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Legislative Report, Volume 28, Number 1 – February 2018


In This Issue

Revenue and Tax Reform

Governance

Natural Resources

Social Policy

Education Policy


Revenue and Tax Reform

By Chris Vogel, Revenue and Tax Reform

Both the Senate Interim Committee on Finance and Revenue and the House Interim Committee on Revenue got a preview of how changes in federal tax law will impact revenue available to Oregon. Readers wishing to put on your “green eyeshade” accounting hat might want to get into the weeds by watching on OLIS The Senate presentation on January 12 or the House presentation on January 10. Read the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 for an early preview about how federal tax changes may impact Oregon revenue.  However, repatriation of overseas resources has not yet been calculated.  More updates will be in the 2018 session.

These concepts were discussed in the January interim session and now have assigned bill numbers for the 2018 session. League Action will decide to support or oppose bills based on LWV Positions, costs and proposed amendments that sometimes substantially change the intent of the bill. Click on the underlined links for more detail:

  • SB 1527 extends sunset for special taxation of broadcasting corporations, reduces Oregon tax break for pass-thru income, and creates a tax break for multi-state corporations based in Oregon.
  • SB 1528 makes technical changes to several provisions of current tax credit law.
  • SB 1529 and HB 4080 update connection date to federal Internal Revenue Code and other provisions of federal tax law. Given all the changes in the Federal tax code, these bills will be very important this session.
  • HB 4028 limits expenses for which dependent care income tax credit may be claimed to lesser of each spouse’s income on joint return and to earned income taxable by Oregon.
  • HB 4027 defines “solar project” to mean photovoltaic solar power generation facility and land on which facility is located.
  • HB 4026 modifies disposition of corporate kicker revenues by dividing estimated excess between Education Stability Fund and Oregon Rainy Day Fund.

Additional bills we shall be following during this session are listed below.  Click on the links for more detail.

  • SJR 201 defines “raising revenue” to include increase in any tax or fee, including bills that modify or eliminate exemptions, credits, deductions or lower rates of taxation. Refers proposed amendment to people for their approval or rejection at next regular general election.
  • SB 1515 authorizes formation of children’s service districts.
  • HB 4108 allows credit against net income taxes for portion of eligible costs of newly constructed single-family dwelling that sells for price affordable to household with annual income at or below 120 percent of area median income and that costs less than $150 per square foot.
  • HB 4142 expands prohibition against retroactive rulemaking by the Department of Revenue to prohibit the department from adopting or amending rule to require change in tax treatment of item.
  • SB 1566 relating to employer contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System.
  • HB 4007 permits an individual to create first-time home buyer savings account with a financial institution to pay or reimburse account holder’s eligible costs for first-time purchase of single family residence and increases the document recording fee from $20 to $75 with the revenue going to housing programs for homeless and/or low income families.
  • HB 4069 provides that fixed percentage of certain forecasted video lottery revenues be transferred to counties for economic development.
  • HB 4117 increases amounts of moneys received by school districts that are not considered Local Revenues for purposes of State School Fund calculations.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!  The 2018 session will be quick! Important hearings will be scheduled the first week. There are opportunities to participate with agencies and with legislators on rulemaking and task forces.  If any of these areas above interest you, please write or call Revenue/Tax Reform contact Chris Vogel at chrisvogelvolunteerlwvor@gmail.com .

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Governance

By Rebecca Gladstone, Governance Coordinator

Since M 101 passed, legislators will focus on budget and other pressing issues. Many 2017 topics are returning. Read below for: Elections (NPV, Redistricting, Small Donor Elections, and Initiatives), Public Records, Cybersecurity, Audits, and a bill grab bag. Important hearings will be scheduled the first week of this 35-day session. Please contact us for rulemaking and task force opportunities (details below).

Elections

We are watching these bills which may “grow legs” this session:

HB 4032 Requires the SoS to identify and report to legislative committee each 2017 law and administrative rule effecting ballot measures signature collection.

HB 4033 Requires the SoS to study and analyze implementation of laws relating to elections passed during 2017 regular Legislature and make implementation recommendations.

National Popular Vote (Marge Easley)

SB 1512 National Popular Vote (NPV) is once again on the legislative docket. SB 1512 adds Oregon to the list of states agreeing to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. However, this is not entirely good news for NPV supporters, which includes the League.

