As the session advances, conversations around foundational programs and funding critical to health and human services begin to take shape. Two big ticket items for Association of Oregon Counties (AOC), the Behavioral Health and Justice Reinvestment Initiative (BHJRI) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) budget are gaining traction. Three bills key to these issues received public hearings on March 26. Commissioner Jim Doherty (Morrow County) testified in support of the bills stressing the importance of the policy and associated funding from a county perspective.

Behavioral Health and Justice Reinvestment Initiative

In efforts to create an evidence-based approach to reducing the number of mentally ill individuals who currently cycle in and out of local county jails for low level offenses, AOC and partner organizations have come together to support BHJRI. This initiative would focus on the health (physical and behavioral),