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Legislative Report, Volume 30, Number 1 – January 2020

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In This Issue

Climate Change

Education

Governance

Natural Resources

Revenue and Tax Reform

Social Policy


 

Climate Change

By Claudia Keith, Julie Chapman, Shirley Weathers, Cathy Frischmann and Lynette Pierson

Carbon Cap & Invest (Julie Chapman)

Progress at the Capitol: On Monday, January 13, the Senate Interim Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a review of the Oregon Greenhouse Gas Initiative for 2020. 

The proposed bill was summarized, followed by invited testimony from interested parties: covered industries, state agencies, and organizations. Affected entities are industries with emissions greater than 25,000 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The 156-page Legislative Concept (LC 19) is complex and has been covered in the press. In-state use of fossil fuels, electricity and industrial processes are covered, with industries having varied timelines and geographies for inclusion in the program and options for avoiding costs. Caps on emissions reduce yearly; the program’s emissions reduction goals are less stringent than the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations. Governance of the policy resides in a seven-member Oregon Greenhouse Gas Reduction Board. There are no members from the Tribes or Impacted Communities (defined in LC, p.147) among the voting members of the Board, which oversees the distribution of the Climate Investments Funds. A Senate Bill expressing the LC and amendments is expected to be published about January 27.

Potential Ballot Measures 

Initiative Petitions 48 and 49, targeting 100% Clean Electricity:  Following a Jan 17th judgment in a lawsuit vs. the Secretary of State, IP 48 and 49 are now able to obtain a final “ballot title” from the Attorney General. Once complete, the campaign will begin collecting the necessary signatures to put the measures before Oregon voters in the November 2020 election.

Initiative Petition 50 requires emission reduction goals in line with the UN IPCC for a Climate Program set up and run by the Environmental Quality Commission. It would allow the commission to set rules for sources of emissions, and create market-based regulatory mechanisms.

The Environmental Quality Commission is in the process of setting up a program to update greenhouse gas reporting and to establish third-party verification of reported emissions and enforcement. Accuracy of data is a critical step for any policy to monitor and reduce emissions.

Initiative Petition 56 requires disclosure of industrial toxic air pollution.

Climate Actions for League Members

Please write a very short email to your senator and representative, and to the Committee: senr.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov, Subject line:  Support for Strong Climate Legislation. Followed by a brief message: “I support a strong cap and invest policy/I support LC 19 with improvements for climate/I support strong climate legislation for Oregon’s future, I am (a parent, farmer, high school student, rural Oregonian, small biz owner, horrified by the climate crisis, etc).” Instead of personal information, you may wish to include only your name and senate district in the Senate Committee email, as this will be published as “testimony” on the legislative website.

Climate Lobby day and Rally, February 11, Salem. Carpools available. More information as the date approaches.

Jordan Cove Energy Project (Shirley Weathers)

The Jordan Cove Energy Project is scheduled for some key state and federal decisions soon; FERC, Oregon Departments of State Lands and Land Conservation and Development. But, will they happen? 

The November 15, 2019 release by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) began a countdown towards the three-person Commission’s decision on JCEP’s applications for a Section 3 (of the Natural Gas Act) authorization to build and operate the JC LNG facility and export terminal in Coos Bay on the south coast and a Section 7 Certification of Public Convenience and Necessity, allowing the associated Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP) to be built and operated. This certificate conveys the authority to take private property under eminent domain. Within 90 days of the release of the FEIS (by February 13, 2020), all federal agencies with permitting responsibilities for the project are supposed to finalize their decisions and submit them to the Commission. The Commission is scheduled to make its decision on that same date, but it has great leeway on when it acts so we are watching their monthly meeting agendas and, as always, the FERC online eLibrary.

If the Commission acts quickly, or even within the next few months, it appears that its only options are to deny the project (not expected due to federal Administration priorities) or issue a “conditional” approval. There could be numerous possible conditions, but the one we are watching for is approval conditioned on receipt of the totality of other required permits and approvals (over 60 federal, state, and local), precluding “construction” until that occurs. Oregon state agencies have repeatedly argued against that and there are numerous state permits, including very high-profile ones, still under consideration. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) denied JCEP’s first application for the critical Section 401 Clean Water Act permit last May and although JCEP is expected to reapply, as of January 16, they have not done so. Other key state permits still outstanding are Coastal Zone Management Zone Consistency Certification current deadline 2/28) and Removal-Fill Permit (current deadline 1/31). All local permits (13) have been approved, but a number are being appealed.

The four local LWVs directly affected by the project are working on these various processes with the support of the LWVOR and especially its Action Team. We are all extraordinarily impressed with the diligent and high quality (arduous) work being done by all involved state agencies. As Governor Brown has promised since the current JCEP application was filed, state agencies are working through the permitting process committed to ensuring that Oregon’s laws designed to protect the public good, including environmental quality, public, heath, and safety would be obeyed.

Our Children’s Trust (Cathy Frischmann)

On January 17, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released their split decision, 2-1 vote, for dismissal of Juliana vs the US, the youth-led lawsuit to secure their legal rights to a safe climate.

The decision reverses an earlier ruling by District Court Judge Ann Aiken that would have let the case go forward. Julia Olson, the youth’s counsel, said she will appeal the ruling in the next 60 days. The next step sends the case to the full Ninth Circuit for reconsideration and what is known as an en banc hearing. The case, she said, is “far from over.”

Oregon Economic Analysis (Claudia Keith)

“All business and policy decisions need to be examined through the lens of climate change, researchers at McKinsey said.“ The League continues to be very concerned that the Oregon Economic Analysis Quarterly Report presented to House and Senate policy committees each quarter lacks a Climate reality fiduciary perspective.

The next report is due in Feb and the League may provide a letter of concern. The Nov report did not highlight financial risks, climate mitigation (moving to net-zero greenhouse gas emission economy before 2050) and horrific risk of wildfire, water drought, health and safety, and other climate-related adaptation financial issues. This report excludes any mention of Climate except buried on page 14 of the detailed report. The League is concerned that this issue needs broader consideration related to future costs to the state, the effect on future revenue and applicable future bond rating stress tests. (The Biggest Threat to Financial Stability Is the Climate – The American Prospect.)

