OBA’s 2016 Legislative Priorities

In the spirit of 35-day 2016 legislative session that began Feb. 1st, OBA’s Board of Directors has approved an agenda that fits the time constraints and state budget focus of interim sessions without letting go of our important priorities, vision and strategic imperatives.

OBA’s Strategic Pillars & 2016 Legislative Agenda Priorities

Priority Tiers

The latest from Salem: Bills We’re Watching

Legislative Activity this week: February 5, 2015


Criminal Justice Reform
Bill: TBD
Summary: Department of Corrections budget request for $10M to build prison beds at Deer Ridge.
Status: Public hearing in Ways & Means Public Safety Subcommittee.
Notes: OBA supports maintaining ALL funding in Justice Reinvestment grants ($42M) and not using those funds to construct any new prison beds.


Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan
Bill: HB 4036
Summary: Doubles Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard from 25% to 50% by 2050. Requires utilities to transition off of coal by 2035.
Status: Work session scheduled for February 9th.
Notes: OBA supports, Joel Fischer provided testimony in support.

University Venture Development Fund tax credit
Bill: HB 4072
Summary: Extends sunset for tax credit for university venture development fund contributions.
Status: Public hearing held in House Revenue on February 4. OBA testified in support along with university partners.
Notes: Legislature passed on extending the credit in 2015. Its prospects in 2016 are uncertain. Legislature’s appetite for extending tax credits is quite slim.

Healthy Climate Act, Cap and Invest
Bill: HB 1574
Summary: Cap and Invest approach. Capping GHG emissions through the auction of allowances by the state to emitting entities. The proceeds from the sale of the allowances will be invested in utility bill rate relief, GHG reduction, and community and economic adaptation and resilience measures.
Status: Work sessions held this week.
Notes: OBA does not have a position on this bill. This bill is not likely to move forward because there is more momentum for HB 4036, the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan.

Water Storage and Delivery
Bill: HB 4012
Summary:  Authorizes issuance of lottery bonds to finance water storage and distribution projects.
Status: Public hearing held this week, possible work session scheduled for next week.


Chronic Absenteeism
Bill: HB 4002
Summary: Directs the Oregon Department of Education to develop and implement statewide education plan to address chronic absences of students in public schools.
Status: Public Hearing held this week. Work session schedule for today.
Notes: OBA supports, Joel Fischer provided testimony in support.


Bill: HB 4031
Summary: Directs Chief Education Office to design and implement pilot program to decrease rates of school absenteeism.
Status: Public Hearing held this week. Work session schedule for today.
Notes: Monitoring. Support in concept, but comes with a large fiscal.

Oregon Promise Support Program
Bill: HB 4076
Summary: Directs Office of Student Access and Completion to provide support services to enable students to be successful in Oregon Promise program (better known as Free Community College).
Status: Passed out of the House Higher Education Innovation and Workforce Committee this week. Goes to Ways and Means.
Notes: OBA supports, Joel Fischer provided testimony in support.

Bill: HB 4057
Summary: Directs Department of Education to prepare report related to educational performance of students from families in poverty.
Status: Public Hearing and Possible Work Session scheduled for later today.


Minimum wage
Bill: SB 1532-13
Summary: Senate version creates three region minimum wage.
Status: Public hearing held in Senate Workforce and General Government Committee on February 4. Another public hearing scheduled on February 5 with new amendment.
Notes: OBA is working with colleagues/moderate legislators to determine if compromise is possible to avert a union-backed ballot measure.

Other Issues We’re Tracking:

Corporate Disclosure
Bill: HB 4035
Summary: Requires Department of Revenue to submit to Legislative Revenue Officer information from Oregon tax returns about certain corporations doing business in Oregon.
Status: Public hearing scheduled for February 8 in House Revenue Committee.
Notes: OBA opposing, along with numerious business groups. Not likely to move anywhere. Two House Democrats are reporting as NO votes on committee.



**See OBA’s 2015 legislative session Sin Die report HERE.


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