For the past three sessions, with a history dating back to the 1980s, the Legislature has debated whether or not to record grand jury proceedings. This session, it appears the Legislature will come to a compromise about how to do so.
The Senate Committee on Judiciary introduced two bills for this session – Senate Bill (SB) 496, which requires the courts (through the judicial department) to record grand juries, and SB 505, requiring district attorneys to do the recording. AOC was originally opposed to SB 505 because of the potential unfunded mandate but did not take a position on SB 496. The Oregon District Attorneys Association was and remains opposed to both bills.
SB 505 moved forward with amendments to limit to a pilot project for the biennium with Multnomah, Jackson, and Deschutes counties. The Legislature will also be funding the purchase of equipment needed to support grand jury recordation at a cost of $1.5 million. Also, the Legislative Emergency Board will have an $8.5 million special purpose allocation fund for counties, district attorneys, and courts to access to pay for expected additional court proceedings needed such as preliminary hearings. The fiscal for the remaining 33 counties remains unknown, but is expected to bec