Climate Emergency Declaration

Benton County will be considering a Climate Crisis (Emergency) declaration at their January 21 BOC meeting.

The City of Corvallis passed a Climate Crisis Declaration in October. Over 1311 jurisdictions globally have declared with 71 in the U.S. Over 11,000 scientists declared in November. LWVOR passed a Climate Emergency Declaration at the May 2019 Convention. A group of concerned League members from five or six state leagues will be considering a possible climate emergency resolution and related caucus for the LWVUS convention, June 2020 in Washington D. C.

Energy Policy: Public Utility Commission (PUC)

The League will be following LC 273, dealing with the ‘Powers of the PUC Commission’. Requires electric companies to account for the external cost of greenhouse gas emissions in integrated resource plans submitted to the commission. Authorizes commission to require electricity service suppliers to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistently.

(Find Ocean Acidification, Wildfire Prevention, 100 Year Water Vision, Fracking, Air Quality, Hazardous Waste/Fossil Fuel Transportation (Oil Trains) in the Natural Resource Section.)

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! It would be great to have a few more dedicated volunteers; If any of these policy areas interest you: Energy DOE, Transportation DOT, State Agency Climate Adaptation Planning, LCDC, DEQ, etc.) please contact Claudia Keith, ca.keith@comcast.net or Peggy Lynch, peggylynchor@gmail.com.


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Education Policy

By Sally Garlick, Barbara Sellers-Young, Stephanie Feeney and Chris Vogel

Education Committees and Bills

The Student Success Act investments 2019-2021 Program Funding is summarized here and will continue to be a priority in 2020. Senate Education committee bills in 2020 will focus on the Transfer Student Bill of Rights and will fine-tune the implementation of the sexual conduct provisions of Senate Bill 155 (2019). House Education committee bills will address college student food insecurity and prohibiting Lottery games on postsecondary sporting events.

The House Interim Committee on Education introduced three committee bills: LC 110 that addresses the prevalence of food and housing insecurity for students at Oregon community colleges and public universities; LC 111 that changes boundaries of the Central Oregon Community College Service District and Klamath Community College Service District; and LC 118 that will prohibit Oregon State Lottery from offering games based on outcomes of sporting events that are organized by, sponsored by, or played in connection with postsecondary institutions.

The Senate Interim Committee on Education previewed three committee bills. LC 30 makes technical changes to aid the Oregon Department of Education in implementing the Student Success Act, House Bill 3427 (2019). LC 128 makes technical changes to aid school districts and the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) in implementing the sexual conduct provisions of Senate Bill 155 (2019). LC 87 adds foundational curricula and unified statewide transfer agreements into the Transfer Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, makes specified changes to the Transfer Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, shifts reporting responsibilities from each public higher education institution to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and changes reporting requirements, requires HECC to establish an advisory committee relating to the Transfer Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, requires HECC to submit a report relating to an electronic system for disseminating information on foundational curricula and unified statewide transfer agreements, and requires HECC to convene a group of stakeholders to assist with aligning credits earned through dual credit programs with requirements of foundational curricula.

The Oregon Department of Education and school districts have been very busy in rolling out the framework and implementation of the Student Success Act (SSA). SSA investments 2019-2021 Program Funding is summarized, with numerous specific reports on the implementation of the SSA in early learning, K-12, and youth development. Listen to the OLIS recording. Comprehensive SSA information is here.

Counting low-income students in a meaningful way was addressed by nationally recognized experts on poverty indicators. See the presentation from the National Conference of State Legislatures and slides from the Urban Institute. Changes in the school lunch program provide an opportunity for states to rethink how they may more effectively identify and serve low-income students.

The Joint Subcommittee on Education circled back to the 2019 budgets for universities, HECC, and ODE regarding legislative requirements for specific budget notes and resulting reports. Insomnia reading for those interested in the nitty-gritty of budgets! Necessary documentation is tracked by the Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO) for Public Universities Cost Management, Department of Education – Early Warning System, K-12 Professional Development, and K-12 Grant-in-Aid Program Consolidation.

If you are willing and able to follow education issues, we need you! You determine your own level of volunteered time. Work on bills relating to early learning, schools K-12 or P-21, career technical training, community colleges, or universities. Will you work from home to read and analyze bills, watch committee hearings recorded on OLIS, or write summaries on bills for this Legislative Report? chrisvogelvolunteerlwvor@gmail.com


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Governance

By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator

The January Interim Legislative Days saw little movement on governance issues, but some intriguing hints of things to come in the 2020 short session of the legislature. If you read our Legislative Report and can’t find coverage of issues that concern you, it could be because we need your help! Join us! Here are some Legislative Concept (LC) highlights from this week’s Interim Legislative days.

Senate Interim Committee on Campaign Finance

This committee is not scheduled to return for the short session. The Senate Campaign Finance Committee met to vote on introducing LC 164, which represents Sen. Golden’s ideas on campaign contribution limits. However, the Governor says a bill for campaign contribution limits should not be considered this year. Also introduced was LC 163, a joint memorial to petition Congress to call an Article 5 constitutional convention on campaign finance. Two of the three committee members objected to this proposal at first, but Sen. Golden persuaded Sen. Burdick to vote for its introduction. It seems unlikely that either of these bills will move during the short session.

Rank Choice Voting was also discussed in the Senate Interim Committee on Campaign Finance. Read testimony here in meeting materials, one from a candidate for Secretary of State, a heads-up that this can be a campaign issue as well as a legislative one. Now is a good time to review our 2016 Election Methods Study Update.

LC 166: After the extensive Public Records law overhaul two years ago established the Office of the Public Records Advocate, there has been a newsworthy transition and this LC specifies placing the Advocate as an independent office in the executive department.

The legislature’s referral of SJR 18 to the voters for the 2020 General Election is now referral Measure 401. The League has formally endorsed this ballot measure and joined a group of organizations to support its passage. This state constitutional amendment would enable campaign contribution limits, some advertising disclosures, some dark money disclosures, etc.

Rep. Rayfield is said to be working on a bill to create a task force on campaign finance limits for 2021 and to repeal or delay Measure 47 until 2021.

Redistricting Reform

Redistricting was not discussed during the interim legislative days. However, a diverse coalition of organizations, People Not Politicians, led by the League, has now filed three initiative petitions to amend the state constitution to institute a 12-member independent citizens commission to redistricting the state for both congressional and legislative districts. Because of the long ballot title process, petitioning may not start for months. These proposals are aimed at the 2020 general election ballot.

