Senate stands firm for Hansell’s bill

By on Thursday, June 22nd, 2023 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

SALEM – The Oregon Senate is letting the House of Representatives know its amendment to Senate Bill 473 is not appreciated. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena), has been the subject of debate and fine-tuning for six years. It would introduce curriculum into Oregon high schools regarding recognizing sex trafficking.

Instead of passing the bill that had sailed through the Senate, the House amended it to call for a two-year study of the curriculum at the cost of $500,000.

“We don’t need another study committee and we don’t need to spend a half million of taxpayers’ money to do it and come back in two years,” Hansell said.

The Senate unanimously agreed with Hansell, voting not to concur with the amendment. A conference committee between the two houses has been established in an attempt to iron out differences. Hansell said the Senate’s message is simple.

“Basically, what the Senate is going to tell the House is we want the bill as it originally was,” he said. “If you’re not willing to remove the amendments then we want the bill to die.”

Hansell said the curriculum has already been created and is being used at school districts in Central and Southern Oregon. The bill is to make it accessible to all school districts instead of approaching it district by district.