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2017 Legislative Priorities as of Jan. 26, 2017

The Bend Chamber Legislative Committee identified the following items as priorities for the 2017 Legislative Session, in their current form, at the time this journal was published.  Opportunities for change of position and advocacy may vary throughout the vagaries of the session.

The 2017 Legislative Session convened February 1, 2017.  Find more at:  www.oregonlegislature.gov.

Bend Chamber Supports:

  • OSU-Cascades funding
  • Transportation funding package  – Comprehensive address C.O. and all of Oregon’s transportation infrastructure needs (w/real low carbon fuel standard cost containment)
  • Pre-emption of local employment regulations
  • Expanding eligibility for 2013 ‘small business tax cut’
  • Land use / UGB expansion for industrial development and housing
    • ability to declare certain lands undevelopable so not full %t of UGB (legislative concept)
    •  farm use lands soil classification changes (legislative concept)
  • Brownfield renovations
  • Increased availability and affordability of housing
  • Workforce training
  • CTE and education for business skills
  • Increased resources for mental health programs and homelessness prevention

 

Bend Chamber Opposes:

  • Predictive scheduling mandates – must be set 3 weeks in advance.  Penalties accrue for changes made by employer.  Considered the “minimum wage of 2017”.
  • Employer-funded paid family leave – state managing it using BOLI may have negative impacts on business/orgs. Employer payroll taxes could potentially be used to pay for it.
  • ‘Cap & Trade’, carbon tax, or Cleaner Air Oregon regulations that impose burdensome costs on local manufacturers. – Limits emissions of manufacturers whereby manufacturers pay beyond level state sets ($3B cost on just manufacturers impacts family wage/ staple jobs)
  • Damage award increases for liability, medical lawsuits
  • Elimination of small business tax cut – applies to pass-through entities (S-Corps, LLC’s)
  • Taxes not supported by the business community

 

Legislation to Watch:

  • Items in Governor’s budget we support
  • Transit – address designated funding and growing local need (legislative concept)
  • Property Tax “reform – equitable tax system (legislative concept)
  • Sewer & Infrastructure funding – finance solutions (legislative concept)
  • Allocation of Marijuana Tax Revenues
  • Utility right-of-way tax (legislative concept)
  • Tourism related issues – TRT dollars (legislative concept)
  • Access to capital / land supply / natural resources
  • Mental health – specifically homelessness
  • Urban Renew Enterprise Zone (legislative concept)
  • Property Control Mandates

 

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