From Senate Rules Committee (Becky Gladstone)

LC 0008 Addresses legislative quorum requirements. This is relevant after last session’s Senate walkouts stopped deliberations for lack of a quorum. Senator Boquist moved to introduce, commenting that it took three rounds to pass acceptable legislation in 1857, with 18 lawyers, including three Chief Justices, and that rules are designed to protect the minority and ensure discipline. Reading this 2005 US Senate Report, Minority Rights and Senate Procedures, may prove helpful.

From House Rules Committee (Becky Gladstone)

The House Rules Committee introduced numerous Legislative Concepts (LCs) of interest to the League in multiple areas. See the Land Use report too.

LC 134 calls for the Secretary of State to study the most effective way to improve Voters’ pamphlets and include candidates in them. We will engage in this discussion.

LC 134 calls for the Secretary of State to study the most effective way to improve Voters’ pamphlets and include candidates in them. We will engage in this discussion.

LC 215 looks like a return from 2018 to prohibit printing or circulating imitation Voters’ Pamphlets, now adding census materials and adding a $10,000 penalty for each violation. We hope to again work closely with the Secretary of State’s Legislative Affairs staff to ensure that our Voters’ Guides are specifically defined as legitimate, being clearly labeled from the League of Women Voters. We have not watermarked them with prominent UNOFFICIAL labeling and feel that remains unnecessary.

LC 234 addresses minor political party status requirements. In order to maintain official party status, the threshold would be reduced from one half to one third of one per cent of registered electors in Oregon.

Immigration (Claudia Keith)

The League will be following 2020 session LC/Bills that relate to immigration/immigrants, non-documented residents and refugees, including any bills that are in reaction to recent legislation such as the 2019 Driver License bill (HB 2015). A number of bills related to these demographic groups ended last session in W&M and could be re-posted in the 2020 short session. (Examples: SB 856 “office of New Americans” in the executive branch and SB 263 A for in-state tuition status for some Asian-Pacific islander students).

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! If any of these areas interest you, please contact Norman Turrill at n.turrill@lwvor.org.


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Natural Resources

By Peggy Lynch, Natural Resources Coordinator 

Budgets (Peggy Lynch)

We are supporting the Governor’s set of requests of about $6.4 M for data gathering and staff to begin the conversation around the 100-year Water Vision. We will also support a beginning set of budget requests around mapping, possible building code changes and requirements for landowners to create defensible space on their property (LC 83) among the implementation measures from the Governor’s Wildfire Council. The on-site septic loan program needs a General Fund financial infusion until a new program can be set up at the Dept. of Environmental Quality (LC 34). We support money to work on the issue of harmful algal blooms (LC 178). We support the Dept. of Agriculture request related to the hemp industry, especially the request that will add another assistant water master in Southern Oregon. We recognize that the Dept. of Forestry’s 2019 fire season request needs to be honored. We are anxious to see the Governor’s Resiliency bill (LC 96) as it will address a number of emergency requests. We continue to support funding for the missions of the two divisions of the Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries, including a fee increase for their Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation division. Our priority, of course, will be seeing the adoption and funding of a Climate bill (LC 19). (See Climate section of the legislative report.)

Air Quality (Susan Mates)

Several parties have petitioned the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) to adopt regulations that would reduce emissions associated with Indirect Source Rules. Indirect sources of air pollution concern mobile sources such as cars, trucks, construction equipment or locomotives. ​The petition asks the EQC to adopt rules that regulate emissions from the construction and operation of Indirect Sources in cities and metropolitan service districts with a population of 50,000 or more. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) staff will present information about the Indirect Source Rules Petition to the EQC at their regular meeting on January 24 at 11:15. Members of the public may submit verbal or written comments during that meeting or submit comments by February 14. LWVOR has submitted comments on this important health issue. 

Options for reducing diesel emissions were discussed at a Joint Task Force Committee set up by HB 2007. It was an information-packed session of presentations on varying options for reducing diesel emissions including retrofit technology, replacement options, and alternative fuels such as biodiesel, renewable diesel, and natural gas. The overarching question going forward will be: How do you maximize the resources available and still make incentives strong enough to influence the industry?  

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Laboratory announced, in early December, that it has developed a lower-cost air pollution sensor. It uses a light sensor to measure particulate matter that is less than 2.5 microns in diameter. The sensors have been rolled out to sites across the state and will provide more accurate data on the quality of the air in those regions.  

new resolution was passed on December 6 by the Portland City Council. It directs all City bureaus to transition from gas-powered to electric- or battery-powered leaf blowers. This is an important first step, as local air pollutants coming from this equipment are far greater than that of other sources, such as cars and trucks. Although this only applies to City Bureaus in Portland, we can hope that other local governments will soon follow suit.

The Zero-Emission Vehicle Interagency Working Group (ZEVIWG) updated their progress toward transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs). Many agencies are installing electric charging stations around the state. New tools are being developed to help school district, transit authorities, and fleet owners make more informed decisions about alternatives. $8 M dollars have been used so far for rebates for electric vehicles. The focus topic was barriers to EV adoption. Going forward, additional incentives will be needed to come into alignment with our neighboring states.

Air Contaminant Discharge Permit (ACDP) fees will be increased beginning July 2020, as authorized by the Oregon Legislature. The DEQ is preparing for a rulemaking to determine the specific increases for types of ACDP fees, totaling a 70% increase in fee revenue. Considerations are being made to minimize the impacts to small businesses. The increase will provide funding for six new permit writing positions and sustain the increased costs of the program for the next four years. Hopefully this change will, over time, address the backlog of expired air pollution permits. In January 2018, the Secretary of State’s Audits Division found that 43 percent of the state’s largest and most complex federal and state air quality permits were expired, some by several years.

One of these expired air pollution permits is for Covanta Marion, Oregon’s only garbage incinerator. They also incinerate plastics and imported medical waste. Several concerned health and environmental groups are asking the DEQ to deny Covanta’s permit renewal request. Covanta is one of the first twenty industries that will be investigated for health risks under Cleaner Air Oregon rules. In the past Legislative session, Covanta pushed for a bill that would designate garbage burning as renewable energy, allowing the company to sell credits for clean energy production. They plan to try again in the 2020 short session. See LC 72. Covanta made $30,000 in campaign contributions to lawmakers during 2018, more than it contributed over the previous five years combined.

