2015 Legislative Accomplishments
SOBER FACILITIES:

·    House Bill 2936 spearheaded by Rep Stark, passed the legislature unanimously. HB 2936 establishes sobering facilities in state law so that acutely intoxicated individuals will have a safe clean environment to stay until it is safe for them to leave. Grants limited legal protections for these facilities, restricts the number of new sober centers and requires accountability measures.

·    Senate Bill 5526 contains a special $6 million appropriation, secured by Rep Stark’s assistance. The funds are carved out in the state budget for the Addictions and Mental Health Program at the Oregon Health Authority for sobering facilities, detoxification and similar services. $500,000 specifically earmarked for the Grants Pass sobering facility. Current sobering providers like the Moore Center in Medford can apply for these grant funds, as well as new start-up sober centers being discussed in Baker, Deschutes, Douglas, and Klamath counties.

FOSTER FAMILIES:

·    Senate Bill 741 adopted by both House and Senate unanimously, requires the Department of Human Services to give relatives and current caretakers (usually foster parents who have cared for a child for a year or more) equal status when considering them as prospective adoptive parents.

·     Senate Bill 5507 contains elements of Senate Bill 632 sponsored by Rep Stark and appropriates around
$1 million for two pilot programs to train and assist foster parents of high risk foster children who have experienced trauma and had multiple foster home placements. The programs include one in rural Oregon, the other in an urban area. The legislature will evaluate results in 2017.

·    House Bill 2889 allows children over 12-years old in foster care to open a savings account and the Department of Human Services to monitor use of a child’s money. House Bill 2890 provides youth in foster care the ability to participate in at least one extracurricular activity. Both measures promoted by Rep Stark as Vice-Chair of House Human Services Committee.

HUMAN SERVICES:

·  House Bill 3535 reinvests $30 million in savings from fewer low-income families needing state assistance and caseload cost reductions in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. The measure intends to add more flexibility to some of the programs available to help Oregonians who are really struggling to get back on their feet. Rep Stark Co-Chaired HB 3535 through the process.

·    Senate Bill 616 protects the Fairview Trust, established in 2000 when the institution for people with developmental disabilities (DD) closed.  SB 616 requires an audit of expenditures set aside to pay for housing programs to help DD clients and improves the way the funds are invested. In 2011, half of the money in the trust (around $7 million) was swept out to pay for other state programs and never returned. Rep Stark shepherded SB 616 to successful passage in the House.

GOOD GOVERNMENT:

·   Senate Bill 515 is the 2015 legislative update to the Oregon Transparency Website. Rep Stark joins an elite group of legislators who’ve worked for several sessions so Oregonians have better information on how our tax dollars are spent. SB 515 includes a virtual suggestions box for input from the public and more accountability for economic development tax breaks.

·    House Bill 2184, which was Co-Chief sponsored by Rep Stark, calls on DMV to place a link on the agency’s website to information about Oregon State Parks day-use park passes. Parks and Recreation Department brochures will also be available at Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division field offices.