DRO worked on a wide variety of bills this session. Here is a summary of what passed, what didn’t, and what task forces were created.
Bills that Passed
Requires Oregon Health Authority to convene a committee to advise the Authority in adopting rules governing authority’s on-site quality assessments of organizations that provide mental health or chemical dependency treatment. Governor signed. Effective June 13, 2013.
Revises standard for determination of whether individual is substantially limited in major life activity. Governor signed. Effective 1/1/14. This conforms state law with the federal ADA Amendments Act. The ADAAA, in essence, told courts to pay less attention to whether a person has a disability and more attention to whether a person was discriminated against on the basis of disability.
Requires Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services to adopt by rule, using advisory committee, uniform standards for collection of data on race, ethnicity, preferred languages and disability status in surveys and in all programs in which authority or department collects, records or reports such data.
Governor signed. Effective 6/4/13 We were able to have the bill amended to include disability.
Establishes requirements for school policies related to discipline, suspension or expulsion. Governor signed. Effective 6/4/13 Brought forward by our friends at Youth, Rights and Justice, this effectively ends “zero tolerance” policies in Oregon schools.
Adds to list of mandatory reporters for abuse of persons over 65. Governor signed. Effective June 11, 2013. Adds attorneys, dentists, optometrists and chiropractors. Also extends and expands the Elder Abuse Work Group. Adds mandate for training lawyers on elder abuse.
Allows parent or guardian of minor to file petition seeking appointment of guardian for minor as adult within 90 days before minor attains majority or such other time as court deems necessary and appropriate. Governor signed. Effective May 9, 2013. This addresses a gap that can occur when a protected person turns 18.
Removes, from health insurance coverage requirements for chemical dependency and mental or nervous conditions, exemption for treatment resulting from conviction of driving while under influence of intoxicants. Permits insured to utilize health benefit plan coverage as third party payer of costs of treatment. Governor signed. Effective June 13, 2013.
Prohibits court from considering party’s disability in determining child custody unless court finds behaviors or limitations related to party’s disability endanger or will endanger health, safety or welfare of child. Allows court to consider noncustodial parent’s disability in determining parenting time only if court finds behaviors or limitations related to noncustodial parent’s disability endanger or will endanger health, safety or welfare of child. Governor signed. Effective 1/1/14 We worked with the Oregon Law Center to amend the bill to address concerns that a parent’s disability would permit them to endanger a child.
Provides that funds of person subject to protective proceeding may be used to pay reasonable fees, costs and disbursements for services related to protective proceeding. Clarifies when court approval is required for payment of fees from funds of person subject to protective proceeding. Specifies factors for court to consider in determining whether to award attorney fees in protective proceeding and in determining amount of attorney fees to award.
Prohibits reviewing court from modifying lower court decision making or denying award of attorney fees except upon finding of abuse of discretion.
Governor signed. Effective 1/1/14 This bill was brought forward by the Elder Law Section of the Oregon State Bar. Lawyers wanted more clarity about how they get paid in guardianship proceedings.
Directs State Board of Education to adopt process for by rule process to submit complaints about incidents involving use of physical restraint or seclusion in public education programs and process to investigate complaints. Directs State Board of Education to adopt by rule minimum standards for rooms used for seclusion Requires entity that has jurisdiction over public education program to submit to Superintendent of Public Instruction its annual report detailing use of physical restraint and seclusion during preceding school year and to include information about seclusion rooms. Passed House and Senate. This was DRO’s top priority for the session. Now parents have a way to appeal the improper use of seclusion and restraint by their child’s school. The Governor has not signed the bill but we expect him to do so.
Creates new outpatient civil commitment for individuals with mental illness. Passed House and Senate. This began as a bill to broaden the definition of who can be civilly committed. We were able to amend it to just allow a court-supervised outpatient commitment that does not involve any hospitalization. We still opposed the bill because it, in effect, allows courts to direct involuntary mental health treatment.
Expands definition of ‘place of public accommodation’ to include places owned or maintained by public body and services provided by public body with exceptions. Governor signed. Effective January 1, 2014. This was introduced to expand civil rights protection to parks and other publically-operated places. It may have the effect of expanding state protection against disability discrimination by local government.
