This week marks the end of week 18 of the Legislative Session and the final policy bill deadline with all policy committees essentially shutting down Friday. If a policy bill was not passed out, or sent to an open Committee (Rules, Ways and Means or a Joint Committee) the bill is dead for the 2017 Legislative Session. Noting that Sine Die is “imminent” both chambers also announced that they would be moving to 1-hour notice rules which allows a committee to post an agenda with only 1-hour notice.
Week in Review
Senate Bill (SB) 339-A – Small Scale Renewable Fix-Bill
The ‘Small Scale Renewable Fix’ bill passed out of the House Energy & Environment Committee with only 1 NO vote (Representative Rescke-R, Klamath Falls). This is the final policy committee for the bill which will now go to the House Floor for final consideration before it heads to the Governor. AOC testified in support of the bill on behalf of the Renewable Energy Coalition (REC), the Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) and AOC and again expressed our desire that more changes were made to this section of the law and that we will be back to continue the discussion. Representative Johnson will carry the bill on the Senate Floor. View the final bill here.
Senate Bill (SB) 936 – SIP in Rural Areas
The House Revenue Committee held a Public Hearing and Work Session for SB 936, which increases taxable portion of projects located in rural areas eligible for property tax exemption under Strategic Investment Program (SIP). AOC introduced the bill to the Committee. Representative Smith Warner asked if the counties were required to offer these property tax exemptions. AOC responded this is a permissive program. Representative Smith Warner also asked how the length of these tax exemptions are determined – 15-year length is in statute. Representative Smith Warner expressed concern for what might happen to businesses once the 15-year exemption expires. Representative Nosse asked if there were any job creation requirements for the tax exemption. AOC responded that there was not a job requirement in statute, but that was the reason for community service fee negotiations. AOC added that 75 percent of all taxing authorities within the county must participate in these negotiations.
ACTION: The House Revenue Committee unanimously passed SB 936 to the floor with a Do Pass recommendation.
View AOC Testimony here.
House Bill (HB) 2567 – Oregon WARN Act
Requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 days’ notice to employees and local officials before ceasing operations, relocating or ordering mass layoff involving 50 or more employees. Would have applied Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act to bankruptcies.
Action: Died under second chamber deadline.
House Bill (HB) 2933 – Emergency Projects Funded by the Special Public Works Fund
The Senate Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness held a work session on HB 2933. At its core, HB 2933 removes the current $2.5 million cap that can be granted for emergency projects from the Public Works Fund on a biannual basis, allowing the State better access to matching federal emergency fund programs. HB 2933 was sent to the Senate Floor with a do-pass recommendation.
Action: HB 2933 sent to the Senate floor with a do-pass recommendation, Sen Roblan will carry.
View AOC Letter of Support here.
Contributed by: Amanda Dalton | AOC Consultant