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2018 Government & Economic Affairs Blog

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  • June 12, 2018 8:36 AM | Scott Hendison (Administrator)

    The East Portland Chamber of Commerce is hosting a panel discussion on Solutions for Transportation in the Portland Metro area for the 21st Century. 

    By most accounts Portland is currently about the 25th largest Metro area in the US by population, and is also ranked 16th in Metro areas for traffic congestion in the country, worse than Austin, Texas (per Statista and Business Insider). 

    What is the best combination of transportation services for the Metro area to offer in order to insure the most cost effective means of transporting people and products?

    The Panelists will include Bernie Bottomly, Executive Director of Public Affairs for TriMet, John Charles, President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute and Chris Smith, Commissioner at Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.

    Bernie Bottomly, Executive Director of Public Affairs, oversees TriMet’s governmental affairs, communications, customer service and planning/policy departments. 

    Bernie worked at TriMet from 1993 to 2002 as the agency’s legislative director, with responsibility for state and regional legislative affairs as well as regional transportation finance policy.

    Prior to his work at TriMet, Bernie served as district administrator for U.S. Congressman Les AuCoin (D-OR) for almost a decade with responsibility for natural resource, transportation and economic development policy. 

    He has been the Portland Business Alliance’s staff liaison to the Oregon Business Plan and has served on the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Budget Advisory Committee and the Central City 2035 Technical Advisory Committee, among many others.

    John Charles was named President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute in May, 2005. Cascade is a free-market think tank working to promote individual liberty, economic opportunity, and personal responsibility.

    Mr. Charles initially joined Cascade in 1997 as Environmental Policy Director. His research has focused on transportation, land use, and free-market environmentalism. He is a frequent keynote speaker and guest lecturer, especially on the subject of growth management, and has traveled to 24 states to discuss this issue. 

    Prior to joining the Institute, Mr. Charles was executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council for 17 years. During that time he served on dozens of local, state and federal commissions and advisory boards related to environmental protection. Charles was also an active participant in Oregon legislative proceedings, and helped author numerous environmental statutes in the areas of forest management, toxic substances, air pollution, watershed restoration, and transportation.

    Mr. Charles received a B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976 and an M.P.A. degree from Portland State University in 1990.

    Chris Smith has been a Commissioner at Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission since 2009. The Planning and Sustainability Commission advises City Council on the City’s long-range goals, policies and programs for land use, planning and sustainability. The Commission has specific responsibility for the stewardship, development and maintenance of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan and zoning code.

    He also is President of Portland Transport, a non-profit dedicated to fostering conversation about transportation policy and providing information on transportation choices.He is a Site Architect for Xerox, providing technical leadership and implementation for the web platform that serves Xerox.com, Director of Portland Streetcar, Inc., a non-profit which builds and operates the Portland Streetcar under contract to the City of Portland, and a member of the “No More Freeways PDX” group..

    Mr. Smith received a B.S. degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1978 and an M.P.A. degree from Boston University Graduate School of Management in 1985.


  • February 27, 2018 4:44 PM | Deleted user

    We are now two weeks into the 5-week 2018 session.

    In our view, the pace of the session appears to be slowing down this week with fewer committee hearings and generally less activity. The insanity of the first two weeks is giving way to the hard realities of trying to push through legislation after only two weeks of work.

    All told, about 180 of the 230 policy bills that were introduced are still alive … a stunning number with only three weeks to go. But many of these bills are alive in name only.

    Here are the major developments of Week 2:

    1. Both ‘Cap and Trade’ bills – HB 4001 and SB 1507 – were kept alive. Both were sent to their respective Rules Committees. We believe this is a bad development.  At the very least, we expected the House bill to be kept alive and that the Senate bill would be killed. We are highly suspicious of this turn of events and were highly suspicious of some of the speeches last week that seemed to signal that ‘Cap and Trade’ may yet have some life in this 2018 session. Not good.

