Legislative Session Begins – 110 Focus; Housing; Debris Removal Work Continues

Legislative Session Begins – 110 Focus

As the Oregon legislative session opens, lawmakers could make changes to a voter-passed measure that decriminalized small amounts of drugs and opened up more access to treatment. Backers of the measure say it’s a move in the wrong direction. Oregon voters passed Measure 110 in 2020. Since then, lawmakers have become worried about the increasing number of drug overdoses. However, Sammi Teo with Oregon Food Bank says re-criminalizing drug possession won’t fix this problem, especially with people lining up for detox services.

“We need treatment beds not jail beds. We need housing, mobile crisis counselors, better coordination between providers and law enforcement, and not to regress to tactics that increase the likelihood of overdose deaths, which is what the Legislature is proposing.”

While lawmakers have pointed to overdoses as a reason to re-criminalize certain drugs, a study from 2023 concluded fatal drug overdoses did not increase in the year after Measure 110 was introduced. Teo says addiction should be treated like a public health issue rather than a criminal one. 9th district representative Boomer Wright has said we have essentially tied the hands of law enforcement and that a solution needs to be found that helps the individual while protecting public safety.


Housing continues to be a huge issues locally and around the state. Recently the Oregon Housing and Community Services awarded 20 million dollars to modular housing developers to boost production of these homes throughout Oregon.  the idea is that developers will be able to prioritize supplying affordable modular housing to state and local governments following a disaster, but also provide low and middle-income housing construction.  Florence Planning department head Wendy Farley-Campbell says modular homes tend to be the most affordable for new home buyers and those who have lower incomes and the city continues to help find ways to provide affordable options.

“The City has done a lot of work since 2019 to affect the opportunity for those types of housing to be built in our community.”

In addition the city is looking at reducing lots sizes in medium density zones to take advantage of more usable space.  Florence continues to suffer from a shortfall in housing, but progress is being made with more units scheduled to be built in the near future.

Debris Removal Work Continues

Work continues this week along highway 126 to eugene.  Debris removal and repairs to railings along the stretch from milepost 20 to milepost 41 will cause some delays at times for motorists traveling to and from Eugene. Rain is back in the forecast for most of the area and could hamper repair work, but currently delay times are under 20 minutes.  Crews have been onsite for the past two weeks as a significant number of trees have fallen along the roadway.  Highway 36 to triangle lake is also dealing with debris with similar traffic delays. ODOT has not given a timetable for completion of the removal and repair.