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Senator proud of bills he backed in legislative session

It’s hard to believe the 2015 legislative session has ended! Sine Die ended up being just after 6 p.m. on Monday, July 6. We passed a lot of important legislation this session, and it was an honor to be here in Salem working for the people of Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Cornelius and North Plains.

I am really proud of the many important bills my colleagues and I worked to pass this session. Our “Comprehensive Session Accomplishments Binder” is not quite ready yet, but in the last few weeks of the session we passed some very important legislation, including the following:

HB 3099 was one of my priority bills this session. This law moves the state’s chief information officer out of the Department of Administrative Services and gives the CIO authority to supervise state information technology (IT) projects. HB 3099 creates real oversight and accountability for the state of Oregon’s IT projects so we can prevent another debacle like Cover Oregon. I consider this one of the (if not the) most important bills passed this session, and I am so grateful to everyone who worked with me this session to ensure its passage.

Another important bill we passed was SB 454, which establishes sick leave for Oregon workers. SB 454 requires that all employers with 10 or more employees provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year for full-time workers. Workers will accrue sick leave at the rate of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with employees being able to earn and use 40 hours of sick leave per year. Some employers are worried about the system being abused, and SB 454 allows them to request medical verification for suspected abuses.

We also wanted to make sure we were considering the needs of small businesses, which is why businesses with fewer than 10 employees only have to offer unpaid sick leave for their employees.

Additionally, new employees are limited from using accrued sick leave for the first 90 days of employment, even though they start earning sick leave from the first day of employment.

This carefully crafted bill grants hard-working Oregonians time off of work to recover while they are sick; it protects consumers and fellow co-workers; and it was constructed to limit impact on employers.

Finally, I was proud to vote “yes” on the “ban the box” bill, HB 3025. Having a criminal record shouldn’t prevent someone from getting a legitimate job. HB 3025 does not prevent employers from asking candidates about convictions during an interview. Rather, it prevents employers from asking about past convictions on an initial job application so a good candidate isn’t tossed out without being fully considered.

In some ways I don’t think this bill goes far enough, but it is certainly a good step in the right direction.

State Sen. Chuck Riley represents Senate District 15, which includes Hillsboro, Cornelius, Forest Grove and North Plains.


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