Thanks to Matt Jaffe in the Office of Government Relations for most of the following:
Thursday, April 21st was the Oregon State Legislature's last day for bills to move out of policy committees in their chamber of origin. Committees that are not subject to these deadlines include the Revenue and Rules Committees in each chamber as well as the Joint Tax Credit and Ways and Means Committees. Bills that were not moved to the floor or a committee that is not subject to this deadline are no longer in play, though legislators may still introduce new priority bills.
Below is a summary of the City’s major legislative activity over the last two weeks in April.
Brownfield Redevelopment (HB 3325A, HB 2949, HB 2950, HB 2082, SB 441) – This week the House voted 59-0 to approve HB 3325A, which provides greater legal certainty for innocent parties who purchase and voluntarily clean up brownfield sites according to a prospective purchaser agreement (PPA) with DEQ. The bill is a joint initiative of the City, Port of Portland, and DEQ and stems from the Harbor ReDI effort led by the Portland Development Commission (PDC). The vote comes after the bill moved out of the House Energy, Environment and Water Committee with a favorable recommendation last week. HB 3325A effectively replaces three similar bills introduced this session that are not moving forward: HB 2082, HB 2950 and SB 441. Another bill that would have created a state tax credit for brownfield cleanup, HB 2949, also did not advance from committee before the deadline. HB 3325A is awaiting referral to a Senate committee.
Industrial Lands (SB 766, HB 2352) – Last week, the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee adopted amendments to SB 766 and voted 5-1 to move the bill. The bill’s fiscal impact required the Committee to send it to the Joint Ways and Means Committee. The amended bill creates a consolidated state and local permitting process for industrial development projects of statewide significance that have a local resolution of support and creates a framework for state designation of Regionally Significant Industrial Areas (RSIAs), within which local government regulatory authority would be restricted and development permits would be expedited. Additionally, as amended, the bill specifies that the Willamette River Greenway Plan area downriver from the Fremont Bridge and sites not planned and zoned for industrial use (including West Hayden Island unless it is rezoned) may not be designated as an RSIA.
Another bill that would have required a local government to replace prime industrial land with similar land if the local government takes action that reduces the amount or usability of such lands, HB 2352, did not meet the deadline for bills to move out of committee.
Film and Television Production Incentives (HB 2167A, SB 314A) – The City testified in support of HB 2167 at a public hearing this week held by the Joint Tax Credit Committee. A City priority, the bill would extend the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF) and Greenlight Labor Rebate state incentives for film and video production. Last week, the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee also referred to the Joint Tax Credit Committee SB 314, a bill which would extend the OPIF.
Farmworker Housing Tax Credits (HB 2154A, HB 3168, SB 321) – The Joint Tax Credit Committee held public hearings on two farmworker housing tax credit bills last Monday. HB 3168 extends the state tax credits for farmworker housing, while HB 2154A revises the definition of farmworker housing for those credits in order for more Oregonians involved in agricultural and aquacultural work to have access to affordable housing. Another bill to extend the farmworker housing state tax credits, SB 321, was referred to the Joint Tax Credit Committee last week by the Senate Business, Transportation, and Economic Development Committee. The City has provided testimony in support of all three bills as part the rural partnership section of the City’s legislative agenda.
Recreational Immunity (HB 2865) – Last week, the House passed this City initiative by a vote of 54-4. HB 2865 will provide property owners who abut unimproved right of way the same protection from liability that they have when trails are used for recreation for instances when those same trails are used for transportation. Now in the Senate, the bill is awaiting assignment to a committee.
Primary Care Workforce Package (HB 2401A, HB 2391, HB 2397, HB 2400A) – Following amendments and approvals last week by the House Health Care Committee, this week the full House voted 59-0 to pass HB 2401A, which encourages OHSU to create a family medical residency network through the Area Health Education Center program. HB 2401A is one of four bills in the Primary Care Workforce Package, which also includes three bills currently in the Joint Ways and Means Committee: HB 2391, HB 2397 and HB 2400A. All four bills are part of the rural partnership section of the City’s legislative agenda.