Senator President Peter Courtney, after blocking Senate hearings on NPV for several sessions, has at last given his support, but only if it is subsequently referred to voters. The League continues its stance from last session that passage of NPV should be a legislative decision, and a referral would be too costly and unnecessarily politicize the issue. We will once again be urging legislators to pass a clean bill without referral.

Redistricting (Norman Turrill)

The Secretary of State may submit bills during odd-year sessions only, so there may be a 2019 bill from the Secretary of State’s Redistricting Task Force, to propose an Oregon Constitution amendment establishing an Independent Redistricting Commission to enact redistricting plans.

HJR 204, a related bill sponsored by Rep. Heard, is similar, but probably will not go anywhere.

Small Donor Elections (Norman Turrill)

HB 4076 The focus this session will be on establishing a Small Donor Elections program to enable candidates for state Representative and state Senator to receive 6-to-1 match on small dollar donations.

General Governance & Accountability

We haven’t seen an intended public records bill to consolidate ORS references, coordinating with the AG’s exemption cataloging underway. We’re watching these:

SB 1551 relates to individuals reporting security breaches involving personal information held by financial institutions that issue financial access device storage of personal information. Provides consumer protections in freezing and releasing breached accounts.

SB 1559 directs state agencies to establish employee procedures to anonymously disclose certain information. The DoJ would establish training and agencies would include procedures for whistleblowers in their manuals.

SB 1565 requires the AG, OR DAS Director and Director of Transportation to cooperate in developing minimum standards and adopting rules for electronic procurement system.

Audits

The Joint Interim Legislative Audit Committee (video) reviewed the proposed annual SoS Audit Division plan and commented on the first audit of HECC (Higher Education Coordinating Committee), and an OHA audit, cited by M 101 campaigns. “Churning” of Medicaid patients, transitioning in and out of eligibility, was described, with Oregon’s 9.3% snapshot error rate compared to 10% nationally and expected to improve.

BILL GRAB BAG: HB 4025, emergency preparedness, SB 1563, related to foreign student ID and tuition rates.

Thanks to our Governance volunteers! Please ask how you can help, even from home–Becky Gladstone.

  • Revenue/Tax Reform Chris Vogel, Peggy Lynch, Jody Wiser, Alice Bartelt
  • Elections, including National Popular Vote, Marge Easley, Small Donor Elections, Norman Turrill, Initiatives, Josie Koehne
  • Public Records, Transparency in Government, Josie Koehne
  • General Governance, Audits, Ethics, Cybersecurity, all other governance issues, Becky Gladstone.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! If any of these areas interest you, please contact: Governance Coordinator: Becky Gladstone, 541.510.9387, rebecca.gladstone@gmail.com.

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dropletNatural Resources

By Peggy Lynch, Natural Resources Coordinator

Your natural resources team has prioritized the Clean Energy Jobs bills (SB 1507 or HB 4001) and the fee bill in support of Cleaner Air Oregon (SB 1508 or HB 4002) for the 2018 session.  Plan on coming to Salem to help lobbyClean Energy Jobs on Feb. 12 and Cleaner Air Oregon on Feb. 14.  There will be good and bad bills on land use and water as well. See below for details. 

Climate Change (Claudia Keith)

Our main priority this session is Clean Energy Jobs (CEJ/Cap & Invest) carbon pricing legislation. SB 1507 and HB 4001 both reflect the LWVUS Carbon (greenhouse gas emission) Pricing position. Key policy differentials are outlined clearly in this document: Clean Energy Jobs – LC 44 & LC 176 – Summary of Policy Decisions on Specific Legislative Components.  You can find more information on CEJ at Clean Energy Jobs Leg Work Group Resources.

Your voice is critically needed.  Please plan on attending the Clean Energy Jobs (CEJ) Lobby Day. More info and registration at CEJ Lobby Day registration. Partner with your local climate, faith and environmental groups to ensure carpooling is available. We have been an active grassroots member of the CEJ RenewOregon campaign. In mid-Dec 2017 LWVOR sent a letter to all Oregon League presidents encouraging local Leagues to ask their local elected officials to endorse the CEJ campaign.