The League will be following LC 228, related to the regulation of hydrofluorocarbons.

Susan has been attending the Air Quality Stakeholders meetings at the DEQ. They have asked for suggestions about how to address wood smoke issues. They would like to see those “clear, strong ideas” no later than the end of February, so they can prepare for the EQC meeting in March. It’s a thorny issue, as so much is tied up in long time traditions, and any new regulations would be difficult to enforce. DEQ received $500,000 in General Funds through their budget bill in 2019 for wood smoke reductions. They are in the process of granting those funds out to local governments across the state, including Washington County (which also receives grants for this from Intel) as well as Lane and Klamath Counties. The continued funding for wood smoke work has been identified as a priority in the DEQ budget they are requesting for the 2021 session. 

That being said, the funds seem to be largely for 1) wood stove exchanges, and 2) education about how to burn cleanly. The League might want to support information about general education to the larger public about the health effects of wood smoke. There is a lot of work that can be done to bring urban wood burners up to speed. According to the EPA, just 1 hour of burning 10 pounds of wood generates 4,300 times more carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) than 30 cigarettes. Something as simple as switching out your method of heating may make all the difference in your neighborhood’s air quality and carbon content.

Climate Actions of State Agencies

The Dept. of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is leading the effort to update Oregon’s Climate Change Adaptation Framework. They are also working with the Oregon Dept. of Transportation on an update of the Oregon Statewide Transportation Strategy and on updating the  Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. DLCD has a role in the Jordan Cove permitting system. They must certify federal consistency. This is another reason LWVOR supports our land use planning system: the federal consistency program and the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 is linked to local Comprehensive Plans and Development Codes, among other issues. From LWVOR’s Coastal and Nearshore Oregon study: “Once approved, state plans become the management program within that state’s boundaries, and all federal policies and actions must be consistent with any mandatory provisions of the state program.”

The Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering action on a draft Climate and Ocean Change Policy

(See also Climate section in this Legislative Report for other climate-related info.)

Coastal Issues (Peggy Joyce)

In 2016 the Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) and the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) initiated a process of amending the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan (TSP) Part Three: Rocky Shore Management to update scientific and managerial aspects of the strategy that were significantly out of date. The two year plus revision and updating process by the Rocky Shores Working Group created a plan that will be released to the public on Feb 1, 2020 for a 30-day period of feedback and revision before the document is officially adopted. Of interest to the public is a new interactive web tool that will walk any individual or group/organization thru the process of initiating site designations with support from staff of DLCD. More information will be released when the web site official launches sometime in spring of 2020.

To put this work in perspective, the revision work was initiated after a recommendation presented by the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition at the OPAC December 2015 meeting. The recommendation noted that since 1994 when the Rocky Shores Strategy was completed, there had been multiple changes to areas addressed in the strategy. In addition, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) were completing exhaustive studies, evaluations and assessments of the nearshore intertidal and ocean shore areas culminating in the adoption of the ODFW Nearshore Strategy and the OPRD Ocean Shore Management Plan. Some areas within designated sites had changed ownership or management, and others were identified as “Not Yet Designated” in the plan. The advent of the Oregon Marine Reserves System, which overlaps a number of designated sites, significantly changes the management scheme for those areas. The Part Three resource descriptions and information were therefore significantly out of date.

PART FIVE of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan describes the process for making decisions concerning the development of renewable energy facilities (e.g. wind, wave, current, thermal, etc.) in the state territorial sea, and specifies the areas where development may be sited. The requirements of Part Five are intended to protect areas important to renewable marine resources (i.e. living marine organisms), ecosystem integrity, marine habitat and areas important to fisheries from the potential adverse effects of renewable energy facility siting, development, operation, and decommissioning and to identify the appropriate locations for that development which minimize the potential adverse impacts to existing ocean resource users and coastal communities. 

DOGAMI

Calico Resources USA Corporation on November 15 submitted its consolidated permit application under Oregon’s chemical process mining laws and regulations. Calico is proposing to construct an underground gold mine, surface mill complex, and tailings storage facility at Grassy Mountain, about 22 miles south-southeast of Vale in Malheur County. The site includes both private and public lands managed by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Consolidated Permit Application is available for review. To receive future updates regarding the project electronically, e-mail your request to grassymtn-info@oregon.gov with “Grassy Mtn List” in the subject line. The full agency review team met on January 16th to consider the status of various permits.

The agency only received a one-year budget and the fee increase requested for their mining division was not approved. We expect movement on this issue in 2020. The League provided email testimony to their Board on January 9. The Board packet provides some information. Amira Streeter of the Governor’s Office of Natural Resources provided a Strategic Plan update. 

Drinking Water Advisory Committee (Amelia Nestler)

League continues to attend these quarterly meetings and is following emerging chemicals of concern that are or should be considered by our drinking water authority. Also, consider engaging in the League’s study of Pesticides and Biocides in Oregon

Forestry (Josie Koehne and Peggy Joyce) 

On November 20, a Linn County jury, after brief deliberations in a month-long trial, ruled against the Department of Forestry for $1.1 billion dollars in damages for “failing to uphold a contract” made with the counties in the Forest Requisition Act of 1941. (Peggy Joyce attended many of the court days.) Thirteen timber counties and 151 local taxing districts brought the lawsuit for “failing to maximize timber harvests on state forests” resulting in lower payments to those counties during the last two decades, when ODF revised its plan in response to the federal Endangered Species Act and other considerations for water, wildlife, fire and recreational uses to the benefit of Oregonians that they determined was of “greatest permanent value of such lands to the state” as stated in the agreement. The state has appealed the verdict to the Oregon Court of Appeals. There are a number of legal grounds for contesting this ruling, or a compromise agreement with the counties could be reached. Who pays should the case be upheld is a big issue. The state would need to use taxpayer revenues, primarily income taxes, to pay off the settlement. In the long run, reports a November 26 Oregonian article, “the damages, if upheld, would be a bonanza for a handful of counties and special taxing districts. But if you consider the portion of the award that would be borne by taxpayers in each county, paying the bill would effectively create a net loss for more than half of the counties who signed on to sue the state, according to an analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive.”