Extends employee civil rights protections to interns performing work for educational purposes. Governor signed. Effective June 13, 2013. This provides the same protection against disability discrimination for interns as is presently enjoyed by employees.
Requires Oregon Health Authority to adopt standards and procedures to certify specified mental health providers to qualify for insurance reimbursement. Authorizes authority to adopt fee for such certification and for applying for such certification. Governor signed. Effective July 1, 2013.
Establishes Task Force on High School and Transition Success for Students with Disabilities. Sunsets task force on date of convening of 2015 regular session of Legislative Assembly. Passed House and Senate.
Removes sunset on use of restraint/seclusion on student in public schools. Governor signed. Effective date: 7/1/13 This was a major priority for DRO.
Prohibits public education program from purchasing, building, or using seclusion cells. Governor signed. Effective date: 4/5/13.
Creates fitness to proceed procedures for juvenile court delinquency proceedings. Passed House and Senate.
Allows student with disability to earn college credit as part of transition services. Passed House and Senate. Late in the session, this bill was amended to allow the Portland Community College to establish a public safety training facility in Columbia County without having to undergo review by the Land Use Board. Nevertheless, the disability portions survived.
Requires professional fiduciaries (people who are paid to act as a guardian) to be certified by the Center for Guardianship Certification as a “National Certified Guardian” or a “National Master Guardian.” Passed House and Senate. This continues a longstanding effort to create some level of oversight for professional guardians.
Establishes pilot program to assist students with disabilities to transition to life after high school. Passed House and Senate.
Requires that parents be notified in advance of a group mental health screening of students and be permitted to opt out of the screening of their child. Governor signed. Effective January 1, 2014.
Requires Department of Human Services to develop plan for improving long term care system in Oregon. Specifies required elements of plan.
Requires department to convene committee to assist in development of plan and specifies membership of committee. Requires department to report plan to Legislative Assembly by February 1, 2015. Governor signed. Effective July 1, 2013. This bill began as mandating a plan to decrease the use of nursing homes and eliminate the right to choose a nursing home. Advocates succeeded in slowing down the planning process and not having direction on the outcome of the process.
Update of state laws regarding services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Governor signed. Effective 4/11/13. This is a total re-write of the statutes governing DD services which were out of date. We succeeded in getting some good language included on client rights.
Adds PTSD to conditions that are appropriate for medical marijuana. Governor signed. Effective January 1, 2014.
Requires that health insurance policies cover applied behavior analysis for treatment of autism. Passed House and Senate. The bill requires coverage for screening and diagnosis of autism and medically necessary treatment for an individual who begins treatment before 9 years of age subject to certain qualifications. It also creates a Behavioral Analysis Regulatory Board.
Permits Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to seek restitution on behalf of consumer that suffered actual damages as result of insurer’s violation of Insurance Code or breach of insurance contract or policy and to seek other equitable relief that director deems appropriate under circumstances. Governor signed.
Establishes a new civil commitment for “extremely dangerous” persons. Passed House and Senate. We worked to improve this bill and ultimately opposed it. It is designed to put people in long-term commitment who have committed violent crimes but can not be prosecuted because of psychiatric disorders.
Modernizes language in civil commitment laws. .Governor signed. Effective January 1, 2014. Puts “people-first language” in a number of statutes.
Establishes Task Force on the Delivery of Human Services. Governor signed. Effective July 1, 2013.
Authorizes health care facility, health care provider and patient to file notice of adverse health care incident with Oregon Patient Safety Commission.
Sets forth procedures by which health care facilities, health care providers and patients may engage in discussion and mediation related to adverse health care incidents. Directs commission to use information received from notices of adverse health care incidents to improve patient outcomes and reduce frequency of adverse health care incidents. Prohibits insurers from taking certain actions based on notice of adverse health care incident. Establishes Task Force on Resolution of Adverse Health Care Incidents. Directs task force to report to Legislative Assembly. Governor signed. Effective 3/18/13
Permits minor 14 years of age or older to obtain, without parental knowledge or consent, out-patient diagnosis or treatment of mental or emotional disorder or chemical dependency from professional counselors and marriage and family therapists. Governor signed. Effective 1/1/14
Requires Department of Human Services to provide adults with developmental disabilities needing comprehensive services at least three options for placement prior to initial placement or transfer, subject to exceptions. Gives adult right to choose placement option. Governor signed. Effective July 1, 2013. This was one of 4 bills brought forward by SEIU regarding DD services.