On December 11, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard Our Children’s Trust and Federal government attorneys’ arguments on the government’s extraordinary request for mandamus. “….Judge Marsha Berzon and Chief Judge Sidney Thomas said that if the court decided it was appropriate to grant mandamus to overturn the district court ruling, there would be a “flood of cases” seeking to overturn unfavorable rulings by lower courts.” The original Feb. 5 trial date was delayed; it is expected later this spring. LWVOR has amicus standing in the case and is represented by Crag Law Center.  The parallel youth climate lawsuit was last heard in December of 2016 and is still pending. A ruling is expected in 2018. LWVOR has also participated as amicus in the state proceeding.

There will be another attempt to address the concern around oil trains and the transportation of crude oil through Oregon (HB 4004).  Other bills of interest:  Creation of a new Oregon Energy Board (SB 1519, SB 1537 and HB 4148) to provide guidance and set policy around the Oregon Dept. of Energy.  HB 4109 is related to forest carbon sequestration.  HB 4121 relates to providing incentives for energy efficiencies and is linked in part to assist people with low income.  The Housing Alliance would like to see at least half of the funds go to people with low income instead of only 25%, as is currently in the bill.

Air Quality & Toxics (Marilyn Koenitzer)

We continue to follow the Cleaner Air Oregon (CAO) process (see www.cleanerair.oregon.gov).  We support a program grounded in science, informed by data and health-basedSB 1508  and HB 4002 both address the fees needed to implement the rules that we hope will be adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission in July.  There is a third bill, SB 1541, that we will also be following.  Put Feb. 14th on your calendar and join us to deliver “we love clean air” notes to our legislators.  Lobby Day for Clean Air:  Click here for more information/RSVP

Land Use (Peggy Lynch)

We are concerned about the latest proposal related to Eastern Oregon counties, SB 1502.  The League continues to work with interested parties to find ways to help Eastern Oregon cities address their needs while supporting our statewide land use planning program.  Depending on revenue available, we support a $300,000 budget request from the Dept. of Land Use and Conservation to provide funds for updating Comprehensive Plans.

We support HB 4034, a technical amendment to SB 1051 (2017) to clarify that the accessory dwelling unit provision is for inside cities and urban growth boundaries.

HB 4031 is a bill meant to clarify/correct a couple of bills from 2017 related to the transfer of development rights related to the Metolius and the Madras Airport.  As filed, we believe this bill may be OK.  However, the “relating clause” of the bill could mean that others will try to use this as a vehicle for mischief.  We will be watching closely.

HB 4075 tries to change the agreed-upon Metro urban and rural reserves process.  We have grave concerns about this bill.  HB 4092 would establish new standards for the expansion of state airports onto Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) lands.  Again, we have grave concerns.  HB 4100 would allow yet another use onto EFU lands, eroding our agricultural base.  HB 4124 relates to Land Use Board of Appeals remanded land use decisions, which we will need to study further to understand the implications.

The Land Conservation and Development Commission will soon be considering which of the five projects that would allow up to 50 acres of land outside Urban Growth Boundaries to be developed if a portion is used for affordable housing.  (See http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/Pages/HB4079_AHPP.aspx)

We are also watching the process in Douglas County where they are attempting to expand the amount of rural residential lands using the Southern Oregon Regional Pilot Project.  Our Umpqua Valley League is following, but decisions on this issue.

There are on-going meetings as permits for the proposed gold mine (Calico/Grassy Mountain outside of Vale) continue to be processed.  For more information see:  http://oregongeology.org/mlrr/chemicalprocess_Calico-GrassyMtn.htm)

Elliott Forest and Forestry (Peggy Lynch)

The Elliott Public Ownership Project has posted new information: Elliott Public Ownership Project – January 2018 Update

Bills related to Forestry to watch:  SB 1560 that allows the Oregon Dept. of Forestry to fight fires on ALL lands in Oregon; HB 4109 to study carbon sequestration; HB 4118 related to the federal Good Neighbor Policy.