Josie Koehne has attended a State Forests Advisory Committee meeting and a Northwest Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee meeting. The Western Forest Management Plan is in its final review. Check out their web page for more information. 

The Dept. of Forestry has funding issues, in part related to the lack of staffing needed to process invoices to the federal government and others after severe fire seasons. They are working with the legislature and the Dept of Administrative Services and with a team from Macias, Gini and O’Connell, LLP (MGO) to help improve their business processes around fire finances. However, long term, there is a need to address staffing shortages and how to pay for the department’s multiple missions beyond fire services—conservation, recreation and administration of Oregon’s Forest Practices Act. 

Land Use (Peggy Lynch) 

Rulemaking continues on implementation of HB 2001 and HB 2003 (2019). Peggy Lynch was appointed to the committee with Debbie Aiona as alternate.  Nancy Donovan will serve on the Technical Committee which will develop the HB 2003 Housing Strategy rules and Peggy will serve on the Infrastructure Deficiency Time-Extension Technical Advisory Committee. DLCD provides additional information about housing resources on its website. (See also more on Housing in this legislative report.)

The House Committee on Agriculture and Land Use considered legislative concepts at their January meeting as did House Rules. It is unusual for so many land use bills to show up at the beginning of session in House Rules but it may be due to the number of bills Leadership wanted to move through the session and the Land Use Committee already had its allowed three bills selected. Rules, Revenue and Ways and Means operate under more flexible rules. We look forward to learning more about their content as they are officially filed and/or amended. 

The League continues to participate in Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) meetings and provides comments on issues about which the League has positions. LWVOR may provide comments in support of the Statewide Transportation Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions to be considered at LCDC’s mtg. on January 23rd.  We have supported a reduction in vehicle miles traveled in the Metropolitan Planning Areas starting back in 2010.

Northwest Energy Coalition (Robin Tokmakian)

Decarbonization, regional planning (energy), net zero carbon, building codes, electrification of transportation, salmon restoration (dam removal), climate policy related to pricing, markets strategies, energy markets, and transmission are all issues of concern. The policy focus in Oregon is an Energy Equity bill (environmental justice), similar to HB 2020 (2019). NWEC will be watching what is happening with respect to the Public Purpose Charge that sunsets in 2025 (e.g. weatherization funds, etc, Energy Trust of Oregon). They are looking for extension plus improvement in how funds are used, including gas transportation customers (target 2020 or 2021). There is no stance on any of the proposed climate related ballot measures yet.

Update of Regional Power Plan (NW Power Plan) (NW Power and Conservation Council) is to be finished in 2021. By statute, updates are required every 5 years as a top priority of the council. The 2021 plan will include resource adequacy evaluation, including GHG and Bonneville contracts, in addition to coal plant retirements. Draft should be available for review in fall of 2020. Baseline models will include addressing decarbonization (climate) including 1 model addressing deep carbonization

Outdoor Recreation

In a draft report released last Thursday, the 33-person Governor’s Task Force on the Outdoors proposes a broad set of ideas that include funding search and rescue, creating an Oregon Outdoors Pass and getting more diversity in the state’s wild spaces. They came up with 30 initial ideas under five broad categories that will be discussed at a final meeting January 23 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem.

A public comment period follows the meeting, providing time for people to weigh in on the ideas. Final recommendations will come this spring. 

Solar

The Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program was established by the Oregon Legislature in summer 2019 (HB 2618). The program offers rebates to residential customers and low-income service providers that install solar or solar and paired energy storage systems (batteries). Rebates are issued to ODOE-approved contractors who pass the full amount of the rebate on as savings to their customers.

Homeowners are eligible for rebates up to $5,000 for solar and an additional $2,500 for paired energy storage installed together. Low-income service providers – such as nonprofits, municipalities, or other organizations serving low-income Oregonians – are eligible for rebates up to $30,000 for solar plus $15,000 for paired storage.

Water (Peggy Lynch)  

The League continues to work with others to advance a “water vision” for Oregon to continue our work on the Integrated Water Resources Strategy. We encourage you to take the survey and sign up for email notices at www.oregonwatervision.org

League is participating in the rulemaking for HB 2085 (2019), the dam safety bill. The Oregonian provided a great article on the national issue around dam safety:  https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/11/oregon-dams-among-more-than-1600-at-risk-nationally-ap-investigation-finds.html

We have been asked to support a request in 2020 to continue to fund the on-site septic program which we have done in the past. SB 760 (2019) did not pass, but the need exists for low cost loans to repair failing septic systems.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, called on the public to nominate rivers that should be protected under the national list of Wild and Scenic Rivers. Congress enacted the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968 to preserve rivers that offered extraordinary natural, cultural and recreational value for the public. The act protects the free-flowing nature of rivers in both federal and non-federal areas.

Wetlands (Peggy Lynch) 

The League is engaged in rulemaking on HB 2436, a bill that would allow the Dept. of State Lands to put together a program where Oregon would partially “assume” the responsibilities of the Army Corps of Engineers for some portion of Oregon’s removal/fill permit requests. A schedule of meetings is available and will continue to the end of 2020.

The Dept. of State Lands is working to improve access to data regarding Oregon’s wetlands. The soon-to-be-released Oregon Department of State Lands Statewide Wetlands Inventory is a web-based compilation of wetlands, waters and soils mapping for use by local planners for wetland land use notice screening. Non-planners can use the SWI for project planning purposes and for general information. The SWI web map includes multiple mapping resources that identify potential locations of wetlands and waterways. SWI Fact Sheet

Wildfires

The Senate has created a new Committee on Wildfire Prevention and Recovery. At their January meeting, a number of legislative concepts from the Committee were shared as well as the Governor’s omnibus bill.  

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is calling for a major expansion in the state’s wildfire response plans in a new legislative concept lawmakers heard last Tuesday. The draft proposal outlines the governor’s long-term vision for how the state should adapt to wildfire, reduce wildfire risks on forestland and improve fire suppression. It calls for land-use planning changes, new building codes and requirements for “defensible space” around homes to reduce the risk of wildfires damaging residential areas. It requires new standards for residential smoke filtration systems to protect people from the health risks of wildfire smoke.

