Advocacy on the Move
Oregon Legislative Update
February 25, 2022
The Oregon Legislature is completing the third week of the 2022 “short” legislative session. There are rumors of possible adjournment next week but with the requirement to read each bill in full, the session may go until the constitutional deadline of March 7th. They are expected to be in session this Saturday.
While most of the bills have moved quickly through the process, many are considered “dead” because of not enough time for consideration in the short session. One of the most controversial bills pass last night out of a Joint Committee to keep it alive in the process. HB4002A was set up for passage in the newly formed Joint Committee on Farm Worker Overtime. Public testimony was taken at an afternoon hearing and a vote was taken the same evening. When legislative leadership wants a bill, the process can move quickly, and that bill passed out last night on a partisan vote and is headed to the House and Senate floor.
Some drama happened on the Senate floor yesterday as Senator Dallas Heard, came back to the Capitol after his protest absence and continued to refuse to wear a mask. After debate and discussion, the Senate voted him off the floor and out of the Capitol. The debate was polite, and Senator Courtney expressed his disappointment for not having Senator Heard on the floor to represent his district. It was announced that morning that the indoor mask mandate will end on March 19th.
One bill that the Northwest Credit Union Association worked on to get the language right was HB4017. The NWCUA has been working on getting exemption language in a bill to register data brokers. HB4017 prohibits business entity from collection, storage, or transfer of personal data within this state without annual registration as a data broker with the Department of Consumer and Business Services. In the amendment we worked on, the bill defines “data broker” to exclude credit reporting agency, financial institution, and certain business entities and excludes those who report under GLBA. The bill has not had any recent action and we are hearing it is “dead” in this session.
This week the House Rules Committee heard HJR205, State Bank Constitutional Change. The bill proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to specify that sections restricting certain banks do not prohibit establishment of bank owned or operated by State of Oregon and refers proposed amendment to people for their approval or rejection at next regular general election. The Association worked to educate legislators behind the scenes and was in contact regularly with the Committee Chair and House leadership. The bills is expected to “die.”
Finally, the end of session is all about the budget bills. Topping the Governor’s wish list is $200 million for a plan, Future Ready Oregon 2022. In addition, she is proposing $400 million for affordable housing, “at-risk” manufactured housing and homeownership support and counseling and released the final details this week. Finally, the legislature is expected to approve $150 million for childcare and early learning programs and $200 million for salaries for behavior health care workers.
Oregon credit unions are lending our support within the housing package for a investment of $35 million Individual Development Accounts. An Individual Development Account is an asset building tool designed to enable Oregon families to save a targeted amount for priorities such as home ownership, post-secondary education, and small business ownership. We support the program because of its strong connection to financial education and asset building.
Submitted by Pam Leavitt