So much for big deadlines. The first major deadline produced almost no changes to OSCC’s outlook for the week.
All bills needed to be scheduled for a vote in their original committee by Friday, April 7. Nearly every single bad bill was scheduled. Almost nothing fell off of our radar. Committee chairs just couldn’t bring themselves to tell anyone “NO,” and consequently, nearly every bill was kept alive until April 18.
We will be working feverishly until the 18th, when all bills must pass their original committee. Our hope is to neutralize many of the bad bills (and hopefully pass a few good ones) between now and the 18th. See the links below for bills and amendments, hearing schedules, and recorded testimony.
Here’s what we know from the past week:
It was an interesting week on the tax/revenue front. The week started with a press conference from the government employee unions imploring the legislature to pass a “game changing” tax increase on Oregon businesses. By Wednesday, TV ads were running in opposition to the legislature’s consideration of a new gross receipts tax. And by this weekend, Senator Mark Hass, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, was blasting those TV ads as ‘amateur’ and ‘lazy.’ The OSCC assessment is still the same. We are skeptical that the legislature will embark on a corporate tax increase. We believe that increased tax revenues from a growing economy will take enough pressure out of this budget cycle to allow legislators to cobble together a budget without a general tax hike.
Here are the bills that are still alive as of the Friday, April 7 deadline:
Energy & Environment:
SB 1008 – a costly mandate for both on-road and off-road diesel engine retrofits and replacements – was kept alive.
On the good side, ‘Community Right to Know’ that would have increased regulatory programs on chemical storage reporting – HB 2669 was killed.
The big bill here – HB 2269 – which would increase Title V and ACDP fees to fund the new DEQ ‘Cleaner Air Oregon’ regulatory scheme was kept alive.
HB 2236 – requiring the DEQ to conduct a study and develop recommendations relating to emissions of air contaminants from industrial sources was also kept alive.
SB 197 – allowing for the DEQ to adopt a program for regulating air contaminant emissions from dairy confined animal feeding operations – a disaster for the dairy industry – was kept alive.
Tourism and TRT Funding:
Both HB 2744 and HB 2768 were kept alive in the House Economic Development and Trade Committee. These bills would allow local government much more latitude to spend state TRT money on ‘tourism-related’ projects not related directly to tourism promotion.
The much anticipated transportations funding package is not affected by session deadlines.
SB 115 – the bill that would prohibit leaded aviation fuel – died.
Taxes & Budget:
All tax and budget issues are still alive. Any tax bill residing in the Revenue Committees, or budget bill residing in Ways & Means, is not subject to deadlines. OSCC will monitor these bills until the very end of session.