By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

Weidner puts focus on veterans, seniors

n HB 3415, which would require a public body acting as common carrier to charge market rates for access to radio towers for delivery of commercial radio communication, radio paging or cellular communication services. “This bill ensures a level playing field for private sector businesses to compete with public sector enterprise,” said Jameson Gideon, Weidner’s chief of staff.

n HB 3422, which would create the new Measure 11 crimes of drug-induced homicide and drug-induced assault, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $375,000 in fines. It is modeled after the Len Bias Law, named after a college basketball star who died of cardiac arrhythmia from a cocaine overdose.

n HB 3498, dubbed the Low Income Senior Tax Stability Act, which would exempt low-income seniors from annual 3 percent property tax increases other property owners are subject to. It grew out of discussions with Seniors with Disabilities, an advocacy group. It would sunset in 2020 unless renewed.

n SB 284, introduced in collaboration with Sen. Brian Boquist, which aims to have the Oregon Health Authority explore the feasibility of incorporating lysomal screening into the universal health screenings administered to newborns.

The bill stems from the experiences of a Dayton family, Gideon said.

He said the family’s eldest son was born with Krabbe disease, a rare genetic disorder of the nervous system. The diagnosis wasn’t made until he began regressing as a toddler, by which time the window for effective treatment had passed.

The family’s second son was tested at birth and determined to be a sufferer as well, Gideon said. But he was able to undergo a tranfusion that restored his health.

n A resolution urging Oregon counties to support creation of a network of Veterans Treatment Courts.

In addition, Gideon said, Weidner is calling for award of a congressional medal of honor to 92-year-old McMinnville resident Leonard DeWitt for heroism he displayed in World War II.

Meanwhile, he is working with other legislators to support creation of a World War II memorial in Salem. The plan calls for a 33-foot high five-sided marble obelisk in Wilson Park, adjacent to the Capitol.

“We are honored to shine a light on the great achievements and sacrifices of Oregon’s WWII veterans,” Weidner said.

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