Offshore and Coastal Issues

Federal offshore oil drilling: Twenty-three public meetings on the Trump administration’s plan will be held around the country.  In Oregon, the meeting will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Salem Red Lion Hotel, 3301 Market St. NE.  Comments also can be submitted online or by mail. More information is available at www.boem.gov/National-Program-Comment/#submitcomments. Surfrider Foundation is leading an effort to rally against this proposal.  The League has a long-standing position against this activity.  Contact Charlie Plybon at 541-961-8143 or cplybon@surfrider.org or Bri Goodwin at 541-655-0236 or bgoodwin@surfrider.org

You can view the Oregon Ocean Science Trust meetings on the agency’s YouTube channel.

Water (Peggy Lynch)

Depending on budget constraints, the League will support the Water Resources Dept. request for $1,285,956 General Funds for basin studies related to ground water.  SB 1558 has been filed to address issues in the Deschutes basin.  This bill may circumvent work already being done in the area.  HB 4016 addresses issues in the Klamath basin.  HB 4029 is another attempt to legislate/resolve a proposal around a bridge over the Deschutes River.  HB 4138 relates to motorboat wake issues that can erode banks of rivers.

The 2017 Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy was adopted by the Water Resources Commission.  This document will guide instream and out of stream water issues for the next five years.

DEQ has extended the public comment period for the MS4 Phase II General Permit until 5 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2018. Information on the proposed permit is on DEQ’s MS4 Phase II General Permit Development Webpage: http://www.oregon.gov/deq/wq/wqpermits/Pages/MS4-PhaseII-General-Permit.aspx.  Written comments can be mailed to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Stormwater, MS4 Phase II Comments, 7th Floor, 700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 600, Portland, OR  97232, faxed to MS4 Phase II Comments at 503-229-6037 or emailed to MS4PermitComment@deq.state.or.us. DEQ has scheduled a public hearing for this permit on Jan. 29, 2018, at 1:30 p.m.at the DEQ Eugene Office Willamette Conference Room, 165 East 7th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401.  Remote connections to the hearing will be provided at the DEQ Bend Office (475 NE Bellevue Drive, Suite 110) and the DEQ Medford Office (221 Stewart Avenue, Suite 201).

The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board will hold a business meeting on January 30-31, 2018 at the Best Western Pier Point Inn, Banquet Room, located at 85625 US Hwy 101, Florence OR 97355.  View the full agenda and staff reports.

The Oregon Agricultural Heritage Commission will be appointed by the OWEB Board at their January 30-31, 2018 meeting. The newly appointed commission will meet for the first time on February 1, 2018, 8:00am – 3:30pm at Room 1868, 152 NW 4th St, Prineville, Oregon 97754. Oral public comment will be taken at a time to be specified in the forthcoming agenda.

Columbia River Treaty (Philip Thor)

The U.S. Department of State announced that formal negotiations with Canada over the fate of the fifty-three-year-old U.S.-Canada Columbia River Treaty will begin in early 2018.

Transportation (Peggy Lynch)

The Metropolitan Transportation Planning Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) continues to meet. The purpose of the RAC is to increase transportation choices, reduce reliance on the automobile and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.  If you live in one of the seven major metropolitan areas in Oregon, these rules may affect you. Next mtg. Feb. 2nd 9a-noon @ DLCD/Salem. 

Here’s the latest January Draft Rules and comments:
http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/docs/rulemaking/TPR_2017/TPR-RAC4_January_Draft_Rules.pdf

Proposed Performance Measures:
http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/docs/rulemaking/TPR_2017/TPR-RAC4_Draft_PMs.pdf

To learn more about MPOs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_planning_organization

Oregon Fish and Wildlife

HB 4015 would establish an Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund to help implement the Oregon Conservation Strategy (www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy) adopted years ago.

Regional Solutions (Peggy Lynch)

The League encourages members to continue to follow the Regional Solutions (RS) program to assure that there is a public element to any funding decisions and that local citizens know what projects are being “helped” by the RS process.  Please sign up to get the notices of meetings in your region: www.regionalsolutions.oregon.gov  Members can attend or call in to listen to economic activities in each of the 11 regions.

Expect a new budget request, as the Regional Solutions Advisory Committees have been asked to provide a list of all economic development/infrastructure needs around the state.  Those projects cost more than half a billion dollars.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!  The 2018 session will be quick! Important hearings will be scheduled the first week. There are opportunities to participate with agencies and with legislators on rulemaking and task forces.  If any of these areas above interest you, please contact Natural Resources Coordinator Peggy Lynch at peggylynchor@gmail.com.

