Subject: Important legislative alert! Tuesday is the big day.
Call your State Senator to urge a yes vote on HB 4143
Oregon State Representatives Tobias Read and Jennifer Williamson have been diligently working to pass HB 4143 during the current legislative session. HB 4143 passed the House on Monday and it will be up for a vote in the Senate soon.
HB 4143 modifies the distribution of unclaimed class action funds. Currently, the unclaimed funds are returned to the defendant. The bill would direct the unclaimed funds to legal aid, ensuring that critical legal services programs receive much needed funding.
Call or email your State Senator to encourage them to vote yes on HB 4143.
To find your State Senator go to: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html
If you live in the districts of Senator Johnson, Senator Close, Senator Hansell, Senator Olsen, Senator George, or Senator Boquist please consider personally contacting your Senator and sharing your support for the bill.
* The demand for Legal Aid services is higher than ever and many Oregonians can't get help because legal aid has resources to meet less than 15% of the need. The number of Oregonians eligible for legal aid has grown by 61.5% making us the 8th highest in the nation.
* There are now only 90 legal aid lawyers to serve more than 850,000 of our most vulnerable Oregonians, including domestic violence victims, children and the elderly.
* Now is the time! The 2014 session gives us a unique opportunity to secure funding for legal aid's future.
* HB 4143 simply changes the distribution of unclaimed class action money. Currently, unclaimed money is returned to the defendant. This bill would designate unclaimed monies to legal aid, providing a means of funding critical legal services programs. By creating this fund, Oregon is following the growing trend of states, including Washington, dedicating unclaimed monies to legal aid. While this will not fix the legal aid funding problems, as the fund grows, it will relieve pressure on the budget.
The full text of the HB 4143 can be found here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2014R1/Measures/Overview/HB4143
To find your state Senator go to: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html