Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Trimet operator assault bill pending in Oregon State house

Frederick Casey
 My proposals. First, I wanted to remove you completely from ORS 163.165. I then wanted the language in ORS 166.116 (Interferring with public transit) which states "Offensive Physical Contact" either removed or have Offensive Physical Contact defined by a new ORS. (having that in there leaves a large loophole because this ORS is only a misdemeanor) My next step was to add you to ORS 163.208 Assaulting a Public Safety Officer which, when added, would be worded so that no matter who you are; operator, maintenance, supervisor and even facilities, would be protected while you were working. that includes waiting for a road relief or walking to the bathroom. It would be a felony.
Mike McCurry

So that was the quick version. i spent a lot of time researching and talking to people. Cold calling defense attorney's, an ADA to make sure that I could close the loopholes.

So, the bad news. TriMet's lobbyists were able to influence the committee enough to have most of my proposals rejected. Their proposal was to just delete the bus in motion part. nothing else. But, even with them blocking what I wanted, my wording was used. So, while you are still under ORS 163.165, the wording I used was what the committee went with. So, the bill proposes that an assault upon a employee of a transit district as defined by the state of Oregon, is now a felony. So, if you are an employee of Cherriots, TriMet or any other Transit agency, it will be a felony to assault you. Waiting for a road relief, on break, fixing a bus in the field, yard maintenance or cleaning the transit centers or stops. it will be a felony. Everyone will be protected under this new change.

While it was not what I was hoping for, I knew that once TriMet got involved, it was going to be a David vs Goliath scenario. I guess I should be glad that they went with my wording and my increased penalties. the Maximum will be $125,000 fine with 5 years in prison under this bill. I pushed for mandatory Anger Management but, it was rejected and I'm not clear on why it was.

So, I'm sorry that it was not the win I was hoping for but, I won't quit. I'm still going to push for all those changes to close loopholes and force the lazy DA to actually get off her duff and prosecute these people.

Screw the Leadership. Power to the Membership.

This proposal is pending in the legislature and needs everyone to contact their state representative and senator and demand it pass 

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