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houseSocial Policy

 By Karen Nibler, Social Policy Coordinator

M 101 approval of the HB 2391 funding for the Medicaid programs to provide the matching funds to draw down the federal funds was passed on January 23 to the relief of supporters and recipients. An alternative bill, HB 4146, was filed to find other funds for health care support, but we assume it will not be heard or needed.

Health Care Priorities

Health Care Advocates are meeting at the Capital on February 7 to lobby for HJR 203, which is Rep. Greenlick’s bill to declare that Health Care is a Fundamental Right and to obligate the state to ensure access to health care for every resident.  Greenlick has appointed a workgroup to make recommendations by November to the 2019 legislature.

Proposed bills for 2018 include HB 4084, which requires hospitals to have a written charity care policy provided at admission and billing; HB 4125, which requires the Oregon Health Authority to recover the overpayments to Coordinated Care Organizations; HB 4018, which requires CCO’s to hold public meetings, and HB 4136, which requires CCOs to report all financial information annually and meet other requirements.

Senate bills are SB 1539, which establishes the Oregon Psychiatric Access Line for consultation with Oregon Health Sciences University with $900,000 in general funds, and SB 1549, which seeks uninterrupted medical coverage for mental health patients at entrance and exit from the Oregon State Hospital. HB 4143 directs the Department of Consumer and Business Services to study medications for substance abuse disorders and directs the Oregon Health Authority to implement a pilot program in emergency departments. SB 1555 considers the redistribution of the Marijuana taxes for Alcohol and Drug Prevention programs, early intervention and treatment.

Oregon Health Authority Rebalance report indicated a decrease in the eligible caseload with $15.9 million less in cost.   Federal CHIP benefits are funded through March 30 and may cost $20 million more.  Fewer pregnant women save funds, but a larger child population is up 24%.

Human Services Rebalance

Department of Human Service managers reported that the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) caseload is up to 18,559 families and Supplemental Needs Assistance for food (SNAP) caseload is down.  The Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) caseload has been higher with teen parents and more child care providers.  Special Purpose funds of $4.3 million are available for reinvestment. HB 4081 asks that savings be used to increase the amount of cash grants to families.

Child Welfare is responsible for 22,371 children.  Additional staff positions were awarded in 2017, but many remain unfilled because of the time required to hire and train new workers.  HB 4009 suggests new conditions for protective custody of a child and for reinstatement of parental rights, which may be heard in Human Services or Judiciary Committees.

SB 1526 prohibits the court from considering a parent’s disability in determining whether parental rights should be terminated.  SB 1540 modifies the definition of child abuse for mandatory reporters. SB 1534 directs DHS to set training standards and provide training for home care workers and personal support workers for aged and disabled persons.  The impact on the DHS Budget will be a consideration.

Department of Human Service managers reported that the Adult and People with Disabilities program produced a $10 million savings, and Intellectual Developmental Disabilities responded to an order for $12 million reduction. The Rebalance adjustments will be made in the 2018 Session. The Long Term Care Ombudsman is expected to assume new responsibilities.

Housing Bills filed this 2018 session are HJR 201 and 202, which are constitutional amendments to allow municipal corporations to use bonds to finance affordable housing in HJR 201 and to use state general obligation bonds to finance the maintenance or increase of affordable housing in HJR 202.  These bills will be in competition with other funding bills in the Ways and Means process.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (Debbie Runciman)

The Paid Family Leave coalition will be setting its sights on 2019 for passage of a comprehensive medical leave insurance bill.  The Senate Workforce Committee has focused attention on paid medical leave at each of its interim committee meetings.  At its meeting this week, Chair Kathleen Taylor announced the formation of a joint bipartisan workgroup to continue working on details of a paid medical leave program.  The workgroup will hold meetings during the 2018 session, and continue its work during the interim.  We expect a House version of the concept will be introduced during the coming short session, with hearings planned to educate new members about the importance of paid family and medical leave and to keep attention focused on this matter.  LWVOR Action Team members will continue to work with the coalition on this issue.

Housing Portfolio (Nancy Donovan and Debbie Aiona)

On January 16, 2018, the Oregon Housing Alliance met in Salem for its last membership meeting before the start of the 2018 legislative session.  LWVOR is a Housing Alliance member and participated in the meeting.

