State Issues


Advocacy in Salem is a core component of the Chamber’s ongoing work to promote a vibrant business community. The legislative process is not one for the faint of heart, as over 4,000 bills are introduced in an average long session, and address a wide range of issues.

Legislative Priorities

Whether reviewing local city ordinances and development codes or weighing in on legislative proposal in Salem, the Chamber has an active and effective advocacy program. Our guiding policy principles, set by the Chamber Board of Directors, include:

General Business Issues
    • Support investments in innovation/entrepreneur programs and access to capital
    • Support modifications to enterprise zones to address COVID issues
    • Support allocations to Business Oregon for economic development programs
    • Monitor legislation modifying employee benefits, employment status, wage and hour law, and other employment related policies
    • Monitor OSHA rulemaking processes
    • Monitor Paid Family Medical Leave implementation
COVID Economic Stability + Resilience
    • Support limited liability protections for businesses and health care providers
    • Support additional funding for local governments to support communities and businesses impacted by COVID closures
    • Support debt relief and flexibility for residential and commercial lease holders
    • Support legislation or regulatory changes to advance COVID vaccine delivery
Tax and Fiscal Issues
    • Support a narrative about state tax burden on business community, and challenges to attract capital and retain employer base
    • Support tax credits for assist property owners, landlords, affordable housing lenders, developers etc.
    • Monitor CAT Tax implementation/modifications
      Oppose legislation proposing disconnect from
    • Federal tax code
    • Oppose beer and wine tax increase
Housing and Homelessness
    • Support investments in affordable housing programs
    • Support investments in homeless/transitional housing, including wrap-around services
    • Support funding for emergency shelter siting for inclement weather
    • Support statute changes to allow rural ADUs
Education and Workforce Training
    • Support investments in OSU-Cascades Student Success Center
    • Support concurrent enrollment and credit transfer programs
    • Support legislation to enhance workforce training programs, vocational education and trade school
    • Support funding and pilot programs to increase child care slots and reduce regulatory burdens
Natural Resources
    • Monitor legislation related to wildfire mitigation strategies
    • Monitor legislation related to water rights and irrigation districts
    • Monitor legislation related to timber production and forest health
    • Monitor legislation to address carbon emissions, climate issues and environmental health

About the Oregon State Legislature

The Oregon State Legislature convenes annually in February at the State Capitol in Salem. Legislative sessions are limited to 160 days in odd-numbered years and 35 days in even-numbered years. In odd-numbered years, the Legislative Assembly convenes on the second Monday in January, to swear-in newly elected officials, elect legislative leaders, adopt rules, organize and appoint committees, and begin introducing bills.

If an emergency arises during the interim period when the legislature is not in session, the Governor or a majority of both houses of the legislature may call a special session. Special sessions have been called as recently as 2020 to address the COVID crisis.

Learn More About Oregon State Representatives

Oregon’s bicameral legislature consists of the House of Representatives, which has 60 members elected for two-year terms, and the Senate, whose 30 members are elected to serve for four-year terms.

The Bend Chamber is actively supported by these Signature Investors

Small Business


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