The constitutionally defined day that the legislative session must end is called “sine die” (pronounced like sigh-knee die). For the 2021 session, constitutional sine die is June 27. Legislative leadership set a goal for the session to end by June 18.
For the next few weeks, the legislature will be focused on agency budgets and on bills that impact the state budget. Two of YRJ’s priority bills are in that group:
- Elimination of Fines and Fees for youth in the juvenile justice system (SB 817). Championed by Senator Manning (Eugene) and Representative Sollmon (Hillsboro), this bill eliminates the administrative costs and punitive fines borne by youth and families who are involved with the juvenile justice system. According to the S. Department of Justice, families burdened by these obligations may face a difficult choice, either paying juvenile justice debts or paying for food, clothing, shelter, or other necessities. The cost of fines and fees may foreclose educational opportunities for system-involved youth or other family members. When children and their families are unable to pay fines and fees, the children often suffer escalating negative consequences from the justice system that may follow them well into adulthood. This bill will free thousands of low-income families from the debt created by juvenile justice system involvement.
- Juvenile Clean Slate (automating the process for expunging juvenile records and making expunction more accessible) (SB 575). Did you know that records created due to juvenile justice involvement are publicly available, and can limit future opportunities for education and employment? Even after young people are rehabilitated, the records remain and create barriers to success. Sponsored by Senators Dembrow (Portland), Manning (Eugene), and Lieber (Beaverton), this bill automatically expunges some of these records and also allows youth seeking expungement to request legal assistance to navigate the complex expunction process. The bill will automatically expunge the records of over 5,000 youth every year and ensure hundreds more have access to court appointed attorneys.