Posts Tagged ‘Senator Alan Bates’
Early Detection Critical to Ensuring Children’s Health
SALEM – A bill that will help to detect infant heart defects passed the Senate today on a bipartisan vote. Senate Bill 172 will require all newborns to be screened for congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry, an effective tool in the early detection of heart defects.
“Increasing the detection rate for heart defects is critical to supporting children’s health,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford). “By establishing this standard today, we are taking a big step to ensure that health care providers can get valuable information to identify and treat congenital heart defects before it’s too late.”
During his presentation of the bill on the Senate floor, Dr. Bates, a physician, demonstrated an example of heart screening technology.
According to an advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, congenital heart defects affect nearly eight out of every 1,000 births, and the hospital costs to treat these individuals totals $2.6 billion each year. While the practice of prenatal ultrasound screening has been somewhat effective at detecting heart defects, recent studies have shown that pulse oximetry is substantially more effective. SB 172 requires Oregon’s birthing facilities to screen newborns using pulse oximetry before releasing them.
“As with so many common health problems, early detection can mean the difference between life and death,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “Implementing modern screening standards for newborns is the least we can do to make certain that our children get the care they need and can lead healthy lives.”
The bill now moves to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.
SALEM—Today, Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) joined a coalition of fishers, rafters, conservationists, and other river users to encourage the state to evaluate and potentially curb a new wave of suction-dredge mining on the Rogue, Chetco, and other area rivers and creeks.
“Southern Oregon is home to thousands of us who consider our peaceful, pristine rivers a legacy to pass on to the next generation,” said Bates. “The dramatic increase in this potentially harmful practice may have serious impacts on fish,recreational users, conservationists and affected property owners.”
Suction dredging, which is the practice of vacuuming up a river bed with a motorized raft to obtain gold, has become more prevalent over the past decade, growing from a few hundred permits a decade ago to nearly 2000 permits last year.
“Clean water and healthy fish are cherished Oregon values, and I’m calling for hearings and a thoughtful discovery process to ensure protection for these threatened rivers and streams,” said Bates.
Joining Senator Bates was John Ward of Rogue Flyfishers, who spoke in support of a concept that would add new milesto the successful State Scenic Waterways program for the first time since 1988. “We must protect Southern Oregon and the rest of the state from new, destructive behaviors by expanding the State Scenic Waterways program. This move would be good for fishermen and for the recreational fishing industry,” said Ward.
Bates will continue to hear from local residents, including property owners, miners, local businesses, and he remains open-minded about possible solutions. “If it’s bad for our rivers and streams, then it should not be allowed in the most vulnerable and beautiful portions of those waters,” said Bates. “We must ensure that miners offset the costs to property owners and other river users – and we must ensure as little damage to our rivers as possible.”
Expansion of scenic waterways as proposed in SB 401 would increase protections from just one-third of 1 percent of Oregon’s rivers and streams to only one-half of 1 percent.
Senator Bates serves on the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and is the Deputy Majority Whip.
HB 3650 will transform Oregon’s Health Care system
SALEM – The Oregon Senate approved landmark legislation this evening that creates a new approach to health care, improving the way Oregon serves the state’s 600,000 Medicaid beneficiaries while also cutting costs. HB 3650, often called the Health Care Transformation bill, is the product of many health care experts, the public, and a bipartisan group of legislators who met weekly throughout session with the goal of achieving better health outcomes by integrating and coordinating health care and using a global budget to control costs.
SB 964 modeled after successful pilot projects in Jackson, Clackamas and Washington Counties
SALEM – The Senate approved landmark legislation today that will implement a new approach to taking care of children who qualify for child welfare services. Senate Bill 964 requires the Department of Human Services and its county partners to implement Strengthening, Preserving and Reunifying Families (SPRF) programs. These programs provide services and support to help keep families together when appropriate and safe, avoid or limit a child’s placement in foster care, and ensure safety and stability when a child is returned home.
SB 827 builds on Senate Democrats’ foreclosure work of 2009 session
SALEM – The Oregon Senate approved a bill this morning that will clarify, streamline, and add some teeth to the state’s foreclosure laws. Senate Bill 827 will ensure that homeowners facing foreclosure receive timely, standardized information about how to request a loan modification and will give them recourse if there is a violation.
“The ongoing foreclosure crisis demands that we take action to help Oregon homeowners,” said Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D-NW Portland/Washington Co.), who carried the bill on the floor. “SB 827 builds on our work from last session and will increase the number of people we can help. With this bill, more Oregonians will have the information they need and the chance to be fairly considered for loan modification as an alternative to foreclosure.”