The Oregon Legislature moved forward in its session last February to create common sense protections against harms unique to elders and children.
Protecting Oregon Children from Lead Exposure
We have long been involved in taking steps to help raise awareness about the dangers of lead exposure to our children, and in the past provided free lead test kits to families so they could assess lead risks in their own homes. Accordingly, we were pleased to see the Oregon Legislature pass HB 4015, which is a small but important piece of legislation to protect Oregon children from lead exposure. The bill requires the Oregon Health Authority to create an information clearinghouse for Oregon schools so that they may have immediate access to reliable information on the dangers to students posed by lead, how to protect students from lead-based paint, how to recognize lead risks in the schools, information on how to safely renovate a school, and other critical information regarding lead exposure. HB 4015 goes in to effect January 2, 2013.
Under HB 4084, which went into effect on March 27, 2012, the Oregon Legislature took further steps to protect elders from financial and property crimes. The new law expands the statute of limitations for several felony crimes from 3 to 6 years when the crime is committed against a person who is over 65 years old. Many of the elders are in vulnerable situations where their life decisions have been largely delegated to third parties who do not always have their best interests in mind. Accordingly, crimes such as theft, forgery, extortion and identity theft against persons over 65 years old can be hidden by the perpetrator, with the elder victim sometimes not in an position to realize that the crime has been committed. Before this change, if the crime was not discovered within three years the perpetrator could not be prosecuted, but now the perpetrators can be prosecuted for up to six years after the crime is committed.