Document Recording Fee Increase.  House Bill 4007, submitted by the House Interim Committee on Human Services and Housing, is a legislative priority for the 80+ members of the Oregon Housing Alliance.  If passed, the bill would increase the Document Recording Fee on real estate transactions.  Negotiations concerning the increase are ongoing between the Housing Alliance and the Oregon Association of Realtors.

The Document Recording Fee is an essential source of stable, ongoing revenue for housing opportunity.  Proceeds from the fee are distributed as follows:  10 percent to emergency rent assistance, 14 percent to homeownership, 76 percent to low-income housing development.  Within each of these accounts, 25 percent is dedicated to veterans.

HB 4007 also includes a proposal supported by the Oregon Association of Realtors that would establish a First Time Home Buyer Savings account.  Members discussed efforts to compromise with the Realtors in order to gain their support for the Document Recording Fee increase. The bill will receive a hearing likely as early as Tuesday, February 6.  LWVOR is preparing its written testimony in support of this bill.

Below are other proposals discussed at the Housing Alliance meeting and supported by the membership.

Addressing racial disparities in homeownership.  HB 4010 creates a taskforce which would study and address racial disparities in homeownership.

Property tax exemption sunset extension.  The sunset for the local option property tax exemption under ORS 307.515, used by the City of Eugene, is set to expire on January 1, 2020. Developers and advocates have concerns about delaying on this sunset extension until the 2019 legislative session, however there is not enough time in the short, 2018 session to advocate for a full, 10-year extension. Legislators are willing to extend the sunset for six months with SB 1528, a committee bill designed to address a range of issues.

There is a small technical problem with the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit (OAHTC). One allowable use of the OAHTC is to purchase and preserve manufactured home parks, to ensure long term affordability for residents. Eligible purchasers, for the purposes of the OAHTC, can be a nonprofit, a housing authority, or a resident owned cooperative. The membership would propose to allow an LLC or an LP controlled by a nonprofit organization. The H.A. is working with the House Committee on Revenue to fix this problem through HB 4028.

Home WRAP (Weatherization, Retrofit, and Affordability Program). This bill, HB 4121, would fulfill two purposes. First, it would provide incentives for homeowners to continue to make energy efficiency upgrades, particularly solar, and second, provide financial assistance to Oregonians with low incomes for health and safety repairs prior to energy efficiency upgrades.  This type of assistance addresses a huge need.  Lastly, the bill would also dedicate a small amount of resource to a manufactured home replacement pilot.  After discussion, the workgroup and membership recommended that the Housing Alliance support this item if the proposed split of the funds is 50% to assist people with low incomes.  Currently, only 25% of the funds would be available to assist people with low incomes.

The 2018 Housing Opportunity Day will be held in Salem on Thursday, February 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  RSVP and get more information here:
https://www.oregonhousingalliance.org/save-date-2018-housing-opportunity-day/

Register today! http://2018housingopportunityday.eventbrite.com/

Judiciary Committees will hear bills concerning child welfare court decisions in SB 1526 and HB 4009 above.  SB 1531 is a new concept to require law enforcement officers to meet with mental health professionals once every two years.  This would not be in response to an action by the police officer but is intended to be preventive. The existing law in response to the use of deadly force will remain the same.

HB 4082 relates to the Juvenile Justice Information System, which is operated by the Oregon Youth Authority in partnership with the county Juvenile Departments. This bill concerns the administration and confidentiality of information, along with disclosure of information to research analysts.  HB 4149 relates to the criminal process of plea offers and waiver of rights, which will probably lead to spirited testimony from district attorneys and defense attorneys.

Gun Safety Bills (Marge Easley)

HB 4145, known as the Boyfriend Loophole Bill, is a carryover from the 2017 session and one of Governor Brown’s priority bills. It expands the number of relationships included in the list of those prohibited from owning firearms in court orders and misdemeanor convictions related to stalking. The League will be actively supporting this bill.

