A bipartisan bill designed to combat metal theft, Oregon Senate Bill 570 (HTML | PDF), was approved yesterday (Wednesday, April 29) in the Oregon Senate by a 29 – 0 vote. The bill would increase record-keeping requirements for scrap metal dealers. It would require them to pay for metal by check, and set aside any metal they receive that is suspected to be stolen and report it to law enforcement. Further, it would be illegal for people selling scrap metal to dealers to alter the metal in any way that could disguise its origin or ownership. Metal theft is a huge issue for nurseries who have suffered for years from the loss of metal irrigation pipes and sprinkler heads. “This bill remains an important legislative effort and represents three years of hard work by legislators and stakeholders,” said Jeff Stone, OAN Director of Government Relations. “The Senate went a long way in cracking down on metal thieves today.” The bill now moves on to the House of Representatives, where its chances look exceedingly bright. Out of 60 House members, 59 are signed on as sponsors of the bill. It is likely to be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
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About Curt Kipp
Curt Kipp is the director of publications and communications at the Oregon Association of Nurseries, and the editor of Digger magazine.