The Oregon Legislature Is Now In Session
The Oregon Legislature is again in session. They already have a docket of bills that they are considering. In this post I plan on looking at the bills and passing (my) judgment on said bills. I plan on making it easy as I will list them under the headings – Good, Bad and Stupid; complete with my editorial about these bills.
HB2335 and HB2336 – these bills would require the department of human services to complete investigations of certain child sexual abuse allegations within 45 or 30 days. My understanding is the length of time is the only tangible difference between these two bills. I support the shorter time limit. Hard to believe this isn’t already standard procedure, a pity we have to pass a law to make it so.
HB2331 – End annual adjustment of minimum wage for inflation. I strongly support this one. Minimum wage laws and increases hurts minimum wage earners more than it helps them. I could go on and on about this but I already posted a rant about this on my blog, should you wish to read it go here and look in my archives.
HB332 – Reduce capital-gains tax.
HB2313 – Allow longer sentences to be given to defendants who belong to criminal street gangs. The bill speaks for itself, you want to belong to a street gang, we need to put you behind bars for a very, very long time once you commit a crime.
HB2296 – Requires sex offenders to report where they work, carry on a vocation or attend college. Can you say “Duh” – we need to keep as close a tab on these whackos as possible. If they don’t cause any problems, great; but if there are some problems we need to be able to find these folk.
HB2318 – Expand crime of telephonic harassment to text messaging and voice mail. Should be a slam dunk, quick and easy expansion; actually should have been part of the original law.
HB2344 – Require public schools to offer tae kwon do as a physical educations elective. Hey, I think it’s great idea if a kid wants to take tae kwon do, I think it’s a great idea if a school has the money and student body interest to offer it as a phys ed class; but to require that it be offered – bad idea.
HB2240 – Provide that part of the state agencies’ unused money may be given to employees at the end of a budget period. WHAT???? Give me a break, ever heard of a bigger incentive to inflate your department’s budget and then cut corners to assure there is as big a pot of money leftover at the end of a budget period.
HB2300 – Requires sex offenders without a permanent address to report every 10 days to the supervising agency. This is a bad law because I don’t want 10 days to elapse between known addresses where these creeps live. I want to know where they are at ALL times, they need to change this bill to keep closer tabs on them. If they don’t have a permanent address, we need to house them in halfway houses (usually state run) until they get a permanent address. Change the bill, don’t pass this one.
HB2329 – Require a state department of education pilot project to measure the body mass of students in selected schools and send a health report card to their parents. Too much ‘nanny government’ – the kids are already required to take a certain amount of phys ed, the parent and the kid only have to look in the mirror to figure out if the kid is fat or not. We don’t need to spend money to tell them something that is already obvious. Stupid bill, bad idea.
HB2302 – Prohibit installation of spyware on a computer by anyone but the owner or without owner’s consent. It would depend on which type of ‘spyware’ they are referring to – if it’s spyware that installs itself on your computer when you are surfing the web, it’s an international problem and state law has no effect on it. Install good spyware detector/remover and get over it. If they are referring to installing spyware such as a ‘key logger’, locally that is usually not a problem. Again a good anti-spyware program will take care of the problem. We don’t need to waste time on this kind of legislation.
This, of course, isn’t an all inclusive list, but it does show you a few of the places that the legislators are starting. Overall, I’m not impressed, rather typical if you ask me. My expectation is that the bills that I labeled as good will not get passed; the bills I labeled as stupid will fly through and the bad bills will could go either way.
Gotta Love this state.