    2. In a bit of good news, the Senate sent SB 1528 back to committee after a huge outcry from small businesses across the state. As we reported last week, we were surprised that the Senate Finance & Revenue Committee acted so swiftly in Week 1 to effectively repeal Oregon’s ‘small business tax cut.’ Senate Bill 1528 limited the tax cut to only the first $250,000 of pass through income (down from the current level of $5 million). Democrats passed SB 1528 on a 3-2 party line vote in committee, but Democratic senators were leery of being accused of raising small business taxes in an election year. The bill was sent back to committee for a ‘do over.’

    3. A ‘Cleaner Air Oregon’ compromise bill – SB 1541 – looks to be gaining momentum. Food Northwest has approved the current version of the compromise bill which codifies more reasonable risk levels than the current version of the Cleaner Air Oregon rule. In exchange for these more reasonable benchmarks, industry will agree to pay for administration of the program. This is an issue to watch very carefully as it continues to undergo more negotiation and political scrutiny. It may end up being the key outcome of the entire session.

    4. The state’s revenue forecast again indicated a positive economic outlook, though there was some uncertainty as evidenced by the reduction of 9,000 jobs since the December forecast. Revenue is tracking a bit higher than the December 2017 forecast. Projected 2017-19 net General Fund resources are up $69.8 million and projected 2017-19 Lottery resources are up $29.3 million – a combined projected net increase of 99.1 million. Business groups will use these projections to argue for a complete connection to the federal tax cut legislation.

    5. Pay attention to HJR 203 … the political equivalent of a ‘sneaker wave.’ This legislation makes access to affordable health care a constitutional right enshrined in the Oregon Constitution. The budget and tax ramifications are enormous. The legal ambiguity is stunning. And yet the legislation passed the House on a party-line 35-25 vote. If the Senate approves the measure, it will appear on the November 2018 general election ballot.

    There are only just a few key issues that will have our attention in Week 3:

    1. We are anticipating further amendments to the ‘Cap and Trade’ bills. We continue to believe that legislative leaders, particularly in the Senate, will look for opportunities to back-track on previous commitments to keep ‘Cap and Trade’ at bay in 2018. We believe there could be a fresh set of discussion on ‘Cap and Trade,’ particularly in the Senate Rules Committee. Again, the Senate version is SB 1507 and the House version is HB 4001.

    2. The revenue forecast (up $99 million) should have taken the wind out of the sails for the effort to disconnect from the federal 20% pass-through income deduction and further scale back the Oregon ‘small business tax cut.’  But ultimately, it won’t. We believe there will be an ongoing effort to scale back tax benefits to small business.  This is likely the second most impactful issue for local business in the 2018 session.

    3. We anticipate further discussion on ‘Cleaner Air Oregon’ legislation – SB 1541. If this issue continues down a stable track with strong regulatory sideboards and reasonable risk levels set in statute, it could be the most important issue for local business coming out of the 2018 session.

    Other issues of note:

    Environmental Regulation. Diesel engine and commercial truck idling regulations are also being discussed withHB 4003. The bill requires DEQ to adopt new emissions standards for medium and heavy duty on-road diesel engines as well as off-road diesel engines. This bill was kept alive.

    Employment Regulation. For OSCC members that store customer information, there is a significant push for data breach regulation in the wake of the Equifax data breach. The legislation in question – SB 1551 – appears to be going in a direction that business can generally support. Although it levies additional regulations on businesses that store consumer data, it has taken considerable input from the business community and does not contain any private rights of action.

    Affordable Workforce Housing. House Bill 4007 is still the bill to watch here. It proposes to raise document recording fees to put more money into first time homebuyer incentives and incentives for affordable and workforce housing projects.  The sticking point is whether to raise the fee to $60 or $75. There appears to be a potential bipartisan consensus around raising the fee from $20 to $60, but at this point the House leadership seems intent on pushing the fee to $75, for which there are no Republican votes. This bill is probably the only real hope to advance any affordable housing progress this session and is currently the subject of a game of political chicken. As indicated on the OSCC government affairs call, OSCC will potentially weigh in support of the legislation if the $60 fee is agreed to.