Senate Joint Memorial (SJM) 201 urges the U.S. Congress to regulate assault rifles and bump stocks in the same way that it regulates fully automatic weapons. Although the League is appreciative of this gesture, we will be advocating for a state prohibition of the future sale, manufacture, importation, loan, or transfer of military-style assault rifles, as well as a full ban on bump stocks.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! If any of these areas interest you, please contact Social Policy Coordinator: Karen Nibler 541.752.8567 niblerk@comcast.net

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Education Policygradcap

By Chris Vogel, Education Policy Coordinator

Education Legislative Report covers six committees that met in the January Interim Session and what we anticipate activities for the short 2018 legislative session.

The Joint Interim Special Committee On Public Education Appropriation discussed the Review Draft Report on Adequacy of Public Education Funding in 2017-2019 Draft Executive Summary and 2017-2019 Draft Report (December 2017). For those new to Oregon or new to following education, this document provides an overview of the “state of education” and why much of the legislation that is proposed addresses lack of funding and a desire to increase student success. Open the above draft report link to pages 16 and 17 to note more than half of Oregon’s total budget goes to EDUCATION, about 75% of that education expenditure goes to local schools through the State School Fund formula, about 67% of local school funding comes from the state, and 33% comes from local property tax and timber sales. Yet, it is the determination of the Joint Interim Special Committee on Public Education Appropriation that the amount of moneys appropriated for the 2017-2019 biennium for K-12 public education is insufficient to meet the recommended funding levels of the Quality Education Commission (QEC). The Quality Education Model (QEM) estimated that a State School Fund (SSF) appropriation of $9.97 billion for K-12 would be required to reach the State’s educational goals. The 2017-19 legislatively adopted budget for the SSF is $8.20 billion, resulting in a gap of $1.77 billion. In other words, the SSF appropriation would have to be $1.77 billion, or 21.6 percent greater, to reach the cost of QEM’s fully implemented model.

The “funding gap” of $1.992 billion reflects recommended resources that Oregon’s current system currently does not provide. The recommendations that contribute most to the funding gap in the 2017-19 biennium are the following:

  • Lower class sizes in elementary schools: $361 million
  • Instructional improvement in all schools (e.g., mentoring, peer review): $281 million
  • More teachers (smaller classes) in middle and high schools: $278 million
  • Additional resources for special education and alternative education: $242 million
  • More time for teacher collaboration: $121 million
  • Increased Maintenance to better maintain buildings: $93 million*
  • Additional counselors in all schools: $66 million
  • Added professional development for teachers and building leaders: $50 million
  • Technology Improvements: $33 million
  • Additional summer school for struggling students: $31 million

Factors Leading to Insufficiency of Funding for Education: The most important being Ballot Measure 5 passed in 1990. This Measure cut school property taxes dramatically by capping the school property tax rate at $5 per $1,000 of market value, which significantly decreased the amount of local revenues for schools. Before Measure 5, local revenues represented roughly two-thirds of total revenues for the general operating costs of districts, while the State contributed roughly one-third. Currently, these proportions have flipped, with the state resources representing two-thirds of the formula revenue and local resources contributing one-third.

The Joint Interim Committee On Student Success (a new committee), many of whom sit on the Joint Interim Special Committee On Public Education Appropriation discussed above, have been charged with meeting over the next 12-18 months to determine how Oregon may bound from one of the lowest graduation rates in the United States to Student Success starting at preschool and continuing through higher education.  Sen. Courtney’s testimony in written form and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek’s verbal testimony outline the aspirations for this bipartisan (Republican and Democrat) bicameral (Senate and House) committee that will meet on Friday’s during the short 2018 session and hold statewide fact-finding events before the 2019 session.  This committee pulls together elected Senators and Representatives with both an Education and Tax/Revenue background.  LWVOR Action will continue to report on their activities. While the goal may be to increase funding and thus student success, the League hopes that would be through enhanced general increases in state revenue and not in taking away other essential services in human services, health care, natural resources and other areas of Oregon’s budget.  Stay tuned, we’ll report on this new committee as it moves forward to 2019.

The House Interim Committee On Early Childhood and Family Supports considered their three committee bills now available in the 2018 session as:

  • HB 4065 changing statutes governing child care facilities and providers;
  • HB 4066 the Early Childhood Equity Innovation Fund; and
  • HB 4067 that expands definition of term “child with a disability” for purposes of special education to include children who have developmental delays and who are under 10 years of age.

