Antihippies

“I pledge by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

Is Governor Ted Exploiting a Tragedy?

Posted by Fritoy on April 25, 2007

This is kind of hard to believe.
So here is all of it.
Thanks to Lars via email.

News Release   April 25, 2007 State RepresentativeLinda Flores
Governor Political Taskforce Trumps Campus Safety


(Salem) For the second time in a week a college campus in the Portland

area has shut down over threats of violence similar to what happened at

Virginia Tech last week. "I'm angry and sad that some in the Capitol put

politics over public safety," said State Representative Linda Flores

(R-Clackamas). She learned this week Governor Kulongoski may have asked

for a critical piece of public safety legislation to be pulled from the

legislative agenda because he wanted to put together his own campus

security taskforce first. Portland Community College Rock Creek campus

is closed today after a note was found in a restroom and the Vancouver

branch of Washington State University was evacuated last week under

similar circumstances. 


House Bill 3318 was already on the Judiciary Committee schedule for a

hearing long before 32 people were gunned down in Virginia Tuesday,

April 17th. A hearing on HB 3318 was set for Thursday, April 19th, but

mysteriously cancelled the day before. Now it's rescheduled for Friday

April 27th. HB 3318 would reclassify campus security personnel on

Oregon's eight public college campuses to give them more training and

allow them to carry firearms. 


Representative Flores pointed out this scheduling conundrum in a

remonstrance on the House Floor. She noted Oregon is believed to be one

of only two states which don't allow campus police to be armed. The

exceptions are Oregon State University, which has a contract with Oregon

 State Police and University of Oregon, which contracts with Eugene

Police Department. 


"It seems to me the time has come that we should allow our college

campuses to have the highest level of security possible, especially when

some of them have a population larger than some small towns. And not

just because of what happened at Virginia Tech, but because it is the

right thing to do," said Flores during her floor speech.


Flores learned the day after the Virginia Tech shooting, Governor

Kulongoski convened a meeting of several agency heads to talk about

forming a "Blue Ribbon Commission" to review security issues at all

education campuses across Oregon public and private, K-12 and college.

Several stakeholders were listed as possible commission members. 

The one group not invited to the Governor's meeting last week or listed

as a potential member of the new commission is the one representing

around 100 Public Safety Officers on all the state university campuses.

Mike Silver is a Public Safety Officer at Western Oregon University and

is the SEIU Local 503 representative for the campus officers. "We are

frustrated and disappointed that those who do this job are not being

asked what is needed or what they are encountering," said Silver. 


SEIU sponsored HB 3318. A similar bill was unsuccessful in the 2003

legislature. Silver asked, "how long can we continue to say 'it can't

happen here'? How much longer do we have to wait until we become

pro-active instead of re-active? Do we have to wait until we have an

on-campus shooting in Oregon and Oregon citizens die before we are

allowed passage of HB 3318?" He added, "it just makes sense to give the

first responders at Oregon's universities the training and tools

necessary to complete their mission of protecting life and property." 


Representative Flores is skeptical as to whether HB 3318 will actually

get a hearing on Friday. Monday is the deadline for House Bills to have

hearings in House Committees. She has evidence the Governor asked for a

delay on HB 3318 because he wanted to make an announcement about his new

campus security taskforce and allow some time to pass after the incident

in Virginia. "We don't need another taskforce in state government. We

need to act now to beef up security at our school campuses in Oregon,"

said Flores. She has been a member of the House Judiciary Committee for

the past two legislative sessions and Chair of the House Education

Committee 2005-2006.
 
Oh and Ted,  If you want to get the most out of a food stamp Freddys is not the place to go.
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2 Responses to “Is Governor Ted Exploiting a Tragedy?”

  1. Jeff said

    I am a public safety officer at PCC. I really don’t mind that they have pulled 3318 too much, so long as they propose another bill soon. 3318 left a few gaps in it, and if you read it carefully it actually did not authorize the carrying of firearms by Campus Public Safety officers, it only gave them peace officer authority. Read it more carefully and it was not including the community colleges, which ironically service more than twice as many students in a year than any of Oregon’s universities. Read it even closer and you’ll also see that 3318 only allowed for 50 peace officer certified public safety officers throughout the entire state.

    Yes 3318 is the direction we need to go for the safety of people on Oregon’s campuses, but we either need to go all or nothing, not just part of the way. 50 officers in only the universities just isn’t far enough. Our rock creek shut down the other day was a mess and I think we should have all of the tools necessary to deal with these kinds of huge events, and not just a half asked bill to just cover our butts a little, I think 3318 needed a lot more than it did have. Hopefully with Ted’s “taskforce” they’ll come up with a better house bill that at least covers us smaller colleges, I mean us community colleges that service the majority of the people.

  2. Mike said

    Jeff-

    There are some very good reasons for HB 3318 lacking the things that you mentioned.

    The firearms are left out of the bill because we do not need to deal with the obstacles that were mounted in 2001 when this bill was brought down before ever having a hearing. There are ways to make sure that the proper tools are given to officers if it comes to that. We need to win some battles to make sure that we win the war.

    Community Colleges aren’t mentioned because this is an SEIU University Employee bill dealing with ORS 352.385. Community Colleges are governed by a different set of rules as you know. If your governing board decided that you should be armed, they could do so. Look at Clackamas Community College for an example. University officers however have a law forbidding them from having the needed tools.

    Finally you are wrong about the no more than 50 thing. That is from the current version of ORS 352.385. The part that has that wording is erased in the changes that are proposed in HB 3318. If you include the amendment made to 3318 in committee the bill actually states the Universities must have no less than 6 certified officers each. There is no ceiling on the amount of officers.

    Finally, I am here to tell you that HB 3318 is alive and kicking. It passed the Judiciary Committee yesterday with a “do pass” recommendation to the floor of the House. The next stop is the Ways and Means Committee.

    The idea of waiting for the taskforce to do something is comical to me. The next time the legislature meets is 2 years away. I assure you that there is not going to be a special session for this topic and the deadline for new legislation to be out of committee for this session was yesterday. So this is what we are getting. Now, if PCC (our states biggest learning institution) officers would like to go to their governing board in light of the recent events, my colleagues and I are willing to help. You guys are running into the same crazy stuff that the rest of us are. Leave me a note to let me know.

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