Republicans Make Attempt to Help Hospital Workers

SALEM, Ore. – Today Senate Republicans attempted a procedural move to revive House Bill 4142 and pass it before sine die. The bill passed the House of Representatives Monday with overwhelming bipartisan support on a vote of 53-7.

“We had time to pass one more bill this session to protect hospital workers,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “Some will say we ran out of time, but what that really means is that it wasn’t a priority. I think protecting our hospital workers from violence is a priority. We should have got it done.”

HB 4142 would have increased penalties for the crime of assaulting a hospital worker. Thirty-four other states have laws protecting hospital workers. Research shows that up to 70% of emergency department nurses suffer from physical abuse.

The bill has a broad coalition of support from unions like the Oregon Nurses Association to hospitals and the Oregon Medical Association. The motion to pull the bill from the President’s desk was ruled out of order, killing the bill upon adjournment.

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