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Oregon Legislature Hits Halfway Point

Updated: Feb 24

Photo by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

The Oregon Legislature is halfway through its 35-day "short session," with bills required to either get out of committee or die.

Most of the good animal bills are still alive, but a bill to end betting on dog racing failed to get voted out of the committee to which it was assigned. No seriously bad bills are still alive.

Here are the details:

  • House Bill (HB) 4148 - a multi-issue wildlife bill that would set up and fund a number of programs to support and enhance Oregon's wildlife, including a wildlife coexistence program to address human-wildlife conflicts with nonlethal solutions, and further measures to protect and restore wildlife migration pathways - was passed by a House committee and sent to the Joint Committee on Ways & Means, which must approve all bills that require significant government expenditures.

  • HB 4043 - a bill to toughen laws against animal abuse and neglect and make it a crime to interfere with investigations into a crime against an animal, was passed by a House committee and the full House of Representatives. It now needs approval from the Senate and has a hearing tomorrow (February 21) in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • HB 4014 - a billl to help fund nonlethal approaches to property damage caused by beavers, which should help give beavers more space to live and build dams that create habitat for other wildlife and fish - was passed by a House committee and sent to the Joint Committee on Ways & Means.

  • HB 4145 - a bill to prohibit creation, distribution and possession of visual recordings of aggravated animal abuse - was passed by a House committee and the full House of Representatives. It needs approval next from the Senate.

  • HB 4051 - a bill to prohibit betting on dog races regardless of where they take place and require veterinarians to report abuse and injury to horses used for horse racing - failed to get enough support to move forward this session. The bill was opposed mostly by the betting and horse-racing industries, which receive a share of the revenue from Oregon-regulated betting systems. Dog racing is no longer allowed in Oregon, but people across the country can bet on dog races anywhere in the world through betting systems regulated by the Oregon Racing Commission.

For a complete list of the bills we are tracking, our positions, and the reasons for our positions, go here. To see the full text of a bill, along with the legislators who sponsored it, the history of the bill, scheduled proceedings, and other information, click on the bill number in our list or on the bill number above.

What You Can Do

To help support the good bills for animals this legislative session, contract your state legislators. You can send them a link to this post or write to them about the specific bills you care about the most. To find out who your state legislators are and get their contact information, click here and enter your address (you have one state representative and one state senator). When you write or call your legislators, be sure to let them know you are a "constituent," meaning you live in the area they represent and vote on whether they are elected or not.

For the wildlife and beaver bills (HB 4148 and HB 4014), which are in the Joint Committee on Ways & Means along with numerous other spending bills, please also contact these key legislators - leaders of the House and Senate, and of the Ways & Means Committee - and ask them to prioritize these bills:

House Speaker Dan Rayfield:  Rep.DanR​

Representative Tawna Sanchez:

Representative Khanh Pham:

Senate President Rob Wagner:

Senator Elizabeth Steiner:

Senator Michael Dembrow: 

For more talking points on these bills, see this supporting document on HB 4148 (the wildlife bill) and this supporting document on HB 4014 (the beaver bill).

Thank you for helping us advocate for animals!

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