Status of Key Bills in Oregon Legislature
We are now past the key April 13th deadline for bills to either be approved out of committee or be considered dead for the 2021 legislative session.
Here’s an inventory of the bills affecting local business communities that OSCC is both tracking and advocating our position on.
Good Bills - Still Alive
HB 2343: Authorizes local government to adopt resolution suspending enterprise zone employment requirements otherwise imposed as a condition of receiving enterprise zone tax abatements.
HB 2433 / SB 842: Exempts federal stimulus benefits from taxation up to maximum allowed deduction of state taxes.
HB 3055: Removes sunset on aviation fuel taxes to fund local airports.
HB 3389: Unemployment tax rate relief on employers, particularly those whose experience ratings were negatively impacted by pandemic.
SB 330: Establishes income tax credit for amount of unpaid rent forgiven by landlord and certified by Housing and Community Services Department. Amortizes tax credit over five years.
Good Bills – Dead
HB 2638: COVID liability protections for businesses following state health directives.
HB 3177: Disallows closure of restaurants and gyms during future emergency declarations
SB 531: Establishes right to reimbursement for actual damages resulting from business closures required by emergency rules or orders.
Bad Bills – Still Alive (These are bills OSCC will continue to engage on)
HB 2021: 100% Clean Energy bill; phases out electricity generation by natural gas.
HB 2238: Disallows compensation to property owners or businesses whose property or businesses are taken or ordered closed under emergency rules or orders.
HB 2253 / HB 2457: Imposes a tax/assessment of forgiven PPP loans.
HB 2358: Overtime wages for agriculture workers
HB 2814: Requires DEQ to study program and policy approaches to reducing diesel engine emissions attributable to “indirect sources” of air contamination including construction sites.
HB 2839 / SB 137: Disconnects from Federal CARES Act business tax benefits.
HB 2840: Suspends all tax abatement programs (Opportunity zones, Enterprise Zones, etc)
HB 3305: Bans the retail sale of diesel fuel in Oregon by January 2027.
SB 139: Eliminates Oregon’s “small business tax cut” and reinstates personal income tax rates for pass-through businesses.
SB 483: Creates presumption that any adverse employment action taken on an employee within 60 days of that employee lodging a “whistleblower” complaint is considered prohibited retaliatory conduct.
SB 582: Creates new $100 million recycling system in Oregon in which every store, restaurant, warehouse, office, publisher, manufacturer, or delivery service will be impacted and required to help pay for these new programs.
This is the playing field as OSCC sees it for the remainder of the 2021 legislature.
Some of the worst threats to the business community have been defeated. Surprisingly, there are some meaningful good bills still alive and well – especially HB 3389.
2021 could end up being a very pragmatic session with the legislature dealing largely with budget issues and steering a middle course on policy.
There may be other issues that pop up in the latter stages of the session – it is common for bad amendments to be added to otherwise innocuous bills in the late stages of a legislative session. If this happens, we will quickly let OSCC members know!