Oregon Legislative Update: Pat Allen Confirmed as Director of Oregon DCBS
February 14, 2012
February 14, 2012
The 2012 legislative session is in full swing, with just over half the bills making it past the Monday deadline to be posted on an agenda in their chamber of origin. Today marks the last day for committees to hold work sessions on bills in their chamber of origin, though these deadlines exclude all Rules, Revenue, and Ways & Means bills.
Pat Allen Confirmed as Director of Oregon DCBS
On Monday, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Pat Allen as Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). Allen replaces Cory Streisinger, who retired from state service in January 2011. DCBS is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency.
“Patrick brings a wealth of experience and a demonstrated track record of leadership in both the public and private sectors to this important position,” said Governor John Kitzhaber. “His skills will help advance key initiatives involving Oregon consumers, workers and businesses.”
Allen has been with DCBS since 2003, when he first served as manager of the Office of Regulatory Streamlining. He later became the acting deputy and acting administrator of the Building Codes Division. He also served at the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department from 1994 – 2003 and spent ten years in the banking industry, primarily with U.S. Bank. He graduated with honors from Oregon State University in 1985 with a degree in economics.
Mortgage Bills Pass Senate Committee
A Senate committee took action Monday on two mortgage bills. The first of the two bills approved by the Senate General Government, Consumer, and Small Business Protection Committee addresses the foreclosure crisis in Oregon. Senate Bill 1564 would eliminate the dual-track process in which banks in the process of negotiating a mortgage modification with a homeowner are simultaneously pursuing foreclosure.
“Helping homeowners across Oregon who are struggling to stay in their homes is a major priority for Senate Democrats,” said Deputy Senate Majority Leader Alan Bates, D-Medford. “These bills illustrate our commitment to middle class families who are fighting to make ends meet in these challenging times. We hear your concerns, and we are on your side.”
The second foreclosure bill approved Monday, Senate Bill 1552, is based on pre-foreclosure mediation programs that have proven successful in 21 other states. The bill would allow homeowners to meet with their lender in the presence of a neutral third party before the lender can proceed with a foreclosure sale. Both bills approved now go to the Senate floor for consideration by the entire body.
The latest revenue forecast was released this week, showing a $35.1 million drop this quarter. Oregon’s revenues have dropped more than $340 million since the 2011-13 budget was finished at the end of session last June, but the legislature’s cushion of $460 million in reserves has so far absorbed the decrease. With the forecast, legislators can move forward with rebalancing the state budget this session.
State Senator to Retire
Sen. David Nelson, R-Pendleton, announced that he will not seek another term in the Oregon State Senate. Nelson was first elected from Senate District 29 to the Oregon Senate in 1996, serving as Senate Majority Leader from 2001-03.
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