Oregon Legislative Week in Review

The Oregon Legislature returned to work on Tuesday, Feb. 1, and Gov. Kitzhaber released his budget to mixed reviews. The Northwest Credit Union Association has been analyzing hundreds of bills to determine the impact on the state’s credit unions.

In past updates, we have focused on our priority bill, SB177 and the Oregon Bankers taxation bill, HB3263. We wanted to share with you some other update from the state capitol along with a list of bills on our tracking list.

Governor Kitzhaber’s New Appointment

Metro’s Chief Operating Officer, Mike Jordan, has also been selected by Kitzhaber to hold the title of COO for state government and also act as the director of the Department of Administrative Services. Kitzhaber has said Jordan will oversee state operations and review and streamline systems to creating savings and efficiencies, as well as develop a new budget linked to the performance of agencies for the 2013-15 budget cycle.

State Employee Union Negotiations

Kitzhaber presented a wage and benefit proposal this week to major state employee union AFSCME. The plan includes a three percent wage reduction and also would require employees to pick up a portion of their pension and health-care costs. The proposal was not well received by the union and even referred to as “draconian” by AFSCME’s executive Director Ken Allen. Kitzhaber is expected to offer a similar proposal next week to the largest union, SEIU.

Federal Tax Code Reconnect

The Oregon legislature has approved SB 301, which reconnects Oregon code to the federal tax code, retroactive to January 1, 2010. The bill allows state taxpayers to take advantage of a number of breaks passed by Congress late last year, and several federal tax provisions are in place to encourage new job-creating capital investment. It will take a “supermajority” vote in the Legislature to disconnect from the federal tax code for 2011 and beyond.

Other Bills

We are tracking over 100 bills in the Oregon Legislature that have been introduced to date. Here are some examples:

  • HB2083 – Exempts from disclosure mortgage loan documents Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services obtains during mortgage lending examination.
  • HB2084 – Permits Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to appoint advisory committee that represents persons likely to be affected by mortgage lending rules that director adopts.
  • HB2086 – Subjects person that advertises or purports to operate as appraisal management company to requirement to register with Department of Consumer and Business Services.
  • HB2263 – Creates Task Force on Establishing State Bank of Oregon.
  • HB2613 – Allows deposit of public funds in Oregon depository in amount in excess of statutory limit if Oregon depository redeposits funds into insured deposit accounts in other financial institutions, redeposited funds are federally insured and Oregon depository receives amount of deposits from other financial institutions in at least equal amount.
  • HB2615 – Authorizes financial institutions to swipe information from individual’s driver license, driver permit or identification card when establishing or maintaining contract or account or providing goods or services.
  • HB2926 – Prohibits person that issues credit card or debit card or that provides service as payment card network from restricting or prohibiting merchant from disclosing amount of interchange transaction fee or network fee merchant pays to person, specifying minimum dollar amount for which merchant will accept credit card or debit card as payment in retail transaction or offering purchaser in retail transaction discount for using payment method other than credit card or debit card.
  • HB2972 – Establishes Bank of the State of Oregon.
  • HJM10 – Urges Congress to enact legislation to assist Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund in establishing voluntary system of full insurance for public funds accounts.
  • SB198 – Requires mandatory mediation between trustee and grantor before sale to foreclose residential trust deed.
  • SB484 – Requires notice of sale in trust deed foreclosure to include documentation that establishes beneficiary or beneficiary’s agent as real party in interest with respect to loan to be foreclosed.