Oregon Governor Will Sign Bill Overturning Voter-Approved Drug Decriminalization Law

“As governor, my focus is on implementation.”

By Ben Botkin, Julia Shumway and Lynne Terry, Oregon Capital Chronicle

Gov. Tina Kotek (D) said she plans to sign the centerpiece bill that lawmakers passed in response to the state’s soaring drug addiction and fentanyl overdoses.

House Bill 4002, a compromise proposal that won bipartisan support, will recriminalize possession of small amounts of hard drugs, reversing part of Measure 110, which voters approved in 2020. The bill has provisions to offer drug users multiple opportunities to enter treatment after an encounter with a police officer.

“Finally, reforms to Measure 110 will start to take shape, as I intend to sign House Bill 4002 and the related prevention and treatment investments within the next 30 days,” Kotek said in a statement released late Thursday. “As governor, my focus is on implementation.”

She has 30 business days to sign or veto the 115 bills that were passed, and once that happens, the $211 million lawmakers approved can be distributed. It would provide money for outpatient clinics, residential facilities, sobering centers, opioid treatment in jail, public defenders and court diversion programs. They also allocated $18 million for recovery houses.

A new misdemeanor would take effect in September, with up to 180 days in jail if probation is revoked.

Kotek said she’ll closely monitor the rollout, specifically its impact on communities of color.

“House Bill 4002 will require persistent action and commitment from state and local government to uphold the intent that the Legislature put forward: to balance treatment for individuals struggling with addiction and accountability,” Kotek said.

Reporter Alex Baumhardt contributed to this story.

This story was first published by Oregon Capital Chronicle. Content about unrelated legislation omitted.

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