    Fiscal Reform. The Governor’s primary PERS push is going to be a bill which creates PERS ‘side accounts’ to help school districts be able to pre-pay their PERS liabilities. The bill is Senate Bill 1566. It is unknown at this point exactly where all the funding will come from to fund the side accounts in a meaningful way. Overall, it is a very modest proposal that could help ease the PERS crunch on school budgets on the margins. We still expect SB 1566 to advance with bipartisan support in the Senate.

  • February 13, 2018 12:28 PM | Deleted user


    Late last week, we were surprised when the Senate Finance & Revenue Committee pushed through a significant tax increase on small business with little fanfare or warning.

    The committee passed Senate Bill 1528 on a 3-2 vote. 

    We are expecting the bill to be voted in the Senate shortly.

    SB 1528 increases taxes on Oregon small business Sole Proprietors, LLCs and S-Corps by $181 million by disconnecting from the recently-passed 20% federal pass through deduction.

    SB 1528 also includes provisions to eliminate most of the 2013 Grand Bargain 'Small Business Tax Cut' that was agreed to in 2013. The lower small business tax rates passed in 2013 are important to help Oregon small businesses stay competitive. And while some Sole Proprietors will benefit from reduced tax rates, the bill raises $30 million by increasing small business tax rates for those with business income over $250,000.

    All told, SB 1528 is a $210 million increase in small business taxes.

    Needless to say, we are surprised that the Committee chose to make small business bear the entire brunt of any revenue raising in 2018.

    You can see the attached letters being submitted by OSCC and other business groups.

    Please contact your SENATOR today and ask them to "Say NO to SB 1528.

  • February 13, 2018 12:27 PM | Deleted user


    We are now one week into the 2018 session...four weeks to go.

    In our view, there were four major developments in the early going:

    1. The opponents of 'Cap & Trade', including OSCC, performed very well during the marathon public hearings on Wednesday. Not only was the quality of the testimony outstanding (including several OSCC members), but opponents matched the proponents in quantity of testimony during the five hours of hearings. Our belief is that any momentum for 'Cap & Trade' legislation that had accumulated in the early days of the session was severely blunted.
       
    2. The Senate Finance & Revenue Committee acted swiftly and decisively to effectively repeal Oregon's small business tax cut, which has only been in effect for three years. Under current law, the state taxes the first $5 million pass through business income at lower rates. But Senate Bill 1528 limits the tax cut to only the first $250,000 of pass through income. Democrats passed SB 1528 on a 3-2 party line vote in committee. The bill is expected to hit the Senate floor for a vote by mid-week. This will be the first major partisan battle of the 2018 session.
       
    3. Of the 225 policy bills that were introduced in the 2018 session, only about 30 were killed with the first deadline of the session. This is a staggeringly low number. This means that about 85% of all the bills are still in play with less than three weeks of committee time left. It's turning into a nightmare for legislators and advocacy groups alike as they are chasing potential legislation all over the capitol with overlapping committee hearings that require legislators and lobbyists to be in two or more places at once!
       
    4. Of the bills that are now killed, OSCC is not pleased that House Bill 4021, which would have given our manufacturing members further ability to comply with new BOLI work week restrictions, was not even afforded a public hearing. On the flip side, OSCC is pleased to see that House Bill 4105 will not advance, which would have penalized businesses for not offering health benefits to employees who work 30 or more hours per week.

    What we are looking for in the coming week:

    1. There will likely be a significant battle on the Senate floor over SB 1528, which dramatically raises taxes on small pass-through businesses by (1) not extending the federal pass through tax benefits to Oregon small businesses, and (2) drastically cutting back the Oregon 'Small Business Tax Cut' from the first $5 million in business income to the first $250k in business income. Pass through businesses are hit hard with this legislation, and it will be hotly contested this week as a vote approaches.
       