It adds new jobs in the Office of Emergency Management that would be designed to handle wildfire emergencies, and it sets a goal of “treating” 300,000 acres of forestland a year to reduce wildfire fuel through logging, controlled burning and ecosystem restoration projects.

Regional Solutions (Peggy Joyce)

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. Members can attend or call in to listen to economic activities in each of the 11 regions.

$10 M ask for 2020? Members from at least two Regional Solutions Advisory Committees (RACs) have expressed concern that the original mission of Regional Solutions—to have state agencies working together and with local jurisdictions on behalf of regional economic development—has been diluted by the creation of the Regional Infrastructure Fund and the time it takes to process requests for the money. There is some concern that small jurisdictions have little staff to help fill out the paperwork in order to qualify for the funds. 

The RACs have been reviewing their “priorities” which are used to have agency staff help or spending state money on behalf of projects in these regions based on these identified “priorities”. Are they your priorities? We encourage other members to call in or attend. 

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED YEAR ROUND! League members are engaged in rulemaking, workgroups and task forces as we prepare for the next session. We need observers, notetakers and or testifiers at natural resource agency Boards and Commissions. If you are interested in natural resource issues, please contact Natural Resources Coordinator Peggy Lynch @ peggylynchor@gmail.com.


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Revenue and Tax Reform

By Josie Koehne, Sally Garlick and Chris Vogel

HB 4010 on Opportunity Zones

LC 250 (now HB 4010 for the 2020 session) is a Revenue Committee bill introduced by House Revenue Chair Nathanson in the House Interim Committee on Revenue that would disconnect Oregon from a capital gains tax break for wealthy investors. This capital gains tax break could potentially deprive Oregon of a substantial amount of revenue over time. Oregon is automatically connected to all of the federal tax code unless changed by state law. The 2017 Investing in Opportunity Act section of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, concerns Opportunity Zones. An Opportunity Zone is a designation based on census tract data that allows “qualified” investors (i.e. the wealthy) to reduce their capital gains taxes over a period of ten years for capital investments in low income distressed areas. After that, when their asset is sold, they pay no capital gains tax. State governors were given until April of 2018 to draw up maps of these distressed areas, a task Governor Brown assigned to Business Oregon. The maps of these 86 Oregon areas are located here. Unfortunately, due to the very wide parameters of the federal law, these maps can include prime real estate, such as downtown Portland and Salem. Projects that were already planned within these zones can take advantage of the tax break. Unless Oregon disconnects, wealthy Oregon investors who invest in an Oregon Opportunity Zone, or one anywhere in the US, can get a substantial reduction in the Oregon capital gains taxes they owe. The LWVOR supports HB 4010 that would disconnect Oregon from the tax break and calls for a workgroup to refine the criteria for Oregon Opportunity Zones to avoid the pitfalls of the federal bill. The League, along with other organization partners, met with many state representatives during the interim session to seek support for this bill.  This short video from the Oregon Center for Public Policy offers further explanation.

Revenue and Finance Bills

Other House Interim Committee on Revenue bills and information hearings previews for the coming 2020 session were discussed in the committee. Look for further details as the session begins in February. LC 249 (now HB 4009) contains “technical fixes” for the Corporate Activities Tax passed in 2019 as the funding element for the Student Success Act. LC 251 (now HB 4011) is currently drafted to perform a “study” of state tax reform options for substitutions for major taxes, for minimizing the allowance of tax expenditures and for maintaining progressivity and enhancing equity in the tax system. Tax Expenditure Analysis Overview and discussion lay the study groundwork for potential tax reform options. A historical Kicker Overview presentation can be heard on OLIS. LC 1 regarding refinements in Oregon Universal Service Fund on Telecommunications.

Senate Interim Committee on Finance and Revenue introduced three committee bills: LC 260 (now SB 1528) that updates the connection date to federal Internal Revenue Code and other provisions of federal tax law; LC 262 (now SB 1531) that contains various updates to property tax exemptions, tax credits, and other fixes to comply with federal tax law; and LC 261 (now SB 1529) a placeholder bill about statutes applicable to income of interstate broadcasters/streamers of sports/movies/series. A Legislative Revenue Office report reviews the taxation of interstate broadcasters in Oregon and presents future policy options for apportioning broadcaster income to the state. Mirroring the House, this Senate committee also heard a summary of LC 250 (now HB 4010 for the 2020 session) that would disconnect Oregon from a capital gains tax break for wealthy investors, and LC 249 (now HB 4009) that contains “technical fixes” for the Corporate Activities Tax.

If you are willing and able to follow tax issues, we need you! You determine your own level of volunteered time. Will you work from home to read and analyze bills, watch committee hearings recorded on OLIS, or write summaries on bills for this Legislative Report? chrisvogelvolunteerlwvor@gmail.com


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Social Policy 

By Karen Nibler, Social Policy Coordinator

Public Safety

Statutes that cover Judicial and Public Safety issues are revised consistently from session to session.  Look for police stop data, aid and assist evaluations, public guardians, juvenile expunctions, child welfare, gun safety and court processes in the reports.  Don’t skip the budget requests for public safety. 

Public Safety Issues follow from previous legislation such as SB 24 (2019) which dealt with the court process in mental health evaluations and commitments to the Oregon State Hospital. The Guilty Except for Insanity plea leads to longer stays and population growth at the hospital. LC 70 will refine the process. 

The Oregon Public Guardian program has served disabled persons and seniors but has expanded to other vulnerable clients in the past year. The agency proposes to expand its service areas and add staff to manage the physically and mentally ill in communities. This involves housing and medical care.

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission reported on the Police Stop Data which showed more stops and searches by Beaverton and Portland police but also more citations in these cases, which could be for lack of driver’s licenses or insurance.  

The Oregon Youth Authority defended the recent sex abuse survey results as valid but resulted from youth on youth contacts. The staff intends to educate on abuse reports and increase the ratio of staff to residents for supervision.

Judiciary Committees opened the pre-session meeting with short presentations on Legislative Concepts that will be filed in the 2020 Session. Gun Safety advocates packed the committee room to hear LC 38 being proposed for safe gun storage. Senator Prozanski informed the group that letters submitted today would not follow the bill as filed in session. The meeting materials included letters opposed to this safe storage concept. 

