Hill to Hall April 23–24

April 23: Oregon judge to grant preliminary injunction against restricted abortion

United States District Judge Michael J. McShane said he would block President Donald Trump’s new federal rule that would restrict abortion. The restriction goes in effect May 3 and would prevent tax-funded family planning facilities from referring abortion as an option to patients. According to Politico, Oregon is one of 20 states—along with organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association—to resist the new abortion restrictions.

April 23: Protesters gather at Oregon capitol to protest bill proposing mandatory vaccines

A House bill regarding vaccines has recently been voted out of committee by the Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and onto the floor of the Oregon Legislature. H.B. 3063 would get rid of parents’ ability to exempt their children from vaccines for nonmedical reasons in public and private schools. Approximately 1,000 people gathered on the steps of the capitol to protest the bill, according to the Statesman Journal. If passed, children enrolled in public and private schools would have until Aug. 1, 2020 to get fully vaccinated.

April 24: Oregon House votes to repeal tax break

The Oregon House voted unanimously to repeal a tax break for companies. In 2015, the Oregon legislature voted to pass a tax cut on companies providing internet service. According to The Oregonian, the bill was originally created to attract Google Fiber to Portland with companies offering faster broadband speeds. In a property tax dispute, Comcast used the bill to pay $45 million less in taxes, resulting in drains on other tax revenue. Comcast has since stopped lobbying against the repeal. House Bill 2684 will continue to the Oregon Senate where it will be voted on in the coming weeks.

April 24: Oregon one of five states to defy transgender military ban

In the aftermath of a recent Supreme Court decision banning transgender people from military service, Oregon has announced it is one of five states that will not enforce the ban in their national guard organizations, alongside Washington, Nevada, New Mexico and California. In 2018, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis proposed an official policy for a ban following a Trump tweet in 2017. In 2016, the U.S. government estimated there were around 8,980 service members who identify as transgender. Gov. Kate Brown has also publicly condemned the ban and maintains she stands with the LGBTQ+ community.