    2. We are looking forward to hearings on the 'Cleaner Air Oregon' program and the fee bills - HB 4002 and SB 1508 - that are associated with the program.  OSCC and industry groups in general will oppose the fee bills, which raise $2 million in Title V or ACDP fees to fund the 'Cleaner Air Oregon' toxics program. As an aside, industry is working on a compromise bill - SB 1541 - which may modify the stringent rules to allow business to better comply. But negotiations are uncertain on this bill right now, and time is drawing short.
       
    3. The revenue forecast will be unveiled on February 16th. This is the seminal point in the February session as all budget decisions will be made based on whether the state economist predicts available state revenues. Increased revenues will weaken the case for the legislature to scale back the 'Small Business Tax Cut' as it just did in SB 1528.
       
    4. We anticipate that both the House and Senate Environment Committees will send their respective 'Cap & Trade' bills to the Ways & Means Committee where they will presumably languish until session adjourns. At this point, we don't believe that 'Cap & Trade' can pass either the Senate or the House based on our latest vote count.

    Other issues of note:

    Environmental Regulation:  Diesel engine and commercial truck idling regulations are also being discussed with HB 4003. The bill requires DEQ to adopt new emissions standards for medium and heavy duty on-road diesel engines as well as off-road diesel engines.

    Employment Regulation:  With bill that helps address OSCC's concerns about the new overtime regulations (HB 4021) being one of the few bills that were actually killed in the first week, there are no bills of consequence that deal with employment regulation.

    For OSCC members that store customer information, there is a significant push for data breach regulation in the wake of the Equifax data breach. The legislation in question - SB 1551 and HB 4147 - would add additional regulations on businesses that store consumer data.

    OSCC was watching HB 4105, which would levy penalties on employers who do not offer health insurance for any employee who works an average of 30 hours per week. This bill was also one of the few that actually died.

    Affordable Workforce Housing:  House Bill 4007 is the bill to watch here. It proposes to raise document recording fees to put more money into first time homebuyer incentives and incentives for affordable and workforce housing projects.  The sticking point is whether to raise the fee to $60 or $75. There appears to be a potential bipartisan consensus around raising the fee from $20 to $60, but at this point the House leadership seems intent on pushing the fee to $75, for which there are no Republican votes. This bill is probably the only real hope to advance any affordable housing progress this session.

    Fiscal Reform: The Governor's primary PERS push is going to be a bill which creates PERS 'side accounts' to help school districts be able to pre-pay their PERS liabilities. The bill is Senate Bill 1566. It is unknown at this point exactly where all the funding will come from to fund the side accounts in a meaningful way. Overall, it is a very modest proposal that could help ease the PERS crunch on school budgets on the margins. We expect SB 1566 to advance with bipartisan support in the Senate.

    Taxes: We advised members last week that there are two big issues here - (1) connection to the new federal tax cuts, and (2) the viability of the Oregon Small Business Tax Cut which taxes pass-through income at lower rates.

    OSCC members that are C corporations will be paying attention to whether the legislature opts to 'connect' or 'disconnect' from the new federal provisions that allow for 100% upfront depreciation on capital expenditures between 2018-2022. It appears at this stage that the legislature will choose to 'connect' to this portion of the new federal law. This is the good news.

    OSCC members that are pass-through businesses will be paying attention to whether the legislature opts to 'connect' or 'disconnect' from new federal provisions that allow for an upfront 20% income deduction for pass-through shareholders. It appears at this stage that the legislation will 'disconnect' from this portion of the new federal law. This is the disappointing news.

    As always, OSCC will keep members apprised of any developments on these issues or other emerging issues as the 35-day session moves forward. There may be additional opportunity for member input, particularly on 'Cap & Trade,' 'Cleaner Air Oregon,' and the critical tax issues being debated. 

