion on the floor.

058

Chair Burdick

Accepts written testimony from Lorna Walker (EXHIBIT K).  Closes the work session on SB 568 and adjourns the meeting at 3:05 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 1034, “Teens Aging Out of Foster Care in Oregon,” Maggie Miller, 92 pp
  2. SB 1034, Citizen’s Crime Commission, Maggie Miller, 34 pp
  3. SB 1034, written testimony, Julie McFarlane, 7 pp
  4. SB 1034, written testimony, Janet Arenz, 2 pp
  5. SB 1034, written testimony, Kevin George, 2 pp
  6. SB 1034, written testimony, Dennis Morrow, 5 pp
  7. SB 956, -6 amendment, staff, 1 p
  8. SB 324, -2 amendment, staff, 3 pp
  9. SB 947, -3 amendment, staff, 2 pp
  10. SB 568, written testimony, Daniel Swift, 3 pp
  11. SB 568, written testimony, Lorna Walker, 6 pp