There has not been a lot of movement on any bills that Energy, Environment, and Land Use (EELU) endorsed this week but a couple of agency budgets continued to move.
The -6 amendments of Senate Bill (SB) 634 were recently published and there seems to be general agreement that this version meets everyone’s need. Rumors are swirling that the bill could get a hearing in House Rules as early as next week. The bill states that energy from a biomass facility can be used to meet the state’s 1.5 percent investment in renewable energy requirement.
SECURE MEDICINE TAKEBACK
House Bill (HB) 2645A, the secure medicine take-back bill is still awaiting a hearing in a Ways and Means Subcommittee. AOC staff is working with other advocates to secure enough votes to convince leadership to get a hearing. A short phone call or letters from concerned judges and commissioners can go a long way. If you have an interest in helping, please reach out to AOC staff, Mark Nystrom.
RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BILLS
Two bills aimed at rural economic development are rumored to be receiving hearings next week in Senate Rules. SB 644 would expedite the local land use process for mines meeting certain criteria in several Eastern Oregon Counties. If the mine meets both Federal and Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) requirements the county process would be a much simpler process ensuring that the mine met certain local criteria. The -5 amendments were recently published. SB 432 is also being considered for a Senate Rules hearing. The bill, with the -11 amendments, creates a new exception process for the eight rural counties that have been showing no growth in the last census.
The Watershed Enhancement Board’s budget moved back to the Full Ways and Means Committee last week. The Natural Resources Subcommittee has begun hearing policy bills and still needs to have a work session on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) budget.
Contributed by: Mark Nystrom | AOC Energy, Environment & Land Use Policy Manager