New year, new laws: What 2019 means for Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s a new year — and for Oregon that means a lot of new laws went into effect when the clock hit midnight on Tuesday.

Oregon passed more than 120 bills during the short 2018 legislature session surrounding issues like hit-and-run accidents, domestic violence and homeless camps.

For starters, the state expanded upon the existing gun ban against domestic abusers, so they won’t be able to own a gun — even if he/she doesn’t live with the victim or share kids. Prior to Tuesday, only married parents were prevented from purchasing and owning guns.

The new law closes the “Boyfriend Loophole,” which was a top priority for Gov. Kate Brown.

There’s also a tougher hit-and-run law known as “Anna and Abigail’s Law.”

Oregon drivers must return to the scene as soon as they know or have reason to believe they hit a person or a pet. It also clarifies and strengthens the state’s hit-and-run statues.

The new law is in response to an Oct. 20, 2013 incident that killed 11-year-old Abigail Robinson and 6-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckert. The girls were playing in a leaf pile in front of their Forest Grove home when Cinthya Cisneros-Garcia drove through the leaves. While the driver felt a bump, she continued to drive home, not far from where the stepsisters lived.

In 2014, Cisneros-Garcia was sentenced to probation and community service for failing to perform the duties of a driver.

In tossing out her conviction, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled the current law “does not require a defendant to return to the scene of the accident after he or she has left the scene and later learns that he or she was involved in an accident that injured or killed another person.”

Another law that went into effect Tuesday could change the amount of homeless camps people see around the city — something residents have complained about for the last several years.

A new law allows the City of Portland to clean up homeless camps on state-owned land through 2023. This includes land around roads where homeless people often camp.

Source: New year, new laws: What 2019 means for Oregon

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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