Committee Deadline Passes in Oregon Legislature

April 18 was the deadline for a bill to have a committee hearing and work session so it could move on to the next stage. Since the session is limited to 160 days this deadline allows the time needed for a bill to complete voting in both the House and Senate before they adjourn. Most bills that survived went to the full House for a vote. Other bills are referred to Rules or Revenue for continued discussion, or to Ways and Means when money is involved.

The big news in the Capitol last week was the vote on a revenue package and PERS reform. Last week the Oregon House voted on House Bill 2456, the $275 million revenue package needed to reinvest in schools and other vital services. The bill would place additional taxes on the top 3% of corporations and the wealthiest 2.4% of Oregonians. Passage of this measure required a super majority, and, did not have the necessary 36 votes to pass. That bill did not pass but they did vote on a modified version of the bill, to end off-shore tax havens for large corporations that do business in Oregon but stash their profits in places like Bermuda or the Cayman Islands. This modified bill will result in an $18 million revenue increase. The Co-Chairs’ PERS reform bill, SB822 and will now move on to the Governor for a signature. SB822 made adjustments to our PERS system that will curb the rising costs of the system to help the state, school districts and other local governments meet their retirement obligations.

Here are a couple other bills we are tracking:

SB833 creates for those who cannot qualify for an Oregon Drivers’ License, a “short-term” (four year) “Oregon Drivers’ Card” which would enable driving privileges for Oregon residents (such as illegal immigrants, homeless or elderly people without birth documents) who can do the following:

  1. Prove with documentation they have lived in Oregon for at least one year.
  2. Prove with documentation their identity and date of birth (unexpired passport or consular card from the embassy of the applicant’s home country).
  3. Pass the DMV written and driving skills tests—the same tests required of all Oregon drivers.
  4. Pay a card fee that will be sufficient to pay the entire cost of the drivers’ card program.

The bill was signed by the Governor on May 1.

HB2662 prohibits owner neglect of vacant foreclosed residential real property and authorizes local government to remedy neglect and attach lien for sum of unreimbursed costs. Current law does not assign responsibility for the upkeep of vacant residential property in the process of foreclosure or property foreclosed but not yet repossessed and occupied. Just identifying the owner of vacant property may present challenges to local governments and neighbors hoping to address health or safety issues stemming from a vacant property. House Bill 2662 prohibits property owners from neglecting foreclosed properties, requires property owner to post a notice of who to contact in case of issues with the property, and allows local governments to remedy neglect and attach a lien for the sum of their unreimbursed costs if a nuisance arises from the property and the owner does not remedy the issue after notice is sent. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Advocacy News.