SB 754, which would raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, passed out of the Senate Health Care Committee on March 14, 2017. The bill is currently scheduled for a vote on the Senate Floor on March 22nd.
The bill, championed by Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Beaverton, NW Portland), has received much support from counties. Commissioners Bozievich (Lane), DeGroot (Klamath), and Doherty (Morrow) have all expressed support for raising the age to purchase tobacco. New to their positions, both Commissioner DeGroot and Commissioner Doherty have taken very proactive roles on this issue, rallying support in their communities and working with Sen. Steiner Hayward to bolster support in the Senate, particularly among more conservative members. This is a great example of how county commissioners can work with legislators – even those outside of their districts.
Contributed by: Stacy Michaelson | AOC Health and Human Services Policy Manager