12-04-2023  8:21 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 02 October 2023

SALEM, Ore. – Today, Senate President Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) and House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) are announcing the creation of a new joint committee to seek comprehensive solutions to the drug and addiction crisis.

The Joint Interim Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response will pursue urgent public health and public safety solutions and provide oversight during the 2024 session and beyond.

"The goal of this committee is simple: to save lives and make our communities safer," said Senate President Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego). "Oregonians are being harmed every day by this crisis and we all have a part to play in finding a path forward. It is a complex problem that demands a comprehensive solution and we are committed to working toward a solution this session and into the long term."

The bipartisan committee is tasked with ensuring law enforcement has the tools to effectively keep our communities safe, that addiction treatment services are accessible for people who need help, and that the state is preventing people from falling into addiction. The committee will review policy proposals brought forward, including changes to the Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Act (Measure 110) to ensure outcomes are in-line with voters’ intent of connecting people to treatment instead of criminal punishment for low-level possession.  

“Everyone has a family member or friend that has been impacted by addiction or behavioral health challenges,” said House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis). “What we’re seeing in our streets and our communities is unacceptable. As leaders, it’s our job to provide oversight of our current crisis-to-care system and make sure we’re getting the outcomes we intended: a humane approach to addiction that centers the individual’s needs.”

The committee will be co-chaired by Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton) and Rep. Jason Kropf (D-Bend).

The Joint Interim Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response will have its first meeting in the coming weeks. The committee will hold regular public meetings leading up to the 2024 legislative session to transparently and thoroughly evaluate proposals and hear testimony from experts, law enforcement, agency staff, advocates, providers, community groups, and people struggling with addiction. 

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