House bill to toughen sentencing for repeat property crimes, ID theft fails
May 25,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

House Republicans Propose Longer Sentences Under Measure 11

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon House this week rejected a vote to increase Measure 11 sentencing for repeat property crimes, including burglary, car theft and identify theft.

Rep. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) led a House Republican effort to pull HB 3429 out of the House Judiciary Committee, where Democrats have held the bill without a hearing since it was introduced March 20.

Rep. Whisnant urged the House to debate HB 3429, arguing the bill is an important tool for combating methamphetamine and meth-related crime.

“Time is running out this session to expand our fight against methamphetamine,” Rep. Whisnant said. “According to the Portland Police Bureau, meth addicts commit 85 percent of property crime in Oregon. This problem won’t end when we adjourn next month.”

HB 3429 requires mandatory minimum sentences of up to 48 months for repeat property crime convictions. Criminals who’ve been previously convicted of first-degree aggravated theft and/or first-degree burglary would face at least 24 months in prison.

Minimum sentences for other repeat property crimes, such as forgery and fraudulent credit card use, would increase to 18 months. Under HB 3429, offenders would face tougher sentences for each subsequent conviction they receive.

“HB 3429 cracks down on those who continually disregard our laws and repeatedly victimize our citizens,” Rep. Whisnant said. “This motion was likely our last chance to target property crime this session.”