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Bill Would Require Most Oregon Businesses To Accept Cash

Chris Lehman

A bill heard Monday in the Oregon House Judiciary Committee would require most businesses to accept cash. Supporters of the measure said stores that only accept credit or debit cards are effectively discriminating against low-income people who don’t have access to a bank account.

“If stores stop accepting cash and you don’t have a bank account or line of credit, how are you going to put food on the table or buy clothes for your kids?” said Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas.

Opponents to the measure said businesses in high crime areas should have the right to refuse cash for security reasons. The bill would not apply to online transactions, as well as some types of businesses including gas stations, farmers markets, car rentals, and transactions involving a government agency.

Stores would also not be required to accept $50 or $100 bills, or more than $100 worth of coins at a time. The measure would take affect on July 1, 2021.

House Bill 4107 also includes a ban on discrimination based on hairstyle. Some African-Americans testified before the committee that they've experienced poor treatment at school and on the job based on their hair. This section of the bill is known as the "Crown Act" and is modeled after similar legislation in California.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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