The week of January 8, 2018, was a busy time for the county governance policy arena.

The week started with AOC Day. The AOC Governance Steering Committee met first thing on Monday morning and took up two pieces of proposed legislation in depth.

The first piece of legislation involved a proposal to increase the affordable housing document recording fee from $20 to $75.  A motion to support that legislation failed and, ultimately, the AOC Legislative Committee voted to remain neutral, after a lengthy debate in the afternoon.  The Clerks remain opposed to the bill.

The second was federal marijuana legislation crafted by AOC Legal Counsel to address recent developments and changes in federal marijuana policy.  See below for more details.

Legislative Days
The remainder of the week was “Legislative Days,” in which interim committees of the Legislature held informational meetings in preparation for the start of the 2018 legislative session in February.

Some of the Legislative Counsel (“LC”) drafts of bills that will be introduced in the 2018 Oregon legislative session were introduced by committees and have now been posted on the Oregon Legislative Information System (“OLIS”).  AOC Legal Counsel has posted a tracking list of those bills that are in the Governance Committee’s portfolio, and will update that list on the Governance Committee’s web page periodically until the end of the legislative session.  A few important notes:

  1. The tracking list only covers legislation in the policy portfolio of AOC Legal Counsel.
  2. The LCs posted on OLIS thus far are only those that will be introduced as “committee bills.”
  3. All of the bills, including bills introduced by committees (they each get three), Senators (they each get one), Representatives (they each get two), and the Governor (who gets a total of five) will begin to be posted on OLIS starting January 22.

Although the federal administration had long signaled that it would be changing policy on marijuana, it was only recently that it began to act on those signals. As a result, AOC Legal Counsel has crafted two pieces of legislation to address those changes, one state and the other federal.

  1. The Southern Oregon Marijuana Initiative would provide a source of funding for core public services in fiscally distressed Southern Oregon, including resources necessary to address the significant leakage of marijuana into the black market from that “high” production region of the state. That legislation was approved by the AOC Legislative Committee on December 11, 2017, and a summary and logic model has been posted on the AOC marijuana web page, as well as the draft legislation.
  2. Proposed federal marijuana legislation was approved by the AOC Legislative Committee on January 8, 2018, to address the recent changes in federal marijuana policy, as well as preserve local options. The AOC President and Executive Director have already discussed the proposed legislation with the Oregon Congressional delegation, and a resolution supporting the legislation will also be offered by AOC at the upcoming legislative conference of the National Association of Counties (NACo) in March. A summary and logic model has been posted on the AOC marijuana web page, as well as the draft legislation and a proposed NACo resolution.

Contributed by: Rob Bovett | AOC Legal Counsel