A couple of bills AOC Energy, Environment, and Land Use (EELU) Steering Committee is advocating for were sidelined, one continues to wait, and a couple of agency budgets began to move.
Senate Bill (SB) 634 states that energy from a biomass facility can be used to meet the state’s 1.5 percent investment in renewable energy requirement. The bill received a work session on Wednesday, May 31 but was unexpectedly moved to the House Committee on Rules. There were some concerns regarding the definition of biomass raised by the forestry industry. AOC will work with the coalition of supporters to draft new amendments that will hopefully meet every group’s needs.
SECURE MEDICINE TAKEBACK
House Bill 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.
HISTORIC HOMES IN RURAL RESIDENTIAL
HB 3012A would allow the construction of a second home on a rural residential parcel under certain conditions had a work session last week and moved out of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. It now goes to the Senate Floor for a vote.
BUILDING CODES and SMALL HOUSES
House Bill (HB) 2737-A4 passed out of the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation last week and is now awaiting a vote on the Senate Floor. The bill requires that the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services to adopt construction standards for small homes (600 sq ft and smaller) for incorporation into the state building code. The codes must include standards for lofts and allow the use of ladders or alternate tread devices as the primary means of egress from a sleeping loft.
On Wednesday, May 31 the agency budgets for the Oregon Department of Energy (House Bill 5009) and on Thursday, June 1 Department of Land Conservation Department (DLCD) – (Senate Bill 5527) had work sessions in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources. The bills have moved back to the Full Ways and Means for consideration. The DLCD general funds grants remained intact ensuring that funds will continue to go to the counties impacted by the Columbia River National Scenic Area, for technical assistance grants, and to small cities and counties for basic capacity.
Next week the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources will consider the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s budget (House Bill 5040).
Contributed by: Mark Nystrom | AOC Energy, Environment & Land Use Policy Manager