Sen. Boquist: SB 614 expands gov’t surveillance

By Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist,
Highlights, excerpts from Sen. Boquist newsletter

In other news:

— A surveillance bill has cleared the Senate and is now in the House. SB 614 was originally intended to provide body camera clarifications, but now widens government surveillance without a judicial warrant. As written, the words in the law are quite clear. It limits nothing.  It expands political and religious surveillance authority.

— Scientists discovered a leak at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and it is yet another reminder to have an emergency plan and supplies in place. From the article: “Scientists fear a hole in a 600-mile-long fault line in the Pacific could trigger a catastrophic earthquake that would decimate cities along the northwestern US. The hole spewing hot liquid sits 50 miles off the shoreline of Oregon, on the boundary of the dipping fault known as Cascadia Subduction Zone, which spans from Northern California into Canada.”

— Something this newsletter called out during the COVID-19 pandemic was about how hospitals were purposefully limiting beds to help boost the COVID data. Well now, as a result, most of Oregon’s hospitals are reeling after suffering significant financial losses in a year that officials are calling one of the worst in three decades. Higher labor costs and longer patient stays pushed 37 hospitals in the state – more than 60% of the total – into budget deficits for the year.

— Legislature poised for conflicts over gun control legislation.

— The outdoor retail giant REI will be closing its Pearl District store early next year, citing an increase in crime and theft. In an email to customers, REI said the store “had its highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades,” despite extra security.