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Another whirlwind legislative session is in the books! With a lot to celebrate and a few lessons learned, here’s a look back at how the 2021 session unfolded for advocates of safety and justice. But first,

Thank you for being a vital part of our community and work!

In coalition with our extraordinary allies, together we led on a number of ambitious legislative proposals. With over 15,000 emails sent to legislators this year, we made clear that Oregonians want a public safety system rooted in equity, true safety, and opportunity. We appreciate you!

HB 2002 / Transforming Justice Update

As many of you know, HB 2002 was an ambitious set of legislative proposals with policies developed by the Transforming Justice Coalition, Fair Shot for All coalition, Reimagine Oregon, and the Governor’s Racial Justice Council.

We’re especially grateful to Rep. Janelle Bynum, Speaker Tina Kotek, and members of the BIPOC caucus who were extraordinary allies in our work to advance equity, safety, and opportunity to Oregonians across the state.

Once we realized that HB 2002 was not going to pass, we worked with these and other legislative champions to advance as many policies as we could through other bills.

As a result, several 2021 policy and funding proposals are now law. Here are some of our successes:

Oregon makes history — Again!

Three transformative policies make Oregon first, second, and third in the nation to implement historic reforms!

SB 620 passed, making Oregon the second state in the nation (after California) to eliminate fees for post-prison supervision, probation, and parole! 

Originally a legislative proposal in HB 2002, this new law eliminates financial barriers to success for folks transitioning out of prison so that people can focus on basic needs for themselves and their family. Learn more here about SB 620, including how it supports public safety and how will benefit up to 28,000 Oregonians who are currently on supervision!

SB 755 passed, clarifying and strengthening Measure 110, which made Oregon the first state in the nation to decriminalize small amounts of drugs and invest in treatment.

Oregonians overwhelmingly voted in favor of The Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act, and SB 755 creates a strong program that honors the will of Oregon voters. Learn more about M110 here.

Also historic, though not statewide, Portland has limited unnecessary police stops, making it the third city in the country (after Berkeley and Oakland) to do so!

This was among the more significant proposals from HB 2002, and Oregon’s most populous city has already implemented the reform.

In addition to this reduction in law enforcement interactions, in the event that a driver is stopped, Portland police are also required to notify people of their right to refuse to consent to a search — another reform originally in HB 2002.

Other big wins that came out of HB 2002

HB 2172 passed expanding earned leave for Oregonians on supervision.

Expanded earned leave eliminates barriers to success by allowing greater reduction in time spent on post-prison supervision. This reform reduces obstacles to success so that people can focus on rebuilding their lives, families, and community connections after incarceration. Read more about HB 2172 here.

HB 2204 passed, launching new grant-supported Restorative Justice programs.

This broadens pathways for crime survivors to seek accountability for the harm they have experienced.

HB 5006, contains over $25 million in funding for four public safety programs.

Investments will be directed to

  • The Restorative Justice grant for $4 million
  • A Black community-led workgroup that will develop community safety alternatives, also known as the Reimagine Safety Fund, for $1.5 million
  • Backfilling lost revenue from the elimination of supervision fees for $10 million, and
  • The Criminal Justice Commission in the amount of $10 million to support a Transforming Justice Initiative that invests in communities of color with practices that equitably reshape Oregon’s public safety system

While some of our proposals did not pass this session, we are not deterred. The fight for equity and true public safety continues, and we look forward to achieving those wins, and more, in the months and years ahead.

Thanks again for all you do to transform justice in our communities and across the state. We’re grateful to be in community with you.

In partnership,
All of us at Safety & Justice

Learn more about how our work has helped transform public safety and criminal justice.