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Top 10 worst bills introduced by Oregon GOP in 2023 legislative session
From guns & abortion to schools & public health, the slate of proposed legislation is a case study in virtue signaling
The Oregon Legislature published the list of bills introduced by lawmakers for the 2023 session.
Oh my gourd, there are some beauts in there. We cursed our way through the entire list - hosted by the state via the Oregon Legislative Information System, the least user friendly interface ever created in the history of the entire trillions of pages ever created on the Internet….
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And we found the top 10 worst bills from Oregon Republicans in both the House and the Senate - who seem to be using their newly achieved “minority party” status to immediately remind us why they’ve been a superminority party for so long.
Counting backwards from 10, here’s what we found:
Offered by: Representatives SMITH DB, WRIGHT
Purpose: Requires public schools to take special care to ensure that instruction is provided in neutral manner that focuses on academic subject matter and does not advocate personal views of educator.
What this legislation really does: Not satisfied with wanting to control women’s bodies; who people can marry; or what goes on in bedrooms; Republicans increasingly want to control how teachers teach, and what children are allowed to learn. In other states, similar legislation has been introduced - often delving into specifics about what can and can’t be taught through the lens of an aging and increasingly unstable Republican demographic.
Offered by: KNOPP
Senate Bill 641 - Provides that Oregon Health Authority and Department of Education may not adopt rules requiring immunization against COVID-19 as a condition of attendance in any school, children’s facility or post-secondary institution of education.
Senate Bill 642 - Prohibits public bodies and private entities from requiring person to receive COVID-19 vaccination or to possess COVID-19 immunity passport, immunity pass or other evidence certifying COVID-19 vaccination or immunity status. Prohibits public bodies and private entities from discriminating against person based on nonreceipt of COVID-19 vaccination or failure to possess COVID 19 immunity passport, immunity pass or other evidence certifying vaccination or immunity status.
What this legislation really does: This guy Knopp, he’s the top Republican in the Senate. Here, he gives a master class in virtue signaling. This is a giant piece of performance art meant to appease the segment of the Republican base that has selected vaccines as the hill to die on (sometimes literally). They are a deeply fractured party and for the duct tape to hold, they need to feed the disinformation beast. So, yeah. Terrible.
Offered by: Representatives HIEB, DIEHL; Representatives LEVY B, MORGAN
Purpose: Each bill calls for a prohibition of abortion in Oregon, but with the prohibition attached to three different gestation milestones.
HB 2807 prohibits abortion after the 39th week of gestation
HB 2808 prohibits abortion after 38th week
And HB 2810 prohibits after the 37th week.
What this legislation really does: So these three proposed bills are likely just placeholders, it seems like some version of this bill would end up actually shaping up and moving forward. But, like, just think about it for a second. These people are essentially trying to decide what week to pick. That’s how sure they are of what they’re doing. Let’s be honest - they have no idea what they’re doing, but that Oregon Right to Life cash spigot needs a reason to turn on every two years.
Also, just real quick, this is a great example of the structural weakness of the Republican Party in Oregon. They have no discipline. Why the fuck are you people still going full ham on abortion. It’s especially gross to think there’s a group of politicians who are treating reproductive rights like a fucking game of chance.
Offered by: Representatives MORGAN, HELFRICH; Representatives CATE, LEVY B, SCHARF, SMITH DB
Purpose: Provides person with privileges and legal defenses available to person with Oregon concealed handgun license if person is licensed to carry concealed handgun by another state, or city or county in another state.
What this legislation really does: Easier for more people to carry concealed handguns. No thanks, honestly. I think we’ve probably got enough of our own in Oregon!
Offered by: Senator HANSELL; Senator FINDLEY
Purpose: Requires school districts to designate athletic competitions and extracurricular sports according to biological sex. Prohibits biological males from participating in athletic competitions or extracurricular sports designated for biological females.
What this legislation really does: This bill is aimed at alienating and discriminating against transgender teens. Doesn’t that sound cruel? These people are such cowards to take their own insecurities and fears and project them onto high school kids.
Offered by: CRAMER
Purpose: Removes limitation on percentage of students in school district who may enroll in virtual public charter school not sponsored by school district without first receiving approval from school district. Establishes open enrollment process for school districts to allow students to attend schools in nonresident school district with consent of receiving school district. Directs district school boards to adopt and implement policy that provides for establishment of education savings accounts for students who are considered residents in school district to use for educational expenses.
What this legislation really does: This a lot of words to say “defund public schools.” Obviously it doesn’t explicitly say that. That not a politically viable position to hold publicly (yet). So this is school choice - carefully worded to chip away at already strained public school resources.
Offered by: Representative SCHARF; Representatives CATE, HIEB, LEVY B, MORGAN
Purpose: Requires district school board or higher education governing board that adopts policy limiting possession of firearms by concealed handgun licensees on school grounds to install metal detectors at entrances to buildings subject to policy.
What this legislation really does: This would effectively attach a hefty price tag to any school district that chooses to adopt completely commons sense safety policies. At least this one is, like, 10%-12% clever? It’s like half of a gotcha.
Offered by: Senator THATCHER, Representative MORGAN
Purpose: Prohibits abortion unless health care provider first determines probable gestational age of unborn child, except in case of medical emergency.
What this legislation really does: This is a completely bizarre invasion of privacy meant to advance the relentless shelling of the Oregon Right to Life machine. It’s creepy, but not surprising considering the sponsors.
Offered by: Senator KNOPP, Representative SMITH DB
Purpose: Requires Department of Education to transfer funds to school districts necessary to pay for school resource officers. Requires district school boards to include in budget of school district line item for school resource officers.
What this legislation really does: It removes the decision-making autonomy of local government, via elected school boards, to decide if children should be exposed to a regular police presence in schools. Despite the fact that there’s nothing that indicates school resources officers produce a net good. Republicans are laser focused on getting control of school boards however they can. It’s gross.
Offered by: FINDLEY (asked by Mannix)
Purpose: Restores penalty for compulsory school attendance violation. Punishes by maximum $2,000 fine.
What this legislation really does: Honestly, are these guys villains? Like, do they have an evil lair where they brainstorm new ways to make people’s lives harder? Deliberately plotting to just, like, ruin people? Like, literally setting up financial traps for people to fall into when they likely can afford it the least. Genuinely sinister shit.
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