SALEM -- The Oregon Legislature is considering a bill to scale back the mandatory minimum sentencing law known as Measure 11.

The Joint Public Safety Committee will hear testimony late Wednesday on a measure intended to put a lid on inmate populations.

A report from a commission named by Gov. John Kitzhaber says capping the number of prisoners would save the state $600 million over the next decade.

Measure 11 was approved by voters in 1994. House Bill 3194 proposes changing its mandatory minimums for some sex abuse, assault and robbery charges.

Proponents say certain offenders can be effectively monitored in sentencing programs that cost much less than prisons.

Opponents say Oregon's sentencing policies have been effective at reducing crime and do not need to be changed.

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