Byram hopes SB 649 moves forward

By on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

SALEM – Pendleton Police Chief Chuck Byram is hoping Senate Bill 649 begins to move through the Oregon Legislature. While there are a number of bills that Byram does not support, he’s all for this one. It would establish a new crime in the state – controlled substance homicide. It would hold dealers accountable for overdose deaths.

“If we can determine that there are drugs, follow that chain, and find the supplier that sold those drugs to that individual, we can charge them with a controlled substance homicide,” he said.

The chief sponsors of the bill are Sen. Bill Hansell, Sen. Tim Knopp, and Sen. Suzanne Weber. All three are Republicans.

Senate Bill 649 was sent to the Judiciary Committee where it still sits. At last report, no hearings or work sessions have been scheduled for the measure at least through this Thursday.

The chair of the committee is Sen. Floyd Prozanski and the co-chair is Sen. Kim Thatcher. The remaining members are Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin, Sen. Dennis Linthicum, and Sen. James Manning Jr. Email addresses are available for each of the committee members by clicking on their names at