    Best regards,

    JL Wilson

    Legislative Counsel

    jlwilson@pacounsel.org

  • February 05, 2018 1:45 PM | Deleted user


    The public hearing for Cap and Trade (HB 4001 and SB 1507) will be held on:

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018 | 3-8pm in Hearing Room F
    Oregon State Capitol

    OSCC will be sharing a room (Room 50 in the Capitol basement) with the Farm Bureau for those who would like to provide testimony and/or show support. OSCC has been informed that individual testimony will be limited to 2 minutes per person. We hope you will come and enjoy the camaraderie of friends at this important hearing. Food and beverages will be provided as well.

    Below, you will find everything you will need to advocate against Cap and Trade (HB 4001 and SB 1507).

    Please find the following materials for use:

    For those who would like to submit your testimony for the record, please send your comments to the following email address: hee.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov 

    We encourage you to get involved in this process and to share this information with others. Cap and Trade is the basis of our grassroots platform in 2018. 
  • February 05, 2018 1:39 PM | Deleted user


    The 2018 Oregon legislative session is now upon us.

    Here is some key backdrop information that Chamber members need to know:

    • The budget is relatively stable, thanks in large part to the recent passage of Measure 101.  There does not appear to be any pending budget crisis that requires the legislature to try to find additional money.  The only caveat here is that - as of right now - the recently passed federal tax cuts are projected to cost the state around $120 million.  So the legislature has a real choice to make: whether to 'connect' or 'disconnect' from the recently-passed federal 'Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.' 
       
    • The House will be very aggressive.  Look for the House to pass Cap & Trade, further gun restrictions, data breach regulations, drug pricing disclosure and perhaps even a constitutional mandate to provide health coverage for all Oregonians.  A lot of progressive legislation will be considered and even passed in the House. 
       
    • The Senate will be very cautious.  There is largely an agreement amongst Senators that no partisan legislation will survive in the Senate.  This is good news for chambers as nearly all of the partisan legislation would add additional burdens on business. 
       
    • 250 bills have been introduced, and timelines are very tight.  The first major deadline is this Friday.  Bills that have not been scheduled for a committee vote by this Friday are dead.  Expect that over half of the 250 bills that have been introduced will be dead by this time next week.

    Here are some of the major themes for local business as we enter the 2018 session:

    Environmental Regulation:  OSCC and local chambers will actively participate in the 'Cap & Trade' debate that will dominate the first week of the session.  House Bill 4001 and Senate Bill 1507 will be the two 'Cap & Trade' bills.  We anticipate that HB 4001 will be the bill that gains momentum.

    'Cleaner Air Oregon' funding will also be a huge issue.  DEQ is proposing legislation (HB 4002 and SB 1508) that raises Title V and ACDP fees by $2 million to help initiate the air toxics regulatory structure known as 'Cleaner Air Oregon.'  There will be significant industry opposition.  Please be aware there may be a 'compromise' bill in the offing - SB 1541 - which would limit the stringency of the new rules in exchange for the increased fees.  OSCC is actively abreast of the compromise efforts.  OSCC will only support the compromise if it is in the best interests of food processors.  As of now, it is too early to tell.

    Diesel engine regulations are also being considered with HB 4003.  The bill requires DEQ to adopt new emissions standards for medium and heavy duty on-road diesel engines as well as off-road diesel engines.

    Employment Regulation:  While there is a bill that helps address OSCC's concerns about the new overtime regulations recently promulgated by BOLI (HB 4021), we are not optimistic that the bill will receive any kind of consideration.  HB 4021 was introduced by Sen Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) and Rep Debi Boone (D-Cannon Beach) to help alleviate problems that will arise for seafood processing and food processing in general, it appears the AFL-CIO has already told House Leadership to kill the bill.

    For OSCC members who store customer information, there will be a significant push for data breach regulation in the wake of the Equifax data breach.  The legislation in question - SB 1551, HB 4114, and HB 4147 - would add additional regulations on businesses that store consumer data.

    OSCC is also watching HB 4105, which would levy penalties on employers who do not offer health insurance for any employee who works an average of 30 hours per week.  The legislation would apply to any company with 50 or more employees.