Clarifies state law regarding the use of service animals in public accommodations and state government services. Governor signed. Effective June 26, 2013. We spent lots of time on this effort to conform Oregon and federal law while maintaining existing additional rights and expanding the right to use animals in training in public accommodations and state government services.
Expands duties of Long Term Ombudsman to mental health and developmental disabilities community facilities. Passed House and Senate.
Requires Department of Human Services to assess support needs of each adult with developmental disability who is receiving comprehensive services and pay service rate to service provider that is sufficient to meet assessed support needs. Requires notice to adult and other specified persons of detailed accounting of service rate if rate changes. Requires department to conduct assessment no later than 90 days after request by specified persons based on change to support needs. Governor Signed. Effective July 1, 2013. Another SEIU bill.
Imposes on nonschool athletic teams requirements for recognizing and responding to possible concussions. Governor signed. Effective January 1, 2014. Brought forward by the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon.
Creates Work Group on Corrections Health Care Costs. Specifies membership and duties. Requires work group to make recommendations for legislation to reduce health care costs of Department of Corrections. Governor signed. Effective June 26, 2013.
Supports adoption of State Plan for Alzheimers Disease and Related Dementias in Oregon. Signed by Speaker and President.
Bills that Died
Expands crime of assault in third degree to include, under certain circumstances, causing physical injury to person employed at state mental hospital. DRO successfully opposed the bill but the Marion County DA was given extra money to prosecute patients.
Requires Oregon Health Authority to establish system for repurposing durable medical equipment that is no longer medically appropriate for medical assistance recipients for use by other medical assistance recipients.
Modifies crimes of intimidation in first and second degree. Prohibits court from setting aside conviction for intimidation in any degree. Prohibits civil compromise of crime committed because of defendant’s perception of another person’s race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.
Includes finding of guilty except for insanity as conviction that may be expunged. A DRO bill. This was our only bill that did not receive a hearing.
Creates a State office of the Public Guardian and Conservator. DRO worked on the commission that promoted this bill. Ultimately, it failed due to cost.
Requires DHS to establish advisory committee to recommend development of general assistance program.
Funds expanded services at independent living centers.
Requires Department of Human Services to notify school district, Teacher Standards and Practices Commission and Department of Education of report of alleged abuse occurring at school. DHS agreed to meet with us to find an administrative solution. We have met but have not made progress in finding a way to assure that alleged abuse of school children is investigated.
Prohibits finding of unfitness, for purpose of terminating parental rights, based solely on emotional illness, mental illness, intellectual or developmental disability or other disability. A DRO bill that was opposed by the Oregon Department of Justice. They said that the bill was not needed because other laws do not allow discrimination. They oppose any change in the wording of the present statute.
Directs OHA to seek funds to pay for crisis intervention services and residential care for people with MI.
Requires superintendent of state mental hospital or director of facility to give notice to district attorney and counsel for defendant of court’s determination that defendant lacks substantial probability of having capacity to stand trial or that defendant is entitled to discharge. Applies only during applicable statute of limitations period for charged offense. A DRO bill that was incorporated into SB 421.
Requires superintendent of state mental hospital or director of facility to evaluate defendant for capacity to stand trial if district attorney intends to file charges against defendant after defendant is discharged by court order. A DRO bill that was incorporated into SB 421.
Authorizes court, upon finding defendant unfit to proceed by reason of incapacity, to order involuntary medication of defendant under specified conditions. The “Sell Hearing” issue prompted by the US Supreme Court case that set standards for when a person can be involuntarily medicated. It did not go forward due to technical issues but will likely re-emerge next session.
Requires Oregon Health Authority to create new programs and expand existing programs to increase capacity statewide to provide mental health services and serve individuals with mental illness.
Creates legislative Mental Health Oversight Committee. Specifies membership and duties. Requires committee to monitor implementation of and expenditures under Act and make recommendations for legislative changes. This bill failed because it relied upon an increase in the cigarette tax for funding and that increase did not pass.
Delivery of Human Services (SB 450)
Future of Public Health Services (HB 2348)
High School Transition Success for Students with Disabilities (HB 2743)
Primary and Mental Health Care (HB 2902)