SALEM, Ore. - Oregon lawmakers have advanced a bill that would authorize the Department of Transportation to issue a hardship permit to a person with suspended driving privileges to drive to and from gambling addiction treatment.
The Oregon Senate Committee on Judiciary held a public hearing and work session WEdnesday on Senate Bill 252 and unanimously moved the bill to the Senate floor with a do pass recommendation.
The Department of Transportation may currently issue hardship driving permits to individuals for particular purposes, such as driving to and from work, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and transportation of self or family to medical appointments.
The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.
The Lottery worked closely with bill sponsor Sen. Kathleen Taylor to draft the language for the bill and bring this issue to the Legislature. As Senator Taylor explained, "SB 252 aims to reduce barriers for individuals seeking treatment to address gambling addiction and minimize any negative impacts from gambling on the Oregon Lottery."
Oregon Lottery Director Pack thanked Sen. Taylor for bringing this bill forward. "We have a fairly special and unique opportunity here," said Pack. "We thought this was a great way to support folks who have problems and make sure that they can easily, or as easily as possible, get to treatment resources when they need it."
The next step for the bill upon passage by the Senate, would be referral to the Speaker of the Oregon House, where it will be assigned to a House committee, and the House will begin its review of the bill.
Oregon Lottery proceeds provide funding for free, confidential and effective problem gambling treatment programs statewide. Since 1992, over $92 million in Lottery funds has been directed to fund problem gambling treatment.