    Affordable Workforce Housing:  House Bill 4007 is the bill to watch here.  It proposes to raise document recording fees to put more money into first time homebuyer incentives and incentives for affordable and workforce housing projects.

    Fiscal Reform:  The Governor's primary PERS push is going to be a bill which creates PERS 'side accounts' to help school districts be able to pre-pay their PERS liabilities.  The bill is Senate Bill 1566.  It is unknown at this point exactly where all the funding will come from to fund the side accounts in a meaningful way.  Overall, it is a very modest proposal that will help ease the PERS crunch on school budgets on the margins.

    Taxes:  There will be two big issues here - (1) connection to the new federal tax cuts, and (2) the viability of the Oregon Small Business Tax Cut which taxes pass-through income at lower rates.

    OSCC members that are C corporations will be paying attention to whether the legislature opts to 'connect' or 'disconnect' from the new federal provisions that allow for 100% upfront depreciation on capital expenditures between 2018-2022.

    OSCC members that are pass-through businesses will be paying attention to whether the legislature opts to 'connect' or 'disconnect' from new federal provisions that allow for an upfront 20% income deduction for pass-through shareholders.

    Also at stake this session is the future of Oregon's special small business tax rates for pass-through income.  As of today, Oregon's tax rates on pass through-income start at 7% (as opposed to 9% for W-2 income) and gradually move up.  The reduced rates apply to pass-through income up to $5 million.  OSCC anticipates there will be discussion of curtailing Oregon's reduced pass-through rates in order to capture some of the revenue lost to the federal tax cuts.

    One final tax issue of concern to local business communities - particularly those that rely on tourism - is House Bill 4120, which requires short term rentals to collect transient lodging taxes.  This bill will be a major initiative of both the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and local government.

  • January 16, 2018 2:56 PM | Deleted user


    Dear OSCC Members and Colleagues: 

    OSCC is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has approved the 2018 Legislative Agenda. View agenda

    For 2018, OSCC requests that the Oregon legislature stay true to the intent of the short session by keeping focused on limited policy discussions and budget/policy adjustments stemming from the 2017 legislative session.

    "OSCC's Legislative Agenda gives a voice to the business community," said Colene Martin, 2018 OSCC Board Chair. "These priorities will help ensure a healthy business climate and allow Oregon's economy to grow."

    The 2018 Legislative Session convenes on February 5, 2018. This is a fast-moving session with quick deadlines. We will be updating you in the coming weeks on legislation as it is introduced.

    Chambers are encouraged to adopt these priorities as part of their own legislative agenda. OSCC's positions are strengthened as local chambers adopt the agenda, which allows for greater effectiveness during the 2018 Session. Please contact Jessica Chambers if your chamber adopts these priorities.

    Best regards,

    JL Wilson, Legislative Counsel

    jlwilson@pacounsel.org


  • January 12, 2018 6:14 PM | Deleted user


    Dear OSCC Members and Colleagues: 

    There is currently an effort to bring high-speed internet access to rural communities across Oregon and the country, including an effort to develop new broadband technologies that would increase access to and the affordability of high speed internet. One of these technologies is the utilization of TV white space spectrum for broadband deployment. We understand that the Connect Americans Now coalition is reaching out to organizations asking for support.

    OSCC is evaluating this issue and would like to receive feedback from members. If your chamber has been contacted about this issue, please let us know. We would like to better understand how this would impact communities across Oregon. Feedback can be emailed to Jessica Chambers.

    Best regards,

    JL Wilson, Legislative Counsel

    jlwilson@pacounsel.org


  • January 09, 2018 6:12 PM | Deleted user


    Dear OSCC Members and Colleagues: 

    We have had several inquiries from OSCC members who have been contacted by proponents/opponents for Measure 101. Chambers need to understand the tension surrounding this issue as individual chamber members will likely have strong feelings on both sides of the debate.
     
