Oregon Action Alerts

For the League of Women Voters of Oregon Action page click here



June 25, 2013

Suction Dredge Mining SB 838A –Nearing end of session & voting update

Your help is urgently needed!



Contact your legislators now and ask them to support passage of SB 838A (as amended), placing limits on Oregon suction dredge mining, a destructive practice in which riverbeds are “vacuumed up” by a large, loud, floating machine. The bill has just passed Natural Resources W & M Subcommittee &is headed for a final vote in each chamber.

MESSAGE: Your support is urgently needed to pass this compromise bill. Inaction will mean suction dredge mining operations will continue to increase, with no limits on this destructive practice. Tell your legislator to stand up for our rivers today!

BACKGROUND: With the 2013 legislative session coming to a close, it’s now time to tell your legislators to stand up for Oregon’s rivers. Since the 2009 California ban, Oregon has seen an unprecedented rise in suction dredge mining. This is an imminent and immediate threat to the health and prosperity of some of our state’s most iconic waterways.

Suction-dredge mining is a harmful practice: a motor connected to an industrial-strength vacuum sucks up riverbed contents and spews unwanted particles back into the river. This degrades native salmon spawning areas, destroys insect habitat , and unearths potential riverbed toxins. It also has a negative impact on Southern Oregon’s important fly-fishing and river guiding businesses.

The immediate threat of suction dredge mining needs to be addressed by the state legislature now.

SB 838A is a common sense compromise: limits on suction dredge mining while the state studies the effects of the recent activity increase and develops a regulatory framework so that our rivers and its users are protected.Tell your legislator to stand up for our rivers today!

For more information, contact: Peggy Lynch, zuludar@aol.com


June 10, 2013

Protect Oregon’s Rivers YES ON SB 838A Needs your help NOW!

ACTION: Please contact your Legislators: to vote YES on SB 838A. Contact Joint Ways & Means members to pass SB 838A NOW.


MESSAGE: Tell legislators to stand up for our rivers today. SB 838A is a common sense compromise to suspend suction-dredge mining-a harmful practice. Oregonians stand up for protecting our natural resources and so should you.

BACKGROUND: California banned suction dredge mining in 2009 and since then Oregon has seen an unprecedented rise in the practice – an imminent and immediate threat to the health and prosperity of some of our state’s most iconic waterways. Suction-dredge mining is a harmful practice: a motor connected to an industrial-strength vacuum sucks up the contents of a riverbed and then spews unwanted particles back into the river. This degrades spawning areas for native salmon, destroys habitat for insects, and unearths potential toxins from the riverbed. It also has a negative impact on Southern Oregon’s important fly-fishing and river guiding businesses. (source: Oregon Conservation Network)

Act today to protect our beautiful scenic rivers from this harmful practice!

More info: Peggy Lynch, zuludar@aol.com


June 3, 2013

Public Safety Bill HB 3194 DEADLINE: NOW before Wednesday, June 5th.

Call or email your legislators and the committee members now and tell them to support HB 3194.

The Joint Committee on Public Safety will consider amendments toHB 3194 on Wednesday, June 5. This bill contains the recommendations for the changes in the Public Safety system except for mandatory sentencing and second look provisions for juveniles. The League supports this bill because the policy changes are needed in order to reduce costs, prison populations and the need for a new prison.

The League also encourages reconsideration of the mandatory minimum crimes and second look provisions for juveniles committed to the adult system. The public has shown its support for judicial discretion in sentencing. Read the recent Public Opinion Poll.

Legislators and the Public Safety Committee members need to hear that constituents support these changes. This is our last opportunity to support the changes in sentencing and strengthening the community corrections programs.

This is a vote for justice!

MESSAGE: Support the public safety changes in HB 3194. Acknowledge the work of the 2012 Commission on Public Safety and the Joint Committee on Public Safety and pass this bill.

Add back the M 11 changes to 3 crimes of Assault II, Robbery II and Sex Abuse I and the Second look provision for juveniles sentenced under M 11.

BACKGROUND: See Public Opinion Poll from the Mellman Group. Read more in the Wednesday, June 5th, Legislative Report.

For more information or questions: contact Karen Nibler at niblerk@comcast.net


April 1, 2013

ACTION: Contact your legislators & urge support for HB 3194, changes in sentencing, strengthen community corrections programs.

DEADLINE: April & May, prior to floor votes.

MESSAGE: I urge you to review sentencing laws and strengthen community corrections programs. I support HB 3194 because (choose):

LWVOR positions support:

Adult Corrections alternatives to incarceration: substance abuse treatment, employment & training, and restitution payments, passed in M57. These are less expensive than prison, at $30,000 per year per inmate.

Sentencing Guidelines, passed in 1989, supporting Judicial discretion in sentencing. The League did not take a position on BM 11, which set mandatory minimum sentences for a list of A or B person-to-person felonies.

Juvenile Justice- the least restrictive placements in community or treatment-based correctional programs. Currently 16-18 year olds juveniles can be placed in adult jails or prisons when charged with mandatory sentences crimes.

BACKGROUND: Since 1995, when BM 11 took effect, the total Department of Corrections budget has increased by over 250%, from just under $400 million to just under $1.4 billion. quoted from a recent report on Correctional Spending Trends. This week the Joint Committee on Public Safety will hear Public Testimony at 5:30 on April 3 and 1:30 on April 5.

The League will testify (below) at the April 3 Joint Public Safety Committee hearing in support of HB 3194:

  • for modifications of M 11 on 3 crimes with judicial discretion;
  • for judicial review on juveniles sentenced in adult court; and
  • on support for community corrections programs to treat offenders in the community and provide transition programs for inmates being released on parole.

This Committee will hear additional bills:

HB 3193 relates to juvenile offenders.

HB 3194 contains all Commission 2012 Public Safety recommendations.

HB 3195 relates to controlled substances.

HB 3196 & HB 3197 relate to Oregon Youth Authority.

HB 3259, re: post prison conditions (heard earlier.)

LWVOR Testimony on HB 3194


April 3, 2013

To: Joint Committee on Public Safety

Senator Floyd Prozanski, Co-Chair

Senator Jackie Winters, Co-Chair

Representative Chris Garrett, Co-Chair

Representative Andy Olson, Co-Chair

Committee Members

From: Robin Wisdom, LWVOR President

Barbara Ross, Social Policy Volunteer

Re: HB 3194 – relating to crime and sentencing – Support

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, grassroots political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. The League has a position on Adult Corrections that supports alternatives to incarceration where possible, such as employment and educational programs, and treatment centers for mental illness and substance abuse. The League strongly supports community-based programs and transitional programs for inmates paroled from a correctional facility.

The League believes judges should be responsible for determining the length of sentences and supports the range of sentences in Assault II, Robbery II and Sex Abuse I. The range allows judges to take into consideration the history of the offender and the factors in the offense. Lower sentences in these cases will provide a savings for the Department of Corrections, which could provide more funds for community corrections programs.

The League also supports the judicial review for juveniles sentenced in the Adult system in order to evaluate their progress in Oregon Youth Authority programs. Juveniles can be released on parole in the community and continue to be supervised. Sending a juvenile who has been successful in OYA to an adult facility is counterproductive.

The League supports the Community Corrections Incentive Grants for counties reducing # of offenders sent to Department of Corrections facilities. Grants can be used for local programs, housing, education or workforce training. Jails could be funded for additional sanctions & sentences served locally.

For further questions or more information, contact: Karen Nibler at niblerk@comcast.net


We call our membership for action, probably including advocacy during the coming 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly. Join the Action Team and follow a committee you’re interested in, share info with us! More info, including contacts: Our LWVOR Action team.