Swatted Down: Bipartisan Healthcare Worker Protection Bill

By Oregon House Republican Office:

In recognition of National Nurses Week, House Republicans attempted to withdraw House Bill 2141 from the House Committee on Judiciary. This legislation would have awarded hospital workers the same protections offered to many other sectors including emergency medical services providers, taxi operators, flaggers, highway workers, correction officers, and youth authority staff.

This legislation was introduced and left in committee in 2021 (House Bill 3161), passed in the House in 2022 (House Bill 4142), and left in committee again in 2023 (House Bill 2141).

The House Committee on Judiciary was scheduled to hear Senate Bill 787 which would award the same protections that are sought in House Bill 2141 to public transit vehicle operators acting in their official capacity.

The motion to withdraw the bill failed with 30 votes in support and 27 votes against – just one vote short of the required 31 to withdraw a bill. Seven Democrats voted in support of the motion.

“I remain disappointed that after three legislative sessions putting this bill forward, it was voted down once again. This legislation is personal for me – my sister is an emergency department nurse who is on the front lines every day. I will continue to advocate for this necessary policy change until it is enacted into law,” said Representative Boshart Davis (R-Albany).

Over half of the country has strong and effective laws in place to protect hospital workers, including Washington and California. Oregon needs stronger protections for hospital workers who are victims of violent crimes.