House GOP: Solutions for crime, homeless, addiction crisis

House Republicans Release Policy Proposals to Combat Addiction, Crime, and Homeless Epidemics Caused by Measure 110’s Failure
By Oregon House Republican Office,

SALEM, Ore. – House Republicans wrote today to Gov. Tina Kotek, Speaker Dan Rayfield, and Senate President Robert Wagner with proposals for policy needed to end the addiction, crime, and homeless epidemics that have been exacerbated by the failure of Measure 110.

“Oregon is in crisis because Measure 110 has failed. House Republicans have diligently assembled proposals for legislation needed to effect meaningful change to end the addiction, crime, and homelessness that plague our state,” said House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich. “It is time for the majority party to put partisanship and special interests aside and work with Republicans to implement these desperately needed solutions so that our state can begin to heal.”

The letter was signed by 24 Republican members of the Oregon House of Representatives: Helfrich, Court Boice, Virgle Osborne, Lily Morgan, Christine Goodwin, Kim Wallan, Boomer Wright, Jami Cate, Charlie Conrad, Ed Diehl, Rick Lewis, Kevin Mannix, Tracy Cramer, Anna Scharf, Lucetta Elmer, Brian Stout, Cyrus Javadi, James Hieb, Emily McIntire, Greg Smith, Bobby Levy, Vikki Breese-Iverson, Mark Owens, and Shelly Boshart Davis.

House Republican proposals include:

–Restore criminal justice accountability for those who possess deadly fentanyl, heroin, and meth.
–Prohibit the public use of hard drugs in a manner consistent with alcohol and marijuana.
–Prioritize treatment for drug addicts by allowing them to choose treatment instead of jail if arrested for drug-related offenses. Expunge criminal –records for those who successfully undergo treatment to beat their addictions.
–Adequately fund county probation departments and Oregon Specialty Courts that supervise misdemeanor theft and property crime cases where defendants are struggling with addiction.
–Invest in good health by providing adequate county-level funding to implement prevention, treatment, recovery support, community harm reduction, and enforcement services.
–Make capital investment in stabilization and treatment facilities by leveraging state bonds.
–Reform ineffective boards and procedures within the law that prevent resources from reaching areas of acute need.

The full text of the letter can be found below:

November 14, 2023

Dear Governor Kotek, President Wagner, and Speaker Rayfield:

House Republicans agree with the majority of Oregonians: Measure 110 has been an abysmal failure. The addiction, crime, and homeless crises that plague our great state have only worsened as a result of this bad policy. As the leaders of the majority party, it is incumbent upon you to take immediate action to address these issues.

House Republicans believe the following actions must be taken to alleviate the suffering caused by Measure 110 so Oregon can begin to heal:

1. Rehabilitate those struggling with addiction. Measure 110 promised treatment but it instead has enabled addiction. The House Republican plan will not leave people without the support they need to recover. Treatment should be a requirement, not a suggestion, for those who commit crimes to fuel their habits. We can achieve this by mandating treatment, instituting welfare holds for intoxicated individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others, and creating conditional discharge diversion procedures for those charged with drug possession. We support expunging drug possession criminal records for those who successfully undergo treatment.

2. Restore criminal justice accountability by reinstituting penalties for possession of deadly fentanyl, meth, and heroin. Additionally, the public use of drugs should be prohibited consistent with the laws regulating alcohol and marijuana use.

3. Reinvest funding to address acute needs. Fund county probation departments to supervise misdemeanor theft and property crime cases where defendants are dealing with addiction, and prioritize adequate and stable funding for Oregon’s Specialty Courts. Create adequate stabilization, detoxification and treatment capacity in jurisdictions throughout Oregon by making sustainable investments in sobering center/stabilization and treatment bed capacity for adults and youth. The state should use bonds to make capital investments for treatment and recovery infrastructure.

4. Repeal other failed aspects of Measure 110 to improve efficiency at delivering life-saving resources. This includes abolishing the ineffective, activist-led Oversight and Accountability Council. Ensure that counties actually get the funding needed to implement prevention, treatment, recovery support, community harm reduction, and enforcement services. Direct the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to conduct a gaps analysis and advise counties and the legislature on budgeting and best practices for addressing substance use.

Each day that this horrendous policy remains in place creates more opportunity for drug dealers to take advantage of vulnerable Oregonians. It’s another day that struggling addicts are unable to receive the treatment promised to them when the policy was enacted. It’s another day that Oregonians live in fear of falling victim to crime as desperate people look for ways to feed their habits. It’s another day that the homeless crisis worsens.

Failure to act is to embrace the status quo of death, overdoses, crime, and suffering. Enough is enough. House Republicans are willing to work with you on tangible solutions to solve these crises. Stand with us and let’s get this done for the people that we serve.