    Measure 101 will be the subject of a special election on January 23rd. A "Yes" vote will preserve a 1.5% provider and health care insurance premium tax passed by the legislature during the 2017 session. A "No" vote will repeal the tax. At stake is between $222 and $333 million of state funding that is directed toward the state's Medicaid program - also known as the Oregon Health Plan - which funds health services for low income Oregonians. Please be aware that about $145 million of this is a direct tax on health insurance premiums paid by businesses with commercial health insurance plans for their employees. As of today, nearly 25% of all Oregonians are now on the Oregon Health Plan as Oregon's uninsured rate has plummeted under the Medicaid expansion authorized by the federal Affordable Care Act. 

    You can expect your local hospitals and physicians groups to be in strong support of Measure 101. Preserving the 1.5% tax on providers and health insurance premiums keeps funding intact for the Oregon Health Plan. Proponents claim that as many as 350,000 low income Oregonians risk losing their health insurance if the tax is not preserved. In addition, keeping the tax intact will reduce uncompensated care and therefore reduce the costs that are shifted onto commercial and private ratepayers. Finally, proponents argue that eliminating the 1.5% provider and premium taxes will simply force the legislature to find $300 million elsewhere - perhaps in the form of other, less acceptable taxes on individuals and businesses.

    Opponents of Measure 101 will come from small business owners and people with individual health insurance policies who don't appreciate a 1.5% tax ($145 million) on their already expensive insurance premiums. They observe the mismanagement of the Oregon Health Plan - including over 55,000 ineligible recipients being allowed to collect benefits and more recently, that the state overpaid $74 million for Medicaid services - and oppose higher taxes to fund a health care program that lacks integrity. Opponents argue that there is more than enough money in state government to account for the $222 - $333 million without requiring small employers to pay $145 million in additional taxes to keep the Medicaid program whole. They also argue that taxing something (health care/health insurance) does not make it more affordable.

    As always, please feel free to revise this message and use it to communicate with your membership.

    Best regards,

    JL Wilson, Legislative Counsel

    jlwilson@pacounsel.org

  • January 05, 2018 6:11 PM | Deleted user


    Dear OSCC Members and Colleagues: 

    As we prepare for the upcoming 2018 session, you need to be aware of the key dates and timelines over the next two months.

    January 8 - LC drafts returned. All legislation that will be introduced in the 2018 session must be drafted and returned to legislators for review by Monday.

    January 10, 11, 12 - Legislative Days. This will be the final set of committee hearings that will be held prior to the 2018 session. This will be our first opportunity to see some of the bills that will be introduced by various committees.

    January 16 - Bill filing deadline. All legislation that will be introduced in the 2018 session must be officially filed by this date. In short, every House member gets to introduce 2 bills. Every senator gets to introduce 1 bill. Every committee gets to introduce 3 bills. We are anticipating about 300 bills total.

    Late January - We are expecting that all bills will be made public some time in late January. Furthermore, we expect to see 'advisory referrals' which will tell us which committees these bills will be assigned to.

    February 5 - Session convenes. First day of the 2018 session. 35-day sprint.

    February 9 - First Chamber deadline to post work sessions. First major deadline of the session is just 5 days into the session. If a bill isn't posted for a work session in committee by this time, it's dead.

    February 15 - First Chamber deadline to hold work sessions. Next major deadline. If a bill hasn't been approved by the original committee by this time, it's dead.

    February 22 - Second Chamber deadline to post work sessions. If a bill isn't posted for a work session in it's second chamber committee by this time, it's dead.

    February 27 - Second Chamber deadline to hold work sessions. If a bill hasn't passed out of its second chamber committee by this time, it's dead.

    March 11 - Constitutional end date to session.

    As you can see, it's a very fast-moving session with quick deadlines. We'll be updating you in the coming weeks on legislation as we see it introduced.

    Click here to view full calendar

    Best regards,

    JL Wilson, Legislative Counsel

    jlwilson@pacounsel.org


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