Hill to Hall July 23–25

July 23: President Trump proposes changes to food stamp eligibility

Trump’s announcement of a potential federal rule changewhich could cause 3.1 million people to lose their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibilityhas sparked criticism from two Oregon non-profits, Oregon Food Bank and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, according to Statesman Journal. Under current law, in 43 states, including Oregon, those who qualify for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program can automatically qualify for the SNAP program. The new proposed law would cut the link between those two programs, forcing people to apply separately for both programs and have their incomes verified twice, according to Fox 12 Oregon. The Trump administration said the changes could save $15 billion in taxpayer money, according to CNBC.

July 23: Oregon shortens waiting period for patients seeking assisted suicide

Governor Kate Brown has signed SB 579 into law, allowing terminally ill patients with only 15 days left to live to skip the 15-day waiting period mandated by the Death with Dignity Act, according to ABC News. Opponents say the bill is unnecessary and dangerous: “Oregon’s ‘Death with Dignity’ law already lacks important safeguards to protect vulnerable Oregonians,” stated Oregon Right to Life Executive Director Lois Anderson in a press release. Advocates of the bill say it will bring faster relief to terminally-ill patients who would not survive the waiting period, according to KTVZ.

July 25: Oregon Judge rules records from local government officials not public

After 19-year old Rory Bialostosky filed a lawsuit against West Linn City Councilor Terri Cummings to make her meeting notes public, Oregon Judge Henry Breithaupt has ruled that local government officialsincluding Cummingsare not required to disclose the records or meeting notes they make while working in an official capacity, according to OregonLive. Ginger McCall, Oregon’s public records advocate, said this ruling runs contrary to how Oregon’s public records law has been interpreted for the past 50 years and hopes the decision gets appealed quickly, according to The Seattle Times. Breithaupt stated in a letter of opinion that the law applies to local government entities and so “as the [Cummings] is not a ‘public body,’ her writings…are not subject to inspection.”

July 25: Fire spreads to 1,650 Acres in Douglas County

A half-acre fire first reported July 23 has spread to 1,650 acres as of July 25, according to OPB. Three homes have been evacuated as the fire continues to spread in the hot, dry weather conditions, according to That Oregon Life. Preliminary investigations revealed an illegal campsite caused the fire.