Additionally the Oregon Health Authority reviewed Health Aspects of Kindergarten Readiness Measure Development and Children’s Institute and overviewed why it is essential to Extend the Developmental Delay Eligibility to Elementary Students Through Age 10.  Finally staff members from the National Conference of State Legislators discussed what other states are doing to Ensure all Students Are Ready to Learn, and Pay For Success And Public-Private Partnerships In Early Childhood.

The House Interim Committee On Education heard an update on the Oregon Statewide Longitudinal Data System that will be operational in 2018 and reviewed 2018 House Committee on Education LC Summaries Committee bills are NOT necessarily supported by all, just agreed that they will be introduced for discussion during the 2018 session.

  • HB 4012 extends sunset on provisions allowing retired member of Public Employees Retirement System to be reemployed by participating public employer as teacher of career and technical education without loss of retirement benefits.
  • HB 4013 provides that Deputy State Treasurer or Deputy Secretary of State may serve on State Board of Education.
  • HB 4014 removes requirement that current foster child or former foster child complete volunteer service hours during previous academic year to qualify for tuition waiver.

The Senate Interim Committee On Education considered LC Summaries that now have assigned 2018 bill numbers:

  • LC 7 is now SB 1520 implements technical fixes in eleven areas of state law relating to education
  • LC 90 is now SB 1521 extends sunset date for nonresident open enrollment by one year
  • LC 91 is now SB 1522 requires districts to admit students who have already received a modified diploma

The House Interim Committee On Higher Education and Workforce Development considered 2018 Committee LC Summaries:

  • LC 92 is now HB 4043 requires community colleges to jointly conduct study to determine best methods for helping community college students learn about and apply for state or federal benefits
  • LC 175 is now HB 4042 establishes pilot program to provide career coaching, occupational training and job placement services for 1,000 low-income job seekers
  • LC 232 is now HB 4041 requires Task Force establish policies and strategies for increasing opportunities for employment of people with disabilities in state government; evaluate state programs related to employing people with disabilities

League Action will decide to support or oppose bills based on LWV Positions, costs and proposed amendments that sometimes substantially change the intent of the bill. Click on the links for more detail on some of the other bills we shall be following:

  • HB 4051 establishes task force on Rural Education.
  • SB 1530 establishes task force on Public Education Planning.
  • HB 4014 removes requirement that current foster child or former foster child complete volunteer service hours during previous academic year to qualify for tuition waiver.
  • HB 4026 modifies disposition of certain estimated excess corporate excise tax revenues by dividing estimated excess between Education Stability Fund and Oregon Rainy Day Fund
  • HB 4067 expands definition of term “child with a disability” for purposes of special education to include children who have developmental delays and who are under 10 years of age.
  • HB 4102 directs Department of Education to conduct study related to school dropouts.
  • HB 4130 establishes grant program under which Department of Education awards grants to school districts for percentage of certain student transportation costs for which school district does not receive any amount in distributions from State School Fund.
  • HB 4130 establishes grant program under which Department of Education awards grants to school districts for percentage of certain student transportation costs for which school district does not receive any amount in distributions from State School Fund
  • SB 1563 removes requirement that students who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents apply for official federal identification document to be eligible for exemption from paying nonresident tuition at public universities.
  • HB 4150 requires specified information to be shared with student or staff member following conclusion of investigation related to sexual harassment
  • HB 4044 directs Chief Education Office to conduct study on recruitment, retention, mentoring and professional development
  • HB 4066 establishes Early Childhood Equity Innovation Fund; authorizes Early Learning Division to make grants from fund for purpose of supporting culturally specific early learning, early childhood and parent support programs
  • SB 1513 requires student to correctly answer specified percentage of questions on civics test before being eligible to receive high school diploma.
  • SB 1515 authorizes children’s service districts to levy property taxes to fund programs that offer children’s services.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!  The 2018 session will be quick! Important hearings will be scheduled the first week, you may watch live on OLIS or later on OLIS recording. There are opportunities to participate with agencies and with legislators on rulemaking and task forces outside of the legislative calendar, preparing for 2019.  If any of these areas above interest you, please contact LWVOR Action Education, Early Childhood Coordinator Chris Vogel at chrisvogelvolunteerlwvor@gmail.com.

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