Oct. 1: Portland institutes new plastic policy
Portland restaurants are no longer allowed to offer single-use plastics—including plastic straws, stirrers and utensils—unless a customer asks for them. The policy applies to all businesses that sell food and beverages, including coffee shops, food trucks and restaurants. Businesses who do offer these plastics upfront may face up to $500 in fines for repeated violations. The new plastic policy follows a more broad bill passed in the State Legislature in May 2019. Senate Bill 90, also called the “Straw Bill,” restricted straws to only be available upon request.
Oct. 1: New audit shows overtime accounts for 8.8% of the PPB’s budget
A new audit was released showing the Portland Police Bureau spent over $15.7 million on overtime wages in the 2017–18 fiscal year. According to the audit, PPB does not cap overtime, which allowed patrol officers to “work more than 20 hours of overtime in a week almost 1,100 times” in 2018. In response to the audit, PPB reported staffing shortage as the main cause of overtime. The audit cited possible solutions such as overtime data collection and imposing overtime caps. Police Chief Danielle Outlaw responded that the Bureau was already in the process of implementing these changes.
Oct. 3: Oregon secretary of state rejects ballot initiative to limit clearcuts and pesticides
Oregon Secretary of State Beverly Clarno rejected three initiative petitions to limit the use of aerial pesticides and clearcuts near certain bodies of water and expand rules against conflicts of interest on the State Forestry Board. The reason given for rejecting the petitions—which stops them from being on Oregon’s 2020 ballot—is that they do not meet the single subject requirement laid out by the Oregon Constitution. Supporters of the initiative said money given to the Oregon legislature by timber companies is to blame.
Oct. 4: Gov. Kate Brown signs temporary ban on flavored vaping products
Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order imposing a temporary ban on almost all flavored vaping products. The order calls for a 180-day ban, roughly six months, although its starting date is unclear. The temporary ban is a response to a national outbreak of vaping related illnesses—including eight cases in Oregon as of Oct. 8, two of which resulted in deaths. The Oregon Health Authority suggested Brown ban the sale of all vaping products for six months—however, the executive order will only apply to flavored products and additives. The temporary ban does not apply to products with marijuana-derived terpenes.