Governor Brown Signs Oregon Charter Enhancement Bill Into Law

Oregon Governor Kate Brown last week signed into a law a bill that brings strategic updates and enhancements to Oregon’s Credit Union Act.

“This bill signing is a testament to the hard work of Oregon credit unions to build relationships with their legislators and make known the value they bring to their communities,” said Pam Leavitt, Oregon policy advisor for the NWCUA. “The people of Oregon have spoken through the legislative process, and they want credit unions to be able to continue providing the excellent services and products they are known for without unnecessary restrictions.”

The bill, SB 582, makes the following changes to the Oregon Credit Union Act:

  • It allows Oregon State Chartered Credit Unions the option to provide reasonable compensation to their directors;
  • It removes the membership share requirement for State Chartered Credit Unions;
  • It clarifies that foster children are eligible for membership; and
  • It removes the requirement that the DCBS approve new branches.

The changes go into effect January 1, 2016.

Retirement Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

Last week the Oregon Retirement Security Bill, HB 2960, passed its final legislative hurdle. The bill now heads to Governor Brown’s desk for her signature.

The Retirement Savings Board created by HB 2960 will be chaired by the State Treasurer and will include representation from legislators, investors, employers, workers and retirees. The Board will develop a privately-managed, defined contribution retirement plan (IRA) for all Oregonians lacking access to a retirement plan at their workplace.

Employers will not be required to contribute to this plan, and employees will have the ability to opt-out.  The plan is scheduled to be operational and available to Oregon consumers in 2017.

Details of the plan include:

  • The plan must be voluntary. Employees should be automatically enrolled after a waiting period with the right to opt-out. Employees will be notified of and provided financial education about the plan upon employment.
  • The plan must be easily accessible. The plan will be available at work because Oregonians expect to receive benefits through their place of employment.
  • Contributing must be easy for employees and place minimal burden on small businesses. Defined contributions will be made from employee payroll deductions.
  • Accounts must be portable, allowing savers to maintain their accounts from one job to the next and during periods of unemployment or self-employment.
  • Funds must be pooled and professionally managed by a private-sector plan administrator to maximize returns for participants.

Under the plan, businesses will not be exposed to fiduciary liability, the state will not guarantee returns, and the state will not be liable for investment losses.  The plan, funded through account fees, will be self-sustaining and cannot be raided by the legislature.

Paid Sick Leave Bill

A bill that will require all Oregon businesses to provide sick leave to their employees passed the Senate by a vote of 17-13 with all Republicans and one Democrat voting in opposition to the measure. The bill also passed the House by a vote of 33-24 with 3 excused.

Senate Bill 454 requires most employers having ten or more employees to implement a sick time policy allowing an employee to earn, accrue, donate or use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year. Additionally, the bill requires most employers who employ fewer than ten employees to implement an unpaid sick time policy. Once signed into law, Oregon will join California, Connecticut and Massachusetts as states with a newly enacted paid sick leave policy.

Having passed both houses of the Legislature, the bill will become law upon being signed by the Governor.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News.