The Juvenile Expunction Work Group introduced LC 57 which will eliminate records in the Juvenile Justice Information System for those without court involvement. The workgroup plans to continue to develop expunction for juveniles with court records and court custody in the 2021 session.

The federal Indian Child Welfare Act, ICWA, will be incorporated into Oregon law in LC 69. The law instructs that Indian children preserve ties with the tribes. Representative Sanchez will be the prime mover on this bill.

The Oregon State Police have proposed LC 151 which asks Ways and Means to restore police positions which have been reduced statewide since 1990. The population has increased and OSP coverage is too thin for areas and highway supervision. Many officers patrol alone and confront dangerous situations.

LC 201 and 240 are public safety bills with multiple components which will likely go through many amendments and revisions before the end of the short session. LC 151, 201 and 240 are Senate Judiciary Committee bills. LC 203, 204 and 210 are House Judiciary Committee bills. 

The Oregon Judicial Department has formed an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Public Defense Services Commission to provide case management technology and contract oversight as recommended in the 6th Amendment Report.  The Department of Justice requested additional staff positions for business transactions for the Oregon Department of Transportation, for an anti-poaching campaign with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and 4 staff for crime victim services and human trafficking task forces. Budgets were increased but not all requests were fully funded.

Gun Safety (Marge Easley)

LC 38, a “safe storage” draft bill backed by State of Safety, was introduced during the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee hearing on January 15. It requires the use of locking devices or locked containers when storing or transferring firearms, the reporting of loss or theft of a firearm within 72 hours, and the direct supervision of a minor’s use of a firearm. The League strongly supports the safe storage concept, as research shows that it saves lives in the states where it has already been implemented. However, there are many details in the bill that we feel need further clarification, including the definition of “control” in relation to a firearm and storage requirements in a vehicle. We are also concerned that penalties for noncompliance may not be strong enough to substantially change behavior. The current version of LC 38 assesses minor fines for most violations and a civil liability period of two years for violations resulting in injury or death. Despite the rather weak penalties, Senate Republicans issued a sternly worded press release on February 16 opposing the bill.

There are at least nine initiatives related to firearms filed thus far with the Secretary of State’s office, although the League will be focusing on several key ones filed by gun safety advocate groups. First is IP 40, a safe storage measure filed by State of Safety in case LC 38 fails to pass the Legislature. Three others (IP 60, IP 61, and IP 62), were filed by Lift Every Voice Oregon, a coalition of Portland faith leaders, in a continuing effort to restrict the sale and transfer of semi-automatic weapons and ban the sale of high-capacity magazines. The latter three initiatives are now in the comment period for ballot titles, with the deadline of January 29 for IP 60 and January 31 for IP 61 and IP 62.

Health and Human Services

Coordination of services to families, seniors and disabled persons is needed across both health and human services.  Eligibility is determined for access to both health and human services. Read below for specific proposals for new or expanded programs.

Behavioral Health is a predominant topic in health care during this short session. LC 221 is a rewrite of statute regarding addictive and substance abuse disorders to change the code to substance use disorders in all 188 pages. The new language states that substance use disorder is an illness.  A person with SUD involving a drug means one who has lost the ability to control the personal use of a controlled substance and whose health is impaired or endangered.

LC 45 sets up a Behavioral Road Map Commission under the Legislature’s Policy and Research Office. The Commission will identify funding needs and sources, workforce needs and outcome measures by 9-15-2020 and a budget for 2021.

Treatment of substance abuse disorders is available in community health clinics in counties throughout the state. A federal grant awarded in April 2017 has been extended to May 2020. Hospitals and residential treatment programs are covered by medical insurance including Medicaid and Medicare. LC 263 and 270 ask for reports on behavioral health clinics and barriers to treatment.

House Health Care bill drafts include LC 18 on a constitution amendment for health care access, LC 22 on dental homes, and LC 52 on restrictions on Inhalant delivery systems sales only through regulated retailers. Committee members have submitted drafts on SB 200 on Regional Health Equity Coalition Grants expansion, LC 209 on cost control on Pharmacy Benefit Managers, LC 236 on patient choice to apply for medical assistance, and LC 265 on pesticide spray restrictions. The Access to Primary Care Work Group may be redirected in 2020.

Senate Health Care bill drafts include LC 7 on Essential Health Benefits mandates, LC 24 on dental therapist practice under supervision of a dentist, LC 32 on scope of care of dental therapists, and LC 92 which restricts transfer mid-year for customers in Coordinated Care Organizations.

Human Services Committees listened to reports on Child Welfare changes since the end of the 2019 session. The Governor’s Advisor said the crisis team had finished review of children’s out of state placements, 80 were reduced to 18 now. The Governor’s Children’s Cabinet will continue oversight of child welfare.

The new Child Welfare Director is supervising the new central hotline for abuse reports, which receives calls from throughout the state. Newly hired staff in 345 positions are in training and many existing staff are now supervisors. The new emphasis is on Family First Services, the federal law designed to provide support services to children in families to prevent separations and foster placements. 

Senate Legislative Concepts filed were LC 172 defining services for public assistance recipients, LC 173 on Family First services and LC 179 on criminal records checks on providers and support workers. LC 243 further defines out of state rules through Interstate Compact and provider services. 

House Legislative Concepts filed were LC 254 which requests funding for services to unaccompanied homeless youth. Currently shelter programs for runaway and homeless youth are funded primarily through private and grant funds. LC 255 is a long term rental study, LC 275 supports Family Treatment Courts for substance use disorders (often families with children). LC 227 asks for continuation of domestic violence advisors in district state offices. Other requests were for the expansion of the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, support for the 211 Information phone and website service, and Individual Development Account (IDA) savings accounts.

Agency Budget Rebalances are presented to legislative committees prior to the start of the Short Session. The Oregon Health Authority calculated a $38.6 M shortfall and requests $81.6 M in additional funds in 2020. The Oregon State Hospital received a larger population of Aid and Assist commitments and opened 2 new units in the Junction City Hospital to accommodate the new patients. Public Health also had a shortfall in the Medical Marijuana Program costs of $1.5 M for an Agency total of $139.5 M in additional funds needed in 2020. 

The Department of Human Services submitted additional Child Welfare costs of $14.3 M for in-home services which were above budget as well as $13 M costs for 90 new positions granted in 2019 session. Another 38 positions are requested across the agency for Adult Protective Services, In-Home Provider Care, and District Office Field Support for another $3 M request in General Fund for 2020. Additional positions will be requested in the 2021-23 session. 

Intellectual Developmental Disabilities will have higher costs because of salary increases, especially in the next biennium. An additional $5 M requested for case management in 2019 was denied but may be reconsidered in 2020. Costs for staff in behavioral stabilization units for 68-79 people add to budget pressures. Rate model changes were postponed to January 2021 and may cost up to 12.2 M in General Fund. The Short Session is critical for budget adjustments.

Housing (Nancy Donovan and Debbie Aiona)

The Legislative Housing agenda is beginning to take shape with Committee meetings on legislative concepts and proposals. The Housing Alliance, of which we are a member, has convened numerous work sessions on its draft 2020 Housing Opportunity Agenda. 

Unsheltered Homelessness, a State Emergency

On January 13, House Speaker Tina Kotek spoke about the ongoing crisis of unsheltered homelessness in Oregon and is considering declaring a Homeless State of Emergency and the allocation of funds for immediate action. A bill will be introduced to start the conversation and define what, if any, additional strategies might be helpful and can be funded in this session. A statewide emergency declaration on Unsheltered Homelessness would allow cities around the state to more easily site homeless shelters.  https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-tina-kotek-homelessness-state-of-emergency/

On 1/14/2020, the House Interim Committee on Housing and Human Services held an informational session to on the proposals below.

  • Long-Term Rent Assistance, Legislative Concept 255 has changed course due to uncertainty in identifying a dedicated funding source to support the proposed statewide program. LC 255 would appropriate $125,000 to the Department of Housing and Community Services to conduct a study on the costs and benefits of providing long-term rental assistance to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless due to severe rent burden. The study must include cost estimates of long-term rental assistance for: children 5 years of age or younger; children between the ages of 6 and 17; wards as defined in ORS 419A.004; domestic violence victims; seniors and persons with disabilities; and veterans. OHCS must report to the Interim Committee of the Legislative Assembly no later than Oct. 1, 2020.

  • Unaccompanied Homeless Youth for shelters and facilities would provide funds of $1.5 M in bonds for facilities that serve unaccompanied homeless youth. This could include expansion or enhancement of existing transitional housing and shelter programs.

  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) Pilot Program Small Homes Northwest is proposing to build ADUs to support financial stability for modest-income homeowners and create affordable rental homes while preventing displacement. People willing to share their space to create affordable housing is an innovation in the housing industry.

  • 211Info proposes expanding navigation through phone services. 211Info is requesting $2.3 M from the legislature to expand services and staffing to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative is a matched savings program to help people with low incomes build assets such as first-time home purchases, post-secondary education or starting a micro-enterprise. Because of changes in federal tax law and IRS code, the initiative is facing significant funding cuts. One-time resources from the General Fund of $4.5 M are needed to keep the initiative whole through the 2019-21 biennium. https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019I1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/208917

On 1/15 the Senate Interim Committee on Housing and Development heard updates on the status of Oregon Housing and Community Service’s statewide shelter programs by Margaret Salazar and Andrea Bell.  Also, Scott Cooper of NeighborImpact discussed the bottleneck in shelters because of the state’s inadequate supply of housing, particularly extremely low-income housing.

The Housing Alliance held a membership meeting on December 16 to continue its work on deciding on Legislative concepts for its 2020 Housing Opportunity Agenda. Debbie Aiona and Nancy Donovan attended this meeting. Workgroups presented a range of potential 2020 Legislative proposals in draft form. On January 15, Peggy Lynch and Nancy Donovan participated in the meeting of the Housing Development, Land Use, and Preservation Workgroup meeting.

On February 20, 2020, Assets and Housing Opportunity Day will be held at the State Capitol to share what it means to have access to housing opportunity and assets. Registration is open, however due to limited space, the Housing Alliance will give priority to persons most impacted by these issues.

Update on HB 2001 and HB 2003 passed in the 2019 Legislative Session

Housing Choices, HB 2001

HB 2001 requires local communities to update zoning codes in order to allow different housing types in residential areas. By June 30, 2021 medium-sized cities in Oregon will be required to allow duplexes in neighborhoods zoned for single family homes. By the following year (June 30, 2022), cities in the Portland Metro area and other cities over 25,000 must allow triplexes, fourplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses in single-family neighborhoods. Cities can impose reasonable design and siting requirements and ensure that adequate infrastructure will support the increased density.  

The Department of Land Conservation and Development is leading the rulemaking process that will provide a model local code that governments can use and a process and criteria for the evaluation of local infrastructure plans under HB 2001. Natural Resources Portfolio Coordinator Peggy Lynch represents the League on the rulemaking committee with Debbie Aiona, as alternate and Nancy Donovan as second alternate. The next meeting is on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 in Salem.

Housing Needs Studies and Production Strategies, HB 2003

  • HB 2003 requires medium and large cities in Oregon to study the future housing needs of their communities and develop strategies to develop housing sufficient to meet those needs. The Department of Land Conservation and Development is responsible for leading the rulemaking process. Peggy Lynch represents the League with Debbie Aiona as alternate and Nancy Donovan as second alternate. 

Additional Resources for Affordable Housing Development and Preservation of Existing Affordable Housing

  • Increase the Cap on the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit to make more funds available to develop new low-income housing. The Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit is an effective tool to develop and maintain more affordable housing.  Since 1989, the OAHTC has helped to develop over 16,800 units in 34 counties across Oregon. The cap currently is $25 M per year and will likely reach this cap in 2021.  It is recommended that this item be added to the 2020 legislative agenda by the Housing Alliance’s workgroups on Joint Development and Land Use and Preservation.  

  • Preserve and Maintain Existing Affordable Housing. Reinvestment is needed to maintain our supply of existing affordable housing and lottery backed bonds for preservation and maintenance of existing low-income housing. These funds are needed to help maintain all regulated, multifamily affordable housing and public housing and manufactured home parks. It is recommended by the Joint Development and Land Use and Preservation workgroup of the Housing Alliance that the Legislature commit $10 M in Lottery Bonds to help maintain existing affordable housing across Oregon.

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


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