PERS (HB 2456) – The House Business and Labor Committee last week amended and referred HB 2456 with a favorable “do pass” recommendation to the Joint Ways and Means Committee. The bill would prohibit PERS employees who retire or begin receiving PERS payments on or after January 1, 2012, and who live outside of Oregon, from receiving an increased benefit because of state income taxes.
9-1-1 Audio Recording Non-Disclosure (SB 346A) – The Senate Judiciary Committee adopted technical amendments to SB 346 and referred the bill to the Senate Rules Committee. SB 346A is a City initiative to provide privacy protection for callers to 9-1-1 by requiring that a caller consent for an audio recording to be released to the public, while providing that a transcript of the call be made generally available upon request.
Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) (HB 2208, HB 2414, HB 2523) – Last week the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee amended and referred to the House Revenue Committee, three bills to create new tax credits in lieu of the BETC: HB 2208, HB 2414 and HB 2523. All three bills also have subsequent referrals to the Joint Tax Credit Committee.
HB 2208 would create a tax credit for renewable energy generation. HB 2414 would create a tax credit for conservation of energy as measured by electricity saved; unlike the BETC the bill does not provide an incentive for conservation of transportation or heating fuel. Notably, HB 2208 and HB 2414 do not allow the transfer of tax credits, which has allowed the public and non-profit sectors access to the current BETC. HB 2523 would provide a tax credit for facilities that manufacture renewable energy technology, administered by the Oregon Business Development Department rather than the Oregon Department of Energy, which administers the current manufacturing BETC.
Solar Installations in Commercial and Residential Zones (HB 3516A) – The House Energy, Environment and Water Committee amended and approved HB 3516A with a favorable recommendation last week. The bill would make solar installations an outright allowed use in commercial and residential zones, and specify that solar installations mounted flush to a roofline and not in excess of peak roof height are not subject to land use review. In response to concerns raised by the City and others, the supporters of HB 3516A agreed to provide an exemption to the latter provision for solar installations in Historic Districts, on Historic Landmarks, and on front-facing rooflines in Conservation Districts.
Plastic Bag Ban (SB 536) – Last week, the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted 3-2 to move SB 536 to the Senate floor with a favorable “do-pass” recommendation. The bill, which would ban single-use plastic bags at retail check out, has been subsequently referred to the Senate Rules Committee.
Licensed Security at establishments serving Alcohol (SB 878A) – On April 24th the Senate passed SB 878 by a vote of 25-4. This bill, would remove training requirements for individuals controlling access to bars and clubs. The City testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition. Now in the House, the bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Tax abatement for low income housing projects developed by non-profits (HB 2354) – This bill, a part of the Oregon Housing Alliance’s legislative agenda, is now before the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee after passing the House 58-0 on April 18th. This bill allows local governments to provide tax abatements for housing projects that serve individuals with incomes below 60% of the median income. The City has submitted testimony in support of the bill.
Bike Signals (SB 130A) – After passing the Senate by a vote of 28-1, this bill that would change the state vehicle code to recognize electronically powered bike signals was heard in the House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development. At an April 27th hearing before the Committee, a staff person from the Portland Bureau of Transportation provided testimony. The Committee adopted an amendment that clarifies that a driver may move into an intersection and wait for an opening to make a turn when there is a flashing green arrow. The Committee unanimously moved the bill to the full House, recommending its passage.
Internal Investigations of Public Safety Officers (HB 3251) – This bill, which passed the House 59-0, will eliminate the public release of tapes of public safety officers being interviewed in internal investigations. While in the Judiciary Committee, an amendment was adopted that provides access to the tapes by Portland’s Independent Police Review and several other law enforcement entities that the original excluded. Now in the Senate, the bill has not yet been referred to a committee.
Bar Licensing (SB 36A) – This bill, as amended by the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee, allows for crimes committed in another state by an applicant for a liquor license to be considered in the application process, however weakens the standard from having committed a felony to “committing a crime that is substantially related to the fitness and ability of the applicant to lawfully carry out activities under the license.” The bill also would create an assumption that local records were truthful when being considered by the OLCC. After passing the Senate by a vote of 24-4 on April 19th, this bill is now before the House Business and Labor Committee.
Building Energy Performance Scores (SB 630, HB 3535) – Two bills dealing with establishment of energy performance score requirements for buildings, SB 630 and HB 3535, did not advance from their respective committees before last week’s deadline. The City opposed SB 630, which would have preempted establishment of local requirements to disclose energy performance scores. The City supported concept amendments to HB 3535, which would have created a statewide energy performance score system for residential and commercial buildings and removed a property tax abatement provision in the original bill.
Bottle Bill (HB 3145A) – Last week, the House Energy, Environment and Water Committee sent HB 3145A, which contains an update to Oregon’s bottle bill, to the House floor recommending its passage. The bill would expand the type of beverage containers that require a deposit, raise the deposit to ten cents if statewide return rates fall below 80% in two consecutive years, and enact a pilot to shift from in-store bottle redemption to off-site redemption centers. The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee this week. The bill is scheduled for a work session next week to clarify the scope of beverage containers that would require a deposit.
Right to Repair (HB 3243) – This bill would have required automobile manufacturers to release data related to vehicle parts for the purposes of maintaining the vehicle. As manufacturers are already required to release the necessary information related to vehicle repairs, this bill would have the effect of requiring manufacturers to release valuable trade secrets. Mayor Adams submitted a letter in opposition to the bill, as it would create a difficult business atmosphere for Freightliner, which is based in Portland and provides hundreds of jobs in the metropolitan region. HB 3243 received a hearing in the House Business and Labor Committee, where it remained at the time of last weeks deadline, and is no longer advancing.
Minimal Level of Public Safety in Distressed Counties (HB 2475) – HB 2475 remained in the House Judiciary Committee after the deadline last week for bills to move out of policy committees. The bill would have helped to ensure that minimally adequate public safety is provided in counties distressed by loss of federal timber payments. The City has supported HB 2475 as part of the rural partnership section of its legislative agenda. The bill received a hearing in the Judiciary Committee, but did not advance out prior to the April 21st deadline.
Alcohol and Public Safety (HB 3295) – This bill would have provided law enforcement with the ability to do emergency closures of bars for up to 72 hours, included specific references to serious crimes that should be considered in liquor licensing decisions, and required one member of the OLCC to have a background in public safety. The House Judiciary Committee adopted amendments to the bill that eliminated some of the crimes that could be considered and added a two-year sunset, however there were not sufficient votes in the committee to move the bill forward and did not advance prior to the deadline to move out of committee. The City had testified on the bill earlier in the session.
Forest Park Transfer of Ownership (HB 2250) – A bill, HB 2250, that would have directed the Oregon State Parks & Recreation Department to make a reasonable attempt to arrive at an agreement with the City to acquire Forest Park did not meet the deadline last week to advance from committee.
Land Use Appeals (SB 186, HB 2182, HB 2610) – Though the Senate Judiciary Committee had a work session on SB 186 scheduled last week, the committee did not take action and the bill did not meet the deadline for advancing from committee. Opposed by the City, SB 186 would have limited the right to appeal a land use decision to owners of property within a specified distance of the property affected by the land use decision. Two other bills that would have limited standing to appeal land use decisions and were opposed by the City, HB 2182 and HB 2610, remained in the House Judiciary Committee last week after the deadline for advancing.
Copier Data (SB 906) – SB 906, which would have required that copier machine hard drives containing personal information be removed or erased before the machine is sold or traded-in, remained in Senate Judiciary Committee last week despite the deadline for bills to advance. The City had expressed concerns about ambiguous language in the bill and the substantial cost that would be incurred